From 1 October 2018 all Accountants will need to comply with the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML).
Most of you will be accustomed to the increased identification requirements of Banks and from 1st October, accountants are also required (by Law) to verify certain clients identification. Where Strettons undertake certain services for clients, we will be required to obtain identification and address verification documents along with proof of source of funds in some instances.
The level of information Strettons are required to collect will be determined by a number of factors, but largely whether the service Strettons are providing you is captured under the legislation. The information required will be proof of identity (driver’s licence, birth certificate, passport or firearm’s licence) and proof of your address (recent utility bill or Bank statement).
If the transaction involves an entity such as a Trust or a Company, additional information may be required, including details for all Directors or Shareholders, Trustees and Beneficiaries. By asking for more information from you, we have more knowledge about the transaction we are to undertake on your behalf and we can ensure that we will not be breaching our requirements under the Act.
Why is this necessary?
New Zealand is currently regarded as one of the safest and least corrupt countries in the World. Accountants now must take steps to assess the risk faced from transactions through activities carried out by those dealing with an accountant.
This will also help other countries transact with New Zealand firms confidently, knowing that money sent into or out of New Zealand is not tainted by the proceeds of crime. Banks have been complying with the AML legislation since 2013; Lawyers since earlier this year and from 1st October, now Accountants.
We apologise for any inconvenience this new process may cause but Strettons are required to comply with the new Law, with significant fines if not adhered to. We are working hard to minimise any frustration to both existing and new clients and will endeavour to make this information gathering as easy as possible.
Please give us a call if you have any questions