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Digital approvals a step closer

SMSF documents digital

A bill recently tabled in parliament has brought trustees closer to the ability to approve SMSF documents without a physical signature.

The ability for SMSF documents to receive digital approval is a step closer after the bill covering these types of protocols was tabled in parliament last month.

Smarter SMSF chief executive Aaron Dunn noted this is the first step in the process of moving to the use of electronic signatures for document approval and added the move to include superannuation funds will be part of the next step of the process that is already underway.

“This is first cab off the rank. There are meetings that actually happened [last week] with Treasury looking at phase two of the process, which will include the superannuation laws, so [the] SIS (Superannuation Industry (Supervision)) [Regulations] and SIS Act,” Dunn said.

He revealed he is directly involved in the process of determining how the protocols will apply to SMSFs.

The Treasury Laws Amendment (Modernising Business Communications) Bill 2022 was introduced into parliament on 22 January and is a follow up to the “Modernising Business Communications Consultation Paper” released in December 2020. The intention of the paper was to improve the technology neutrality of Treasury portfolio laws.

“The bill now is endeavouring to allow for these types of portfolios, so the SIS Act and the Corporations Act, to now fall under that banner so that we won’t be required to deal with a number of these [approval protocols] in a wet-ink environment,” Dunn noted.

“So it will allow for documents to be signed or executed electronically, will allow for certain additional categories of documents to be sent electronically and amend the criteria with which an entity must comply before they are relieved from their obligations to provide a particular document to a member, among a broad range of other things.”

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