From 1 October 2018, New Zealand accounting firms will need to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (we call this the AML law)
We explain this change below, and how it will impact the way we work with existing and new clients.
New Zealand accounting firms will need to have systems in place to conduct customer due diligence on both new and existing clients. We call this “CDD”. This will include verifying identity, address and in some cases source of wealth and source of funds. Accountants will also be required to report any suspicious activity to the appropriate authority.
From 1 October 2018, before we can start work for a new client we will need to obtain satisfactory evidence to complete customer due diligence. This includes verifying and documenting identity, address and business structure. The information required will vary depending on whether the client is an individual, partnership, company, public body, estate or trust. Customer due diligence will also include identifying any beneficial owners and persons acting on behalf of a client.
From 1 October 2018 we will also need to carry out Customer Due Diligence on some existing clients, which will be done on a gradual basis. We will contact existing clients to let them know when this will happen and what information will be required. We are required to do this even though we may have known you for some time.
In addition, if a new instruction from an existing client specifically involves an activity covered by the Act then we may be required to complete Customer Due Diligence before we can start work on the project.