Product and Service ReviewsBest SMSF bank account - Grow: Specialist SMSF Accountants & Advisors

Every self managed superannuation fund needs a bank account. So which is the best SMSF bank account?

Considerations when looking for the best SMSF bank account

A self managed super fund needs a bank account purposely designed for SMSFs.  The needs of an SMSF and those who work with them are different compared to a personal transaction account or a business account.

It’s also important to understand that an SMSF isn’t restricted to one bank account, it can have multiple bank accounts for different purposes (i.e. regular income and expenses, savings and investing / trading).

A trustee of an SMSF needs to weigh up the these requirements and make a decision.

Best SMSF bank account: Macquarie CMA

The Macquarie Cash Management Account in my opinion is the best SMSF bank account available for self managed super funds and their advisers / accountants.

Some of the key features that make Macquarie a winner for me include:

  • Easy to set up
  • No monthly fees
  • No adviser commissions (or commissions rebated)
  • Links with most popular stockbroking and investment platforms
  • Widely used by fintech providers like Stake (for trading US Stocks)
  • Optional linked ‘high interest’ Accelerator Account
  • Seamless integration with SMSF accounting software
  • Reliable data feeds
  • Great accountant and adviser access (under the control of the SMSF trustees)
  • Macquarie mobile bank app is great
  • Interest rates (we are in a low interest rate environment – 0.90% on the Accelerator Account as at 31 July 2020 and can be changed without notice)
  • Australian customer support and call centres!

Most popular SMSF bank account

According to data from Macquarie themselves and data from the ATO, 1 in 3 SMSFs use the Macquarie CMA.

That works out to be approximately 200,000 SMSFs across the country using the Macquarie CMA. This is not surprising as Macquarie has always worked closely with intermediaries such as accountants, financial adviser and stockbrokers and these professionals influence the decision on what bank account an SMSF trustee should use.

In addition Macquarie has put a lot of effort into ensure their bank account integrates easily into the systems of these professionals, including through data feeds and the Macquarie ESI (External Systems Interface) – which provides many ‘open banking’ features many years before open banking and the new payments platform was a thing.

Macquarie CMA Cash Hub best SMSF bank account

 

Making SMSF administration easier

With an SMSF less is often more. An SMSF needs a good bank account to act as the cash hub.  With Macquarie the administration, accounting and audit of an SMSF becomes very easy.  At any time an accountant or SMSF administrator like Grow SMSF can pull through up to 3 years worth of transactions, and any new transactions come through on a daily basis.  This helps make the SMSF accounting process quick and easy with no manual data entry.

In addition Macquarie also enables very strong, but flexible third-party access to adviser and accountants.  The amount of access (e.g. read only versus transaction authority) is controlled by the SMSF trustees as account owner.  For example an SMSF administrator could be granted read-only access to the account which enables transactions to be feed through into the SMSF accounting platform and also enables online access to download statements or reports for the SMSF auditor when needed, all without the ability to transact on the account.

Some SMSF auditors, including the ones used by Grow SMSF, have even undertaken their own independent audit testing on the Macquarie CMA and its data feeds into SMSF accounting platforms like Class Super to enable them to place reliance on the data feeds.  This means less paperwork each year and that SMSF accounts are completed faster and more seamlessly.

 

Setting up an SMSF account

Another reason the Macquarie CMA is my pick for best SMSF bank account is the ease of set up.  Even if you’re not an existing Macquarie bank customer (which you likely aren’t because they’ve never had a large retail bank branch network) setting up a new SMSF bank account with Macquarie is easily completed online.  An adviser or accountant can complete most of the steps for you and you then receive an email to confirm a few details and authorise the account opening an viola! New account opened.

 

Could the Macquarie CMA be improved for SMSFs?

There is always room for improvement, even with the best SMSF bank account.

The main drawback currently with the Macquarie CMA is that it’s not been moved onto Macquarie updated banking platform, whereas the new transaction accounts and credit cards are already running on this platform).  This means that at this time, you’re unable to use some of the New Payments Platform like Osko and PayID on the Macquarie CMA.

Macquarie does however undertake ‘sweeps’ multiple times per day, meaning transactions often clear quite fast between the CMA and other banks as well as between Macquarie accounts.  No doubt once the Macquarie CMA is moved onto their new platform then Osko / PayID will be available.

 

Can I just bank with my normal bank for my SMSF?

Fair question.

Although most people like the convenience of having all their banking in one place, some bank products simply are not suitable for SMSFs. For example Suncorp is popular with many customers (especially in Queensland) however they don’t provide a data feed for transactions, therefore SMSF accounting fees need to increase to compensate for the additional time it takes to prepare the accounts each year.

Also, it’s good to have the SMSF bank account with a different bank to ensure monies are not accidentally (or intentionally) intermingled with personal funds or business monies.

 

More information

Macquarie has lots of great information on their website in regards to their Cash Management Account.

Best SMSF Bank Account

If you would like to know how Grow SMSF uses the Macquarie Cash Account and how it can help make the management of your SMSF cheaper and easier, Cash Management Account.

 

From time to time Grow SMSF may produce information or content about specific financial products or services that enable access to specific financial products however we do not recommend, endorse or confirm as suitable any financial product or service featured on the Grow SMSF website or social media assets. This condition specifically applies to any financial product where Grow SMSF provides services at a discounted or preferential fee due to the use of those products, services or accounts. It’s not compulsory to utilise a specific account or service provider to be a client of Grow SMSF however the types of accounts, investments and service providers you use for your SMSF will determine the fees your SMSF is charged.

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All information contained on this website is provided as an information service only and, therefore, does not constitute, and should not be relied upon as, financial product advice. None of the information provided takes into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs, and you will need to make your own decision about how to proceed. Alternatively, for financial product advice that takes account of your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, you should consider seeking financial advice from an Australian Financial Services licensee before making a financial decision.

Grow SMSF does not hold an Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) and we are not authorised representatives of a AFSL. We do not provide financial product advice or recommend any financial products either expressly or implied.

From time to time Grow SMSF may produce information or content about specific financial products or services that enable access to specific financial products however we do not recommend, endorse or confirm as suitable any financial product or service featured on the Grow SMSF website or social media assets. This condition specifically applies to any financial product where Grow SMSF provides services at a discounted or preferential fee due to the use of those products, services or accounts. It’s not compulsory to utilise a specific account or service provider to be a client of Grow SMSF however the types of accounts, investments and service providers you use for your SMSF will determine the fees your SMSF is charged.

Where Grow SMSF provides information in relation to a financial product or service supported by or integrated with Grow SMSF the information is factual information only about the operation of the account or service and how data or reporting information is made available to us. Before making a decision on any financial product for your SMSF you should obtain a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) relating to that product and consider the PDS before making any decision. As financial product and solution providers are frequently making changes to their products and services Grow SMSF cannot accept any responsibility for any outdated or inaccurate information provided on this website or via social media assets.

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