A Bit of Fun

The A vs. An Debate

Whether to use A or An when referring to SMSF’s, this has been the greatest question facing the Superannuation Industry since its inception in October 1999.

However, hope emerged as Hein Preller (now known as the daredevil of SMSF), started his own practice in 2010.

With the help of his employees, who are now regarded as the as the greatest SMSF team in Australia’s history; the debate has finally been put to rest. Over the past 10 years, The SMSF Warehouse team have been discussing and debating the issue, here are their findings:

Usage for A

In English, when referring to a word, the choice of article (a or an), is based on the sound of the words first letter. ‘A’ is used before consonant sounds, ‘An’ is used before Vowel sounds.

As such, when referring to ‘Self Managed Superannuation Fund’, ‘a’ is the correct usage since ‘Self’ has a ‘ss’ sound.

Usage for An

However, the rule applies differently in the case of acronyms. When referring to the abbreviated version of ‘Self Managed Superannuation Fund’, SMSF, the ‘ss’ sound of ‘Self’ is replaced with the ‘es’ of ‘S’.

As a result, when referring to the SMSF, ‘an’ is the correct article.


This significant finding led to one of the most widely used rules in the English language from the now famous SMSF Warehouse team:

The “a-ss and an-es” rule.
It was this finding that propelled the team into stardom as the dream team of SMSF, who have gone on to build the most extensive and detailed website for SMSF information at your fingertips.

So feel free to explore the website and send us an email or write a question on our blog.

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