Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act
As we have previously mentioned, from 1 October 2018 we are required to comply with this Act. The purpose of the Act is to detect and prevent Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing in New Zealand. It has been deemed that the services we offer may be attractive to those involved in criminal activities, especially as using us would provide a perception of legitimacy to these criminals.
The Act states that accountants must assess the risk they may face from the actions of money launderers and people who finance terrorism and also to identify potentially suspicious activities. To make the assessment, we must obtain and verify information
from prospective and existing clients covering a range of things. This is part of what the Act refers to as ‘Customer Due Diligence (CDD)’, which is basically client identification and verification, using documents, data or information issued by reliable and independent sources.
It has been a huge task for us as we have had to:
a) Get the appropriate policies and procedures in place to do this,
b) Get the information required from clients to meet our obligations under the Act,
c) Report to the Department of Internal Affairs
We are having to get from every client (many of whom we have known for years) documentation to verify your identity, address, and other additional information. The amount of work involved in setting this up and obtaining the information has taken up a lot of our time this year and caused inconvenience for both you and ourselves.
Unfortunately this has been forced upon us by law and, reluctantly, we have to comply. However we do apologise to you for any inconvenience.