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Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF)

Kingston & Knight, along with our partners are specialists in all areas of Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSF), from managing annual audits, compliance paperwork, tax returns to investment strategy and advice.

Our Melbourne based team holds a membership with CPA Australia and have SMSF personnel who are committed to combining their expertise and assurance in assisting anyone who is considering setting up their own SMSF.

We offer a full range of SMSF services, including:
  • Self-Managed Super Fund Establishment
  • Investment Strategy
  • Compliance
  • Accounting and Taxation
  • Auditing

Contact Kingston & Knight Accountants today on 1800 283 481 to learn more about our Melbourne self-managed super fund (SMSF) accountant services, or email us at


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Self Managed Super fund

Self Managed Super Fund – Setting up an SMSF

When you’re finally ready to set up a self-managed super fund, there are a number of important steps to take to ensure that it is being set up correctly and that all legal guidelines are being adhered to. By taking the time to create and consider your own SMSF plan, you can safeguard your fund’s eligibility for tax concessions and for receiving contributions. Being organised and having a plan also makes your fund easier to manage in the long term, allowing you to avoid being overwhelmed by tasks and responsibilities.

Before creating a detailed SMSF plan customised to your own needs, it might be helpful to have a basic overview of some of the key steps involved.

Setting Up – Talk to the Professionals

Establishing a self-managed super fund is no easy task. More often than not, it is worth considering whether you need the assistance of one or a number of professionals. Retaining professionals that guide you through your SMSF establishment will increase your chances of securing a well-managed, financially efficient, fund. If you do choose to retain a professional just remember that, regardless of their professional input, it is still you that is ultimately responsible for making sure everything is done correctly.

Types of Professionals

Whilst none of the following SMSF professionals are required by law, they all have the capacity to help ensure that you are adhering to relevant legal standards. More than this, they are equipped with the financial knowledge necessary to maximize your fund’s economic benefit.

SMSF Accountant

An SMSF Accountant is a financial professional whose job it is to inspect, secure, or keep financial accounts. When setting up a self-managed super fund, a SMSF accountant can certify that your fund’s accounts are sufficiently arranged in accordance with your SMSF plan. They may also assist in preparing both their annual fiscal position and operating statements.

Tax Agent

Tax agents are experts in tax law, and are a smart choice for anyone without the necessary skills or resources to guarantee that all of their SMSF decisions are in accordance with relevant legal standards. Tax agents are capable of drawing and lodging your fund’s annual return, supporting you in your communications with the Australian Taxation Office, and providing general advice regarding tax law and your fund. Before retaining a tax agent, though, it is advised that you refer to the Tax Practitioners Board and ascertain whether your professional of choice is registered.

Fund Administrator

Fund administrators are professionals in the administration of your self-managed super fund. The fund administrator’s primary role is to act as an overseer of the daily tasks and management of your SMSF. They guide you in the fulfillment of your general SMSF duties, ensuring that you meet your reporting and administrative commitments.

Financial Advisor

Financial advisors often play a significant role in organising and administering the investments and investment strategies of SMSFs. Arranging investments with secure and smart returns is a complex and exerting task that calls for a great deal of skill and experience if it is to be successful. The support of a financial advisor is a good idea for those that do not have a strong financial background or are not familiar with the various methods of investing. Financial advisors are also helpful in identifying the insurance products that will be most useful for you. Kingston & Knight have professional Melbourne experts that ensure that the financial advice provided is right for you. Contact us today on (03) 9863 9779 or email us on

Appointing an Approved SMSF Auditor

Auditing your fund is an essential step in the long-term management of your self-managed super fund. It is important to note here that whilst hiring the professionals, appointing an approved SMSF auditor is a requirement. The auditor is in charge of ensuring that your SMSF is in compliance with any relevant laws and certifying that your financial statements are accurate. Following the rules and appointing an auditor ensures that you achieve any tax concessions on your investment income to which you are entitled.

An approved SMSF auditor means that your fund’s auditor must be officially registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). If your auditor is registered, you will need to access their SMSF auditor number. Once you have their number, you are required to disclose it on your annual return. When appointing an auditor you must also keep in mind that they have to be financially indifferent to your fund. In other words, you may not retain an auditor that has any financial interest in your SMSF. In this vein, the auditor is also disallowed from being someone with whom any members or trustees of the fund have a personal relationship or close business relationship. Kingston & Knight have the professionals for your Self Managed Super Fund and are registered with ASIC. Contact us now on (03) 9863 9779 or email us on


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Audits of Financial Statements

Kingston & Knight Accountants approach to auditing your financial statements begins with obtaining a thorough understanding of your business and industry, including your internal controls, and ends with the expression of an opinion as to whether the financial statements are presented fairly in all material respects. As a part of this process, we identify and assess the risks which may cause your financial statements to be materially misstated and develop our audit strategy in response to those risks.

Prior to, and during the audit, our experts work closely with our clients to develop a service plan and calendar, which includes engagement planning meetings and frequent client communications intended to produce an efficient and cost-effective audit while minimizing disruption of your daily routine. As our planning progresses, we will provide lists of information to be supplied by you and a timetable for delivery of that information. Whenever possible, we will request that information and schedules be provided in electronic formats to permit us to use technology, including data extraction software, for greater ease of process. Our experience has shown that the use of electronic tools has greatly enhanced our ability to complete services efficiently and effectively, while providing useful information to our clients.

Contact Kingston & Knight Accountants today on 1800 283 481 to learn more about audits of financial statements and our Melbourne auditor services, or email us at


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ASIC SMSF auditor registration

ASIC SMSF auditor registration

From 1 July 2013, ASIC’s new register for self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) came into effect as part of the federal government’s ‘Stronger Super’ reform program. The program was implemented to improve community confidence in the superannuation sector, as well as to maintain the sector’s integrity overall.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for the registration and approval of SMSF auditors, and sets relevant competency standards. As a result, ASIC has the power to suspend, cancel, and disqualify auditors where appropriate.

Under section 128F of the Superannuation Industry (Supervisory) Act 1993, approved SMF auditors are required to comply with a set of ongoing obligations which are set by ASIC. In addition, auditors are required to act in compliance with a set of standards issued by the Auditing and Assurance Standards Board.

From 1 July 2013, any auditor wishing to sign off SMSF audit reports must be registered with ASIC. Applications for ASIC registration should have been made by 30 April 2013, but a more detailed timeframe can be found on ASIC’s website. There are a set of minimum requirements set by ASIC which apply to those wishing to register as SMSF auditors. These requirements relate to education, experience, and general competence as well as maintaining professional indemnity insurance.

Existing approved SMSF auditors may have applied for a new registration in compliance with transitional arrangements in place between 31 January 2013 and 30 June 2013, which would have exempted them from some of the registration requirements.

More detailed information can be found in ASIC’s Regulatory Guide 243 Registration of self-managed superannuation fund auditors and in Class Order (CO 12/1687).

Overview of an SMSF Audit

Australian superannuation funds are subject to the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Act 1993 (SISA) and the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 (SISR).

Under section 35C of SISA, all superannuation funds are required to be audited on an annual basis regardless of their size of type. There are two components to these audits:

• Audit of the financial report – In order to enable the auditor to come to a conclusion based on the fair presentation of the financial report in compliance with appropriate accounting policies. This part of the audit must be conducted in compliance with the Australian Auditing Standards.
• Compliance audit – This enables the auditor to come to a conclusion relating to the compliance of the trustees with the requirements laid out in the SISA and the SISR. A compliance audit is conducted according to the requirements of the Australian Standards of Assurance Engagements.
When providing an audit report, the auditor is required to use the ATO approved form. This form covers both the compliance audit and the financial report audit. An auditor’s considerations must be made in accordance with the sections and regulations specified in the approved form of the audit report.
SMSF audit reports are not required to be lodged with SMSF Annual Returns. Regardless, details of compliance breaches or qualified audit reports must be provided.

What is an SMSF?

A working definition is provided in section 17A of the SISA. According to this section, an SMSF generally has the following traits:
• It has less than five members;
• Each trustee or director of the corporate trustee is a fund member, unless the fund is a single member fund. In the case of a single member fund, the sole member is either the director of a corporate trustee, or one of a pair of directors which are related; or one of a pair of trustees of whom the additional trustee can be anyone besides an employee of the member (unless the employee is related).
• Each of the fund’s members is either a trustee or a director of the corporate trustee;
• None of the fund’s members are employees of another member, unless they happen to be relatives.
• None of the trustees, or their directors (if a corporate trustee) receive remuneration for duties or services performed in relation to the fund.

If you require an ASIC SMSF auditor accountant contact Kingston & Knight today on (03) 9863 9779 or email us at


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Agreed Upon Procedures

Where a client and/or a specified third party require financial information or an assertion of management to be independently verified, we can assist with the performance of an agreed upon procedures engagement. In such an engagement a report of findings is issued based upon the results of performing specific procedures, as agreed by the client and other specified users related to the subject matter.

Contact Kingston & Knight Accountants today on 1800 283 481 to learn more about our Melbourne accounting services, or email us at


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Accounting and Business Advisory

Accounting and Business Advisory Melbourne

Rest at ease in knowing that your accounts are up to date, the bills are paid and you are aware of what your liabilities are.


If you are like most of our clients, you would much rather to concentrate on running your business than worrying about things like bank reconciliation’s, payroll and superannuation. By using our Accountting Support service, you can free up your time to run your business and save money in the long run. You can be assured that accounts are being prepared by a professional Bookkeeper who is under the supervision of a Certified Practicing Accountant at all times.


Some of the services we provide are:

Accounts payable data entry and management
Accounts receivable data entry and management
Payroll and Credit Card Statement Reconcilliation
Debt collection
Data Entry
Financial Reporting
Inventory Control
BAS Preparation
Fixed Asser Register Management
Weekly and monthly Profit and Loss Statements, Balance Sheets and Cash Flow Reports.

Contact Kingston & Knight Accountants today on 1800 283 481 to learn more about our Melbourne accounting services, or email us at


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Litigation Support Melbourne

What is Litigation Support Melbourne?

Litigation support refers to the assistance provided by a forensic accountant in relation to any given case, which deals predominantly with the calculation of economic damages. Although litigation support represents support provided to a client with regards to a legal dispute, the role is not limited to existing litigation. A forensic accountant may advise a client in advance of a potential legal dispute, resolving their issue before it reaches the courtroom. Litigation support, as well as investigative accounting, is one of the primary roles of the forensic accountant.

Before Court Support

In advance of a financial dispute going to court, clients may retain a forensic accountant to assist in the determination and documentation of any potential financial loss or damage. Litigation support in the face of pending arbitration often resolves any financial disputes before they reach the courtroom.

Forensic accountants are distinct from typical accountants in their familiarity with legal processes and arbitration. More than this, they are experts in finance and in litigation, and know their way around a courtroom. This special legal knowledge affords them insight into the manner in which financial legal disputes are settled and resolved. With these skills, a forensic accountant may save their client time and money by circumventing courtroom arbitration. As such, forensic accountants are becoming essential for public or private entities that seek to swiftly and efficiently resolve financial disputes. If a dispute is set for legal channels, however, a forensic accountant may also provide litigation support to a client by retrieving, compiling, and processing any financial data relevant to their case.

In Court Support

On occasion, it is necessary that a financial dispute be resolved via legal channels. In such an instance, attorneys may retain forensic accountants in order to build their case upon the foundations of stable financial advice.

In court, the forensic accountant might lend their expertise to the witness stand. As experts in finance and finance-litigation, they are able to provide reliable testimonies with regards to all matter of economic disputes. Or they may even work on the other side of the witness stand – lending their guidance to legal counsel in the formulation of key questions relating to financial evidence. Their honed and practiced investigative approach affords forensic accountants an insight into problems or gaps that may otherwise have gone unnoticed. It is often this high attention to detail, cultivated by the forensic accountant’s broad knowledge base, that makes the difference between successful and unsuccessful resolution of financial disputes.

In addition to testimonial support, litigation support may also come in the form of a more technically simple – but equally as essential – guiding financial hand. Whilst attorneys often demonstrate an impressive capacity to retain and express financial information with regards to relevant legislation or legal precedent, their focus is narrowed by their legal lens. Forensic accountants work closely with legal counsel to provide assistance during research, or in the compilation of relevant financial data, to ensure that casework is both accurate and compelling when it reaches the court.

After Court Support

After a case has been tried, forensic accountants may assist in determining and calculating economic damages. This may involve compiling relevant data points and translating these into comprehensive and applicable reports. Their expertise allows settlement discussions to run smoothly and in a manner that is financially just.

If you require Litigation Support services or an Forensic Accountant Melbourne expert, contact Kingston & Knight today (03) 9863 9779 or email us on


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Investigative Accountant Melbourne

Investigative Accountant Melbourne

What is Investigative Accounting?

Investigative accounting deals primarily with criminal matters and is the process of determining and identifying the existence, or degree, of any illegal financial activity. Sometimes – though less commonly – investigative accounting does peruse civil matters; such as in a divorce case in which one spouse withholds hidden assets from the other and a forensic accountant is retained to investigate the matter.

Often, a forensic accountant will be tasked by a corporate entity to investigate suspected illegal engagements by an individual, or individuals, within the company. On other occasions, they may be retained by a government department to conduct an investigation into suspected criminal activity. In the latter instance, special permission may be given to engage in government sponsored hacking for the purpose of a thorough investigation. Otherwise, forensic accountants are well-versed in various software to legally acquire relevant financial data points when conducting an investigation.

The Investigation

With a broad range of skills to support their approach, the forensic accountant plays perhaps the most essential role in the discovery and charge of financial falsification and misconduct. And never has there been a time when this role has been as significant as it is today.

With recent advances in modern technology – the onset of the internet, increasingly advanced coding, and newer and more powerful computers –, has come greater access to more ways of committing financial offences. As such, it is with great ease that individuals and groups are doing such things as falsifying financial statements, and committing identity theft or insurance fraud. Fortunately, forensic accountants are proficient with an equally as vast skillset to identify and investigate these matters.

One of the primary means of such an investigation is electronic discovery, or “e-discovery”. Electronic discovery is a sweeping term that encompasses all investigations concerned with the examination and detection of electronic data. Using their computer, software, a network, or a combination of these, forensic accountants are able to discover digital data to assist in their investigation.

Consider for instance, that a forensic accountant is retained for the investigation of major insurance fraud. Using various networks or software, a forensic accountant will investigate relevant electronic data and files to confirm or deny the legitimacy of the respective insurance claim or claims. The forensic accountant will then compile the data, create a report for their client, and finally advise on the next course of legal action. This approach epitomises the usefulness of forensic accounting with its combination of legal and financial support.

Investigative accounting also refers to non-electronic data. In this way, the investigation does not always entail the discovery of financial data, but the interpretation of already known data. In other words, a forensic accountant may be provided with a collection of relevant files and information, and tasked to investigate them using their unique financial knowledge.

Matters of Investigation

Forensic accountants are retained for the investigation of vast and various financial offences. Because forensic accountants have specialised skills in distinct fields, investigations are supported by an individual familiarity with each financial ecosystem.

Here are some examples of the financial offences regularly investigated by forensic accountants:

– Identity theft
– Insurance fraud
– Securities fraud
– Employee theft
– Embezzlement
– Money laundering

If you require Litigation Support services or an Forensic Accountant Melbourne expert, contact Kingston & Knight today (03) 9863 9779 or email us on


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Forensic Accountants Melbourne

Forensic Accountants Melbourne – How Kingston & Knight can assist

Kingston & Knight are well-versed in a number of different financial and legal skills. It is our ability to see connections between legal and financial systems that sets us apart from your typical accountants. In fact, our forensic accountants normally require at least three years experience in accounting before they can be accepted into the field. Thus, a high level of financial and legal proficiency is inherent to the position – a sort of guarantee to our clients that we are a reliable expert in the field.

Kingston & Knights forensic accountants can be of assistance to a varying and broad spectrum of clientele. Our skills in investigation, litigation, and financial interpretation is often sought by attorneys for litigation support, companies or individuals for looking into dubious financial transactions, or even government organizations for the detection of financial criminal activity.

Investigate, Report, Support

Whilst the approach to forensic accounting varies on a case-by-case basis, it is often helpful to consider the forensic accountants approach as composed of three primary steps: investigate, report, support.

Clients that retain forensic accountants retain them for an entire process. The process, in its simplest form, involves investigating financial information relevant to the client’s case, interpreting this information into an easily understandable report for their client, and then supporting their client in their dispute by advising on legal approaches relevant to the financial issue.

It is important to note, however, that whilst this is a typical approach to forensic accounting (and a helpful way of thinking about the field), the role is not strictly confined to this linearity – rather it adjusts according to the individual needs of each client. For example, forensic accountants may be retained for the purposes of providing testimony to the court as an expert witness, in this case their skills of reporting significant information that they have interpreted takes precedence.

A Comprehensive Approach
When considering whether to retain the services of a Kingston & Knight forensic accountant, the greatest compelling factor to bear in mind is our ability to provide clients with “the big picture”. Kingston & Knight are known across Melbourne to be the experts in both finance and its application to litigation. Much has been said about the fact that whilst a lawyer may advise on law, and an accountant on finance, often neither have the proficiency that the forensic accountant does to translate one into another. This is not only significant for the overall approach to financial dispute resolution or financial investigation, but also for client experience.

A Scenario – Consider, for instance, that an individual is seeking to bring their ex-spouse to civil court based on the suspicion of hidden assets in their divorce. Now consider that this individual retains a typical accountant and an attorney. The attorney, accountant, and individual discuss their approach to the pending dispute. The attorney suggests a legal route and explains the significance to the accountant, the accountant contributes with their own advice for a financial route and explains this to the attorney, and the individual contributes their own desired outcome. The meeting that follows is one in which each contributor explains and elaborates upon their viewpoint, attempting to tie it into the others’ by opening and closing multiple ports of communication.

By retaining a Kingston & Knight forensic accountant instead, we are able to have the desired outcome interpreted into clear and cohesive advice that combines relevant notions of litigation and finance. The process is much more resourceful and time-efficient by cutting straight to the essential matters and excluding the unnecessary clutter of clarifications.

If you require Forensic Accountants Melbourne services contact Kingston & Knight today on (03) 9863 9779 or email us on


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Business Accountant

Business Accountant Melbourne

When to use a Business Accountant Melbourne?
The services provided by accountants extend far beyond doing tax returns and payrolls. In fact, there are a variety of ways in which accountants can assist your business in its growth, development, and overall success. Many business owners and operators may be unaware of these services, or how hiring an accountant could be the key to success for their business.

Concerns for growing small businesses
There are many situations throughout the business life-cycle where hiring an accountant can ease the burden on management and operations. They can assist with writing an effective business plan, applying for a loan, or managing a government audit, for example.
Though this is the case, you don’t necessarily need to maintain a retainer or full time relationship with an accountant. In many cases, a few hours of their time may be enough to get your books back on track.
A key concern for any diligent small business owner is saving money, so it stands to reason that you may not think you can afford to hire an accountant. It is best to instead look at things on the basis of time; how long would it take you to manage your taxes? Could that time be better spent in other areas of your operation?
Imagine, for example, that it takes you 10 hours to do the taxes for your business, and your time is valued at $100 an hour. The total cost of doing the taxes yourself would be $1000, and there’s always the risk of mistakes being made – especially if you are multitasking, as most business owners are.
Getting a qualified accountant to take care of complex or time-consuming tasks such as taxes can often cost less per-hour than your time is worth. As the business owner your time would be free to generate revenue, and you could do so with peace of mind knowing that an expert is taking care of your business.

So, are there any other moments during the life cycle of a typical small business where an accountant’s service might come in handy?

Writing a business plan
Accountants are able to use complex accounting software to add reports and financial projections to your business plan. Strategic assistance and information such as this can ensure your business plan is professional, realistic, and likely to succeed.

It is also beneficial to familiarise yourself with an accountant’s services at this early stage so you are aware of them later on. Financial advice and knowledge such as that offered by accountants is invaluable as a business moves to take its first steps towards success.

Determining your company’s legal structure
Legal structure is not uniform across businesses. There are several different types of legal structure, all of which are determined by certain factors and have various important implications. For example, some companies are called limited companies; others are corporations, sole traders, and proprietors. Legal structures such as these vary from country to country.

Each type should be considered carefully while you determine which one best suits you and your business. For example, if you choose to operate as a sole proprietor or sole trader you may be able to offset some of your living expenses against tax by invoicing in your own name. On the same note, this could render you personally liable for any business-related obligations. Failed to pay a supplier? Defaulted on a debt? Lost a lawsuit? If you are a sole trader/proprietor, your business’s creditors may be able to legally come after your personal assets to reclaim any debts.

In the limited liability company structure, this is different. As the name implies, your business’s liability would be limited to assets legally owned by the business, not your personal assets (though exceptions may occur in some situations).

A business accountant is able to explain these details to you, and can assist you in choosing the legal structure which best suits your business and personal interests.

Helping with the finances
Small business accounting can become complex, fast, if you decide to do it on your own. You may lose track of where money is going, who owes who what and how much – an accountant will be able to assist you in getting back on track.

Business accountants routinely perform measurements of key business metrics, such as the ratio of wages and other staff costs to total revenue. An accountant can further your understanding of these costs and comparisons by visualising them for you, and assisting you in understanding how these costs may change over time.

Some business accountants use cloud-based software, ensuring that they are able to share your accounting information with you quickly and efficiently. The charts, graphs, and tables which accountants expertly produce can save you time and money by allowing you to understand your business’s financial situation at a glance.

Having access to such resources ensures that you always have a finger on the pulse of your business, and areas of concern or potential don’t go unnoticed.

Melbourne SMSF Auditor and/or SMSF Accountant on (03) 9863 9779 or email us at


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