New Zealand’s Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009, or AML/CFT law, is based around New Zealand’s commitment to an international initiative to counter the impact of criminal activity on people and economies within the global community.
Recent updates to the Act mean that from October 1st 2018, accountants must comply with its requirements and ensure they are doing a number of things to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and to aid the police in bringing the criminals who do it to justice. This is because the services accounting firms and other professionals offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activity.
The AML/CFT law says that accounting firms and other professionals must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and must identify potentially suspicious activity.
To make that assessment, accountants must obtain and verify information from prospective and existing clients about a range of things. This is part of what the law calls customer due diligence.
Customer due diligence requires an accounting firm to implement controls, policies and procedures to identify and assess risk, know their client and report suspicious activities. Accountants must take reasonable steps to make sure the information they receive from clients is correct, and so they need to ask for documents that show this.
We will need to obtain and verify certain information from you to meet these legal requirements, including your full name, date of birth and address. To confirm these details, documents such as your driver’s licence and documents that show your address – such as a utility bill – will be required.
If you are seeing us about company or trust business, we will need information about the company or trust including the people associated with it (such as directors and shareholders, trustees and beneficiaries).
We will need to ask you about the nature and purpose of the proposed work you are asking us to do for you. Information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may also be necessary to meet the legal requirements. We may also need to ask you for further information.
If you are an existing client, you could help us by bringing your ID and address information when you next visit our office. Our reception staff can help you, or alternatively ask to see your Advisor.
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