Q: How often should I have a trustee meeting where minutes are required for compliance? How often should the investment strategy be reviewed?
A: I would highly recommend trustees meet at least annually and document that meeting in written trustee meetings. In fact, there is no legislative requirement for a minimum number of trustee meetings per year, so it really depends on how many trustees there are and how often more significant decisions need to be made that might require a majority to agree.
Major decisions such as decisions to commence paying benefits, appoint an auditor, make significant investments, welcome new members for example may be of great assistance at audit time in demonstrating trustee approval of major events.
At times, minutes greatly assist us as auditors to know what the true intentions were at the time transactions occur. So being active in holding meetings and documenting minutes is a great way to be proactive in your role as trustee.
Meeting minutes should be kept as simple as possible. A document that states the name of the fund, the date of the meeting, who attended and what was discussed is all that is required. Many SMSF administration software providers include standard meeting minutes in the software, or seek assistance from your accountant or adviser who can help provide you with a useful template.
The investment strategy of the fund is usually reviewed annually by most trustees, unless major investment decisions are made part way through the year, in which case the strategy should be updated at the time the decisions are made rather than investing outside the strategy and fixing it at year end.
Important: This content has been prepared without taking account of the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular individual. It does not constitute formal advice. Consider the appropriateness of the information in regards to your circumstances.