Last minute meetings. Urgent emails and frantic phone calls. Couriers speeding across the country. What’s so important? The last few days were the statutory deadline for many sets of pension scheme’s accounts. If you haven’t completed them by now then you are probably making a report to The Pensions Regulator to explain what went wrong and what you are doing to make sure it does not happen again next year.
We are constantly looking around for new ideas or proven techniques to help trustees obtain more timely audited accounts. We have outlined below three excellent ideas that have helped many trustees so far and which we believe could be of great help for your scheme – see what you think and please share them with your fellow trustees and advisers.
- It was Peter Drucker that once said “Outsource your problems and pursue your opportunities”. Great advice and one which trustees should take great heed of. One of the biggest issues which has already hit some trustees is the amount of time it takes to perform administrative tasks. For example, do you produce your pension scheme’s accounts in-house? If so, consider what benefits you would see if the accounts preparation was outsourced?
- Book next year’s audit now and agree your fee! Many professionals are expecting audit fees to increase next year due to the new SORP and rising costs.
- Act now – review your accounts preparation process and look for opportunities to improve next year. Were the accounts completed on time? Did it cost what you expected? What could you do to make the process easier for you? Discuss the accounts preparation process with your scheme’s accountant and auditors.
We suggest that you discuss:
- what went well;
- what you could do better; and
- if we did it all over again what would you do differently?
Once you have the answers to these questions: Take Action! Agree the improvements that need to made for next year. Following our 3 Step Improvement Plan, many of our clients now deliver their accounts two months earlier than previous year and with a lot less hassle which gives them time to focus on their key goals.