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 >>>