The introduction of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT Act) into New Zealand legislation set out the requirement from 1 October 2018 that accountants collect and verify identification and other personal information about all clients. If the client is a Company, Trust or other entity this extends to the individuals who own or control the entity. It also extends to any individuals instructing the accountant on behalf of the individual client or entity. The AML/CFT Act calls this process “client due diligence” (CDD).
The purpose of the AML/CFT Act is to detect and deter money laundering and the financing of terrorism. It aims to maintain and enhance New Zealand’s international reputation as a country difficult to launder money through.
Accountants CDD verification requirements are like those of banks and Lawyers. We must sight source documents to confirm your full name, date of birth and current address and record this information even if we have an existing relationship with you. We may also need to identify and confirm your source of wealth.
To meet the requirements of the AML/CFT Act, Buller Chartered Accountants Limited will be implementing processes and controls immediately for any new client relationships from 1 October 2018, and for existing clients as we are engaged to carry out any services defined as captured activities under the AML/CFT Act that may vary from what is currently provided. Over time we may be obliged to carry out CDD for all existing clients. Where practical, we will be looking to complete CDD in anticipation of any changes in services, to ensure this does not affect the timely delivery of these services to you.
To undertake the above, we may request proof of identification information or documentation from you like a passport, driver’s license and address verification (e.g. utilities bill). We will also need to ask you questions about the nature and purpose of the work you are requesting us to complete and information confirming the source of funds for a transaction may be necessary to meet legal requirements.
If you have any questions about this, please contact Heidi or Zach.