As a user, with over a decade of experience using Simple Fund Desktop, we asked Luke Martin, CPA SSA | Supervisor of Lowe Lippmann Chartered Accountants; a premier chartered accounting, financial services and consulting firm in Melbourne; about his experience migrating to Simple Fund 360 and how it has allowed Lowe Lippmann to provide value-add services to their clients and remain competitive in the market.
”Make the change, you will not regret it! We have to acknowledge as humans we don’t like change, but this change will give you a new lease on life. It is that good!
Tell us about your experience with Simple Fund Desktop and transition to Simple Fund 360
As a user, with over a decade of experience using Simple Fund Desktop, transitioning to Simple Fund 360 was seamless. Any issues that were undiscovered in Simple Fund Desktop were identified on migration to Simple Fund 360. Within a week of using Simple Fund 360 the functionality of the software was embedded.
How would you compare Simple Fund Desktop and Simple Fund 360?
Simple Fund 360 caters for the challenges of dealing with the ever-changing compliance issues presented to the industry. The ability of real time reporting is complemented by the smart matching feature. Year-end processing becomes extremely efficient with the distribution tax automation function and the corporate actions function ensures that no DRP, demerger or other corporate actions are overlooked. Any tricky situation can be easily resolved with the smart help function and the ability to log a support call on the platform is useful. Ongoing updates are supported by monthly webinars, tips and tricks are shared by the developers; these should not be missed.
”The functionality and processing ability of Simple Fund 360 is far superior to Simple Fund Desktop. Time saved on the processing allows for attention to the ever increasing compliance burden. Real time reporting is a reality, it is here, and Simple Fund 360 has the capabilities to deliver.
Can you tell us the benefit of migrating to Simple Fund 360 to your Firm?
It is becoming expedient for SMSF to have ‘real time’ reporting available to their clients e.g. contributions made, determining superannuation interests and pensions withdrawals. Simple Fund 360 is the tool that assists in providing the efficiencies necessary for these add-on services to clients, without the add-on costs.
What are the key results you have experienced since you started using Simple Fund 360?
Without Simple Fund 360 ability to transition to real time reporting would be extremely challenging, keeping on top of TBAR reporting would be difficult.
What are the key takeaways of using Simple Fund 360 for your business?
Simple Fund 360 has allowed us to provide extra add-on services to clients while maintaining our competitive price structure.
If your best friend were on the fence about trying Simple Fund 360, what would you tell them?
Make the change, you will not regret it! We have to acknowledge as humans we don’t like change, but this change will give you a new lease on life. It is that good!
About Lowe Lippmann Chartered Accountants
Lowe Lippmann provides premium accounting services, with the capabilities and resources of a ‘Big Four Firm’ but with the personal touch of a ‘Boutique Firm’.
BGL was today announced the winner of the 2020 CoreData SMSF Software award.
This is a clean sweep. First BGL achieved highest overall satisfaction among accountants using SMSF software providers in the 2020 Investment Trends SMSF Accountant Report.
Second BGL was recognised by Momentum Media as the 2020 SMSF Software Provider of the year – for the third year in a row!
And then today, BGL is announced as winner of the 2020 CoreData SMSF Software award.
This confirms it. BGL and Simple Fund 360 are the #1 SMSF software solution in Australia. No buts. The results are in and they are very clear.
BGL won these awards because of the work of our amazing team. The software is sensational – a great job by the Simple Fund 360 Team led by Matt Crofts and supported by our team managers James Luo, Jeevan Tokhi, Anthony Fernandez, Joanne Ng and Brad Wilkinson and of course all our business analysts, developers and testers. You guys have done and amazing job and you should be very proud of yourselves!
But great software is only part of the story. Its is the work of the account managers and sales team, the admin team, the API / integrations team, the client success team, the data services team, the devops team, the IT team, the marketing team, the people and culture team and the support team that helps make BGL #1.
We also can’t forget of course that Simple Fund 360 is only 1 part of the BGL story. Without CAS 360 kicking goals and the upcoming release of Simple Invest 360 and the work of these teams, BGL would not be where it is today.
It is the fully integrated product suite and our extensive ecosystem that makes BGL THE supplier of choice for SMSF admin, corporate and trust compliance.
This post is huge shout out to the team. Great teams with awards. Even greater teams win multiple award. But only the best teams clean up winning ALL the awards in one year. So guys – give yourselves a huge round of applause – you deserve it.
My challenge to the teams: back to back and then let’s head for the 3peat. Let’s do it again in 2021!
Our Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Tramontana, recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Michele Romano (Partner at Muro Group) and Tom Romano (MuroTech Owner), to talk about Muro Group’s desktop to cloud transition experience.
Adapting to the fast pace of technology
We are a traditional firm that values all our business and client relationships, but we’ve also adapted to the fast pace of technology.
The accounting practice has been in operation for 15 odd years. It’s a two partners firm with offices between Brisbane and Gold Coast, plus some satellites in Sydney and Melbourne. We’re now in a growth phase – recruiting a few more people to join the team.
How it all started… “BGL has backed us from day one”
Around 12 years ago, I went to a seminar and it was all about CLOUD. I came back to the office and said to my business partner (Canio Muscillo), listen there’s this new thing coming called the CLOUD and it’s going to change the way we do things. We thought straight away that we have to get on the CLOUD and ride it otherwise we’re going to get left behind.
We were probably one of the biggest HandiSoft users in Queensland and we were always pushing them to go into the cloud environment.
We were also using BGL Simple Fund Desktop and it was purely by chance because we’d taken over a couple of practices and they were already using BGL at the time. Other Practices also mentioned Class, but I never really liked Class system – there was no connection or relationship with their team and that for us made a lot of difference. That was when Daniel flew to Brisbane and after a good conversation, we decided to migrate to Simple Fund 360.
Migration: Decision-making and implementation process
There are a lot of things that go into the decision-making and implementation process – but it is rewarding once you get to the other side. It’s a lot more efficient!
Tom: From a tech point of view, being a software engineer myself, helping to push Muro’s down this path over the years, I would say that it is actually not a difficult transition – in terms of implementation and the migration done. The things that we definitely considered in the design process were the cost and compliance. I remember we sat down and worked through the cost benefit analysis of moving to cloud, how much savings we would have by not having equipment and servers running anymore vs how much would it to cost us to migrate vs how much we would gain in terms of efficiency and increased productivity levels. In the end, the decision was a complete no-brainer.
Implementation was easy and quick with the support from BGL team and MuroTech.
Plus, the software itself is much more user-friendly and the resources/training available made it easy to get started.
What are the key takeaways of using CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 for your business?
At the time when Daniel came (to visit), we had about 30-40 super funds in Simple Fund Desktop and then when we signed up for Simple Fund 360, since then we have grown to now manage over 150 funds. Obviously, we couldn’t have got there if we didn’t have the technology and the knowhow and the brains trust with the BGL product behind us.
We’re bringing on more people because we are getting quicker at the workflow process. Plus, we’re getting more referrals and recommendations. I don’t even think about the cost of running the platform anymore, it pays for itself. It’s all about the efficiency gained. CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 allow us to take in the next step, apart from compliance we can now develop better relationship with our clients. Having data at our fingertips, it’s easy to provide them with an advisory and excellent customer service.
BGL’s software do the job and then it’s us as the accountants to take that job to the client and give them the full experience.
There is nothing worse than waiting until 30 June, then waiting another 12 months after that and getting old information – it’s irrelevant.
Especially when COVID-19 hit, clients were talking to their advisors, financial planners and stock brokers and discussing “what do they do” and for us as the accountant to have the information to give to the financial planners with the advice component – clients love that.
We are much more proactive rather than reactive.
How has CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 saved you time and helped improving workflow?
Just as an example: A fund that would traditionally take us 10 hours to complete/prepare for audit, it’s now done in half of the time. Plus, with Simple Fund 360 it is real live data – being processed on the monthly, weekly, daily process. The information is there, and you can make decisions when you need to. We were using Simple Fund Desktop for over 10 years, we made the change to Simple Fund 360 and never looked back and honestly, it’s the best program out there and I can’t sing my praises high enough for it.
For CAS 360, we went directly from a manual system and the ASIC website, downloading all the annual return information and preparing all the manual stuff and sending it off to CAS 360 – processes were drastically quicker and more efficient. For the cost benefit analysis, it wins every time. You can’t fault it. With CAS 360, for half the time we’ve spent on that same job, the client has gotten more from us. We don’t have that issue any more where clients have missed their payments or paperwork – it’s all covered.
How do you see the security aspect in the cloud vs desktop?
Tom: It’s night and day. From a traditional server setup sitting in within your premises, you could have a fire, or somebody break in and cause damage. For AWS cloud, there are data centres all over the world, in massive clusters, so that they have data redundancy, backups are taken care of… it’s just an absolute no brainer. Not only that, it’s keeping you current and up to date. You don’t need to pay to update your server. You’re paying that subscription premium to ensure you are on the cutting edge of technology.
What are the key things that you look for when considering your technology stack?
For me, the biggest thing is that you want it to have an easy migration path, you want to look at the implementation plan, where is the technology hosted and how secure it is. Also having the customer service, support, training and education available to get that transition done is important. You want to have someone there to back you up if you have any issues and that’s where we leaned on MuroTech as well as BGL to help us through the transition.
If your best friend were on the fence about trying CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360, what would you tell them?
I’d tell them to let go of the past and create the future! We don’t live in today’s world, we live in tomorrow’s world and it’s probably an important thing to think about, whatever has happened today is gone, it’s already finished, and we need to learn from it to think ahead.
If you don’t change, then you will get left behind”
MuroTech is a BGL partner offering advice on tech stacks to suit your business, software development and integrations and software migration/implementation – helping you from start to finish to get the right tools to streamline your operations and unlock your full business potential. Contact MuroTech today to find out more >>>
Another month of lock-down has passed in Melbourne, however this does not stop the CAS 360 team from delivering some great features.
In the August release we have a number of new integrations where you can connect to CAS 360.
First of all, we have the MyBGL. MyBGL will allow you to see all the information related to your CAS 360 subscription. From here you are able to view your usage, upgrade or downgrade your subscription level as well as view all of your billing and payment information.
To see MyBGL in action – watch our video 👉
A new addition to the CAS 360 integrated Practice Management suite of applications. You can now share contact information between CAS 360 and GreatSoft to ensure that your data is always update and accurate.
To see the GreatSoft integration in action – watch our video 👉
Blueprint by ChangeGPS is now connected to CAS 360. This will allow you to create beautiful structure diagrams based on the Company, Trust, Super Fund and Contact data inside CAS 360. Perfect for that next client meeting where you need to discuss their corporate structure.
To see the ChangeGPS integration in action – watch our video 👉
The integration between LightYear Docs and CAS 360 is now live. This will allow you to connect CAS 360 to your LightYear Docs account and push newly registered companies from LightYear Docs to CAS 360.
To see the LightYear Docs integration in action – watch our video 👉
This update continues on our previous releases around trust management, we have released 23 improvements to Trust Events, as well as adding a new Trust Report allowing you to prepare a full report for each and every trust. We have also released Trust Distributions for New Zealand trusts.
We have updated the icons used in the left hand side panel to give a greater feel, we have also improved every table view in CAS 360 from the Company Selection screen, Annual Review / Return screen and the Shareholders screens. We have also improved all the popovers in CAS 360 for better feel and performance.
Other new features
A range of other new features have also been added, with improvements to the registers, improvements to the share / unit transfer forms and new merge fields for document customisation.
Oh, and one last thing...
We have released our electronic filing of the Singapore company annual return with ACRA from inside CAS 360.
This includes the whole box and dice for Singapore Annual Returns with integration with CorpPass, support for the Singapore jurisdiction across the CAS 360 application, a new Singapore Annual Return screen, with the ability to prepare the Annual Return, sent it to your client, and then file the Annual Return, and make the payment to ACRA all from within CAS 360. It’s Brilliant.