Having worked with different accounting firms, some have preferred the ASIC Annual Company Statement to be sent to clients for review and others have used the CAS version, with the declaration and signature.
I’m interested to know what you do or prefer and why…
I have a preference, but would love your feedback.
Great question Viola, I’ve wondered the same thing.
My firm has always used the ASIC issued Company Statement and a solvency resolution to send to clients. To me it makes sense to send the issued statement rather than a rehashed version, much like sending a client their ATO issued Notice of Assessment, not a version of it. The ASIC Company Statement also looks more professional than the CAS version, in my opinion.
Because the ASIC Company Statement shows the Corporate Key on the front page, we’re unable to email the documents directly from CAS to the client due to privacy, so this then eliminates one of the great features of CAS 360. We also can’t use the automatic email reminders for the Company Statements as CAS 360 attach a copy of the statement to the reminder email (again, the Corporate Key issue). In this case I use sms reminders instead.
I’m also interested to know what others use and some feedback.
Hi Karen, thanks for your reply. I agree with you regarding the ASIC issued Company Statement looking more professional. It’s also one less documents to get signed.
I have worked with accounting firms that send out the CAS version.
The biggest issue I’ve come across with using the CAS version is when CAS doesn’t 100% reflect what’s on recorded by ASIC for a company and the firm issues the CAS version each year and asks the client to confirm that the details are correct, when if fact they are not what’s recorded by ASIC. I’ve seen this mainly with errors recorded by ASIC. i.e. typos in officeholder’s names or say the beneficial ownership being incorrect. The error is ignored each year because it’s too time consuming to correct via hard copy forms. So the CAS version ‘pretends’ the details are accurate. Big no no.
Keeping a company’s Corporate Key safe and private is important. Interested to understand why you feel sending the ASIC Statement directly from CAS diminishes the ability to keep the Corporate Key private?
This is indeed a good question.
Every place I’ve worked that prepares the Annual Company Statements using the CAS system has used BGL’s ACS template, for the privacy & reminder reasons that Karen mentioned above, as well as for the simple fact that it includes the signature field.
While it isn’t a requirement that a Director signs off on the details to say that they are correct, it gives them the opportunity to put their signature to a document that they feel helps to confirm that there have been no changes.
It’s also a way for us to keep a record of when a client comes at us as Agents saying that we hadn’t put through requested changes when we have no record of said request; it shows that the Director signed off that the company details were correct when they weren’t, meaning that either they didn’t actually check to ensure the details were correct or had never actually advised us of the change in the first place.
It’s great that CAS archives the ASIC issued statement within the same document stream/entry so that we can access it if/when needed - for the Corporate Key or any other reason.
So yeah, that’s my personal preference and experience with it.
Haha Laneth it seems we were both typing a reply at the same time.
Yes there are pros and cons for each Statement version.
I’ve mainly seen the CAS version used. But I really dislike that it can ‘disguise’ errors by just correcting them in CAS and not ASIC. I’ve just corrected a whole string of longstanding errors with ASIC that the clients didn’t know were incorrect and were signing the CAS version each year saying the details were all good!
I personally think the ASIC Company Statement is King.
Hahaha it seems like!
I agree that there is the potential for errors and discrepancies to be hidden and/or ignored, but I personally don’t fault the CAS statement for this but rather perhaps the staff member not processing the necessary changes highlighted by the comparison report.
I’ve been with my current company for a little over two years and it took me quite some time to rectify some of the oldest / most pressing issues that seemed to have been overlooked for many years.
It ultimately comes down to how diligent and experienced the staff responsible for the CorpSec functions are, imo. If they don’t know that these errors are a matter of legality and not just a “small discrepancy”, they’ll eventually find out when banks refuse credit for the client due to inconsistent data, etc.
ASIC Company Statement is absolutely the primary source of truth, but I’ve rarely had issues personally with the comparison reports.
With the amount of email hacking going on, as a matter of client privacy and security, my firm never sends sensitive information such as a corporate key, TFN, bank account details, ASIC key, business name transfer numbers etc unless the document is password protected. Emailing the company statement directly from CAS and also using the email reminder sends the document with no security and therefore the corporate key is potentially at risk. I’d love to see an option to redact or blank out the corporate key from the company statement prior to emailing the document directly from CAS, similar to what the Tax Office has done with ATOmate.