Date posted: 14/07/2017 3 minutes min read

Become an SMSF specialist

Kate Sheringham CA speaks with Acuity about her career and the benefits an SMSF specialisation has brought her.

In brief

  • Find a mentor who will encourage you to follow your interests.
  • Pursue a specialisation that will allow you to diversify your roles and career options.
  • A CA specialisation can provide formal recognition of your skills.

Kate Sheringham attained her CA Self-Managed Super Fund (SMSF) specialisation in 2015 while studying for her Masters in Applied Taxation (Superannuation).
Her expertise lies in coupling technical knowledge and practical experience to deliver innovative software solutions to the SMSF market.

Kate, you found your niche in the SMSF sector quite early in your career. Where has the specialisation taken you since then?

Yes, I started my career as a cadet in a mid-tier firm in business services and quickly moved to specialise in SMSF. After eight years in practice, I spent some time travelling and then took on a role in superannuation with a financial institution.

Following this, I pursued my interest in technology and its application in the SMSF space and secured a role at Class Ltd, the developers of leading cloud SMSF accounting software Class Super. That was a fantastic experience where I developed my product management skills, knowledge of the software industry and honed my SMSF technical knowledge, too.


Specialising can grow your network

The role also allowed me to develop strong relationships across the SMSF industry and I was able to be part of a rapidly growing successful business that has transformed the industry.

Now I’m a senior product manager for BT Panorama working to build our SMSF offer. It’s an integrated SMSF solution designed to help advisers and accountants to collaborate to set up, invest and manage clients’ SMSFs more efficiently.


Enrol to become a CA specialist

Enrolment for CA specialist study in 2017 ends soon. Interested candidates can find out more by visiting


Find a mentor who values your interests 

Throughout my career I’ve been fortunate enough to have wonderful mentors such as Liz Westover FCA, who encouraged me to pursue the SMSF specialisation and follow my interests.

There are several routes you can take to secure CA SMSF specialisation. Which one did you take?

I chose the coursework pathway as I also wanted to complete a Masters degree following my CA studies. This was a perfect opportunity to achieve both qualifications together. Plus it allowed me to expand my network by meeting other chartered accountants and UNSW alumni.


“The specialisation will provide access to more events, discussion and consultation groups, and other resources as the membership grows.”Kate Sheringham CA
Kate Sheringham CA


I studied part time while working at Class, completing a Masters via distance learning with UNSW. That included completing three SMSF subjects as part of that course, which helped me qualify for the CA SMSF specialisation.

Now that you have achieved CA SMSF Specialist status, how is it benefiting you?

Firstly, it has provided formal recognition of my SMSF skills, knowledge and experience. The specialisation is held in high esteem.

Secondly, the specialisation will provide access to more events, discussion and consultation groups, and other resources as the membership grows. And what comes with that is a broader network of peers and like minds. All in all, it’s been really worthwhile securing the qualification.

I would definitely recommend the CA SMSF specialisation because it’s a great way to build on your CA learning and it marks you out as an expert in your field.