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Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a breach when I provide client data to Fiducian Business Services?

Do I need to tell my clients that I am using the platform?

How does the platform fit within the framework of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009?

What are the benefits of using the platform?

Will I lose control of the engagement?

Does Fiducian Business Services contact my clients direct?

Does using the platform threaten my existing staff?

How does this increase productivity with my staff?

How will my junior staff gain any experience?

What about the quality of the work?

What is the turnaround time?

Is the data securely stored?

What do I need to load a job on the platform?

What do I receive once the job has been processed?

When can I access the platform?

Are there any minimum job sizes?

What are the costs involved?

How have other practices utilised the platform?

How will I know if this platform is right for my practice?

Where can I get more information?

Is there a breach when I provide client data to Fiducian Business Services?

There is no breach of the Privacy Act when loading client data. Fiducian Portfolio Services Limited is a public company responsible for $3.5 billion in Funds Under Management, Administration and Advice. It has an APRA license, an AFSL license and operates within the ambit of the National Privacy Act. Fiducian Business Services is a wholly owned subsidiary and complies with the risk management policies of its parent at all times.

Do I need to tell my clients that I am using the platform?

This is completely up to you and your practice. Most accounting practices insert a clause into their engagement letter to clients, explaining that client information may be provided to other parties in order to complete the engagement which covers use of the platform. To obtain a copy of the standard clause drafted by an independent senior counsel, please contact us.

How does the platform fit within the framework of the Tax Agent Services Act 2009?

The Act defines the tax agent service as ascertaining and advising an entity about liabilities that arise or could arise under taxation law. This is not the role of the platform. The platform simply operates to enable your staff to process financial data provided by clients in a more cost and time effective manner. Importantly the Fiducian process requires your staff to interact with the platform at all times to ‘control’, ‘review’ and ‘finalise’ jobs loaded.

What are the benefits of using the platform?

The combination of the FBS fee and reduced staff time only impacts compliance margins slightly on a per job basis. The key outcomes include reduced turnaround time and significantly increased capacity to offer value added services or handle growing compliance volumes from existing clients.

For all clients in excess of full capacity the fee is significantly margin accretive when processing new clients.

Use of the platform supports an increase in client satisfaction. The combination of reduced turnaround times and increased capacity to value add for compliance means clients will seek your advice more often. Clients consider it efficient to seek your advice on most things given you already have all their financial information. Increased capacity also means that the practice will also be able to handle new referrals from their satisfied clients.

Will I lose control of the engagement?

The platform has a ‘Query Tab’ which allows your team to manage and control all engagements. This tab operates like an email account in each job and also automatically updates the work email account of each staff allocated as responsible for the job with every correspondence. No entries in the file tab can be deleted ensuring a reliable audit trail for partner or manager reviews. Additional functionality exists where the correspondence on a job can be downloaded into excel.

Does Fiducian Business Services contact my clients direct?

We understand that these are your clients with whom you have developed and built a trusted relationship. The platform operates as a business to business model and therefore does not seek to contact your clients at all.

Does using the platform threaten my existing staff?

The platform provides you the opportunity to allow staff to increase capacity, diversify their skill set and earn more. This should in turn attract much needed individuals to public practice and allow you to retain them through competitive pay and interesting advisory work. In summary, the platform enables Australian accountants to handle more compliance and also to up skill.

The platform interacts with staff in a manner that is very similar to well known online technology which young people already enjoy using on a daily basis. In summary it will require your staff to advise on the intellectual components of the job such as accounting or tax related decisions and relieve repetitive low margin aspects of the processing, making compliance more interesting.

How does this increase productivity with my staff?

Productivity can increase as processing time reduces up to 60% to 80% thus releasing staff time to take on more compliance or participate in value add work.

How will my junior staff gain any experience?

For practices that are keen to keep growing, training of young inexperienced staff is an important investment for the future. The issue will be keeping them after some experience has been gained. The platform utilises highly qualified staff that communicate accounting and tax treatments and seeks approval on these from your staff. For jobs not loaded, junior staff will continue as they previously would have had there been no platform.

What about the quality of the work?

Quality is one of our four most critical success factors; the others being privacy & security, turnaround time and ease of use. Our objective is to make the quality of the experience impressive. Service provision is ISO 9001:2000 compliant as certified by Bureau Veritas Quality International (BVQI) an internationally recognised certification that applies to a number of back office support services for the banking, wealth management and business services industry.

What is the turnaround time?

Turnaround time to complete jobs is targeted at 2 calendar weeks for year end work and 1 business day for bookkeeping jobs.

Is the data securely stored?

Data is stored on the same systems as utilised for our wrap investment and superannuation administration offerings. Data security for these services are heavily regulated and audited by PWC on a regular basis.

What do I need to load a job on the platform?

In most cases the practice uploads the prior year workpaper templates in word or excel format with an exported copy of the prior year practice software file and scanned copies of pertinent client source documents in the ‘Files Tab’ of a job. Where relevant, a client software file is also provided. Where the client fax source documents, the practice will already have PDF copies and hence do not have to scan anything. Loading a job should take on average 5 to 10 minutes.

What do I receive once the job has been processed?

Platform outputs include the ‘Accounting Pack’ i.e. financial statements, trial balance and working paper templates rolled forward. In addition, the practice will receive the exported software files updated for the relevant year. For year end business clients, a list of the adjusting journals for the client file will also be provided. For book keeping clients, the updated client file will provided.

When can I access the platform?

The platform is internet based and just as accessible as your internet banking account. Access the platform from home, client sites, the business lounge at the airport or anywhere with an available internet connection. This allows constant accessibility to control and review work in progress.

Are there any minimum job sizes?

The platform can be used to support your team process Family Groups efficiently. Therefore, where a business client also has an associated trust or individuals, investment property returns we can process accurate drafts for your review even if the fee you charge on associated entities is relatively smaller.

What are the costs involved?

The platform fee is a fraction of the fee you charge your client. The definition of the ‘fee you charge’ your client excludes any time spent providing advisory services or meeting with clients. As with any platform, the fee can be scaled down with volume.

How have other practices utilised the platform?

Most practices utilise the platform for up to 10 to 15% of their staff work load. This provides the necessary free capacity to pursue value add opportunities and profitably manage growth in the compliance workload. In other cases, super funds and bookkeeping engagements are processed on the platform so the practice can continue to focus on advising business clients.

How will I know if this platform is right for my practice?

The best way to find out whether the platform will assist your practice is by loading a few trial jobs. By trialing the service you will gain a better understanding of how the platform works, what is required from you and your staff, which jobs are most suited to the platform and what benefits you and your practice gain by utilising the platform.

Where can I get more information?

You can contact us on 1300 853 743 or email .

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