Monthly Archives

February 2021

2020 was a mad year – but I am so proud of what the BGL Team achieved…

By BGL UpdateNo Comments

2020 was a mad year.

I think we are all happy it is behind us.

But, during 2020, I was really proud of what the BGL Team achieved.

Let me first look at the CAS 360 Team.

There were 17 software releases with over 400 new features released.

Just think about that – 1 software release every 3 weeks and over 1 new feature every day of the year!

Second, let’s look at Simple Fund 360.

There were 42 major software releases with 100’s of new features released. These include:

  • Simple Fund 360 – 15 releases
  • Simple Fund  360 Workpapers – 2 release
  • Simple Invest 360 – 7 releases
  • Simple Fund Mobile – 4 releases
  • GuestTrack by BGL – 12 releases

And these are just the major releases!

Apart from the work of these 2 teams, the Training and Documentation Team were tasked with updating the documentation and training materials for both products. These guys did an amazing job keeping up with the speed of development of the CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 product teams.

And last, but not least, let’s include the fantastic work of the BGL IT Team. The BGL IT Team released myBGL and a huge amount of internal development during the year. This team also made numerous software releases of both myBGL and to other internal systems.

Not a bad effort from 3 of the sensational teams at BGL.

Working from home the Teams proved they are consummate professionals.

I am so proud of what was achieved in a very difficult year. I am so proud of each and every one of you!

 

CAS 360 New Features Webinar recap with BGL Product Advocate, Alissa Haralambopoulos!

By BGL Update, CAS 360, Product Updates, TechnologyNo Comments

All in all, a feature packed webinar from our CAS 360 team, with plenty of auto completing and time saving features.

CAS 360 New Features Webinar recap with BGL Product Advocate, Alissa Haralambopoulos!

Wow, what a release… times 2 (and a bit)!

In the latest CAS 360 New Features Webinar, Warren Renden, our product head for CAS 360, ran us through the new features released across November & February’s updates, including a sneaky second February release which covers some pretty important ASIC changes.

First up, let’s quickly duck back to November 2020 (no lockdown required, promise!). In this month’s release, look out for the ability to customise the company selection screen, and add a filter which shows the company status – trading, SMSF Trustee etc), also the introduction of Google address integration makes entering in addresses faster, thank you auto complete! There has also been some work done to the contact functions, with the addition of the foreign jurisdictions as CAS 360 further expands across international waters! Multiple email addresses for a client, or multiple contact numbers? No worries, these can now be added in too! You can also now store important identity information like drivers’ licence or passport details, handy to have on file, if you need to set up any new companies.

Working with Trusts? Or want an easier way to manage them?

CAS 360, now has a template you can download, enter in all your trust details, and we can import these trusts in for you. Which leads me into the second update released in February.

The updates in this February release covered the addition of the following trust functions; a new report that can show the Register of Trust Relationships, also a report for Trust Events. You can now prepare more documents for Unit Trusts transactions, such as the allotment journal.

Also, part of the February release, the introduction of a Casual Name in the contacts screen.

You can use this to generate those letters or emails and not have to worry about changing Robert to Bob, Jessica to Jess, also great with this new feature, the clients proper name will still be used in the documents, just not in the greeting of the email or letter.

As part of the additional release in February, CAS 360 has you covered for the recent ASIC changes on Illegal Phoenix activity. A very clear validation error will now come up when lodging a Form 370 or 484 to advise of any changes regarding the cessation of a director. If this form is lodged more than 28 days after the event, the effective date will now be overwritten by the lodgement date.

This webinar took a slight detour when the topic of auto reminders was raised, with lots of attendees wanting to see this feature in action. If you haven’t had a chance to look into this yet, make sure you check it out. The ability to set up and have reminders sent to those clients that can often be a bit forgetful, especially with the option of sending email or SMS reminders, can be a massive time saver. Best of all they automatically stop, once the documents have been signed, and even better still, the SMS function is included in your CAS 360 subscription, at no extra cost!

Another notable mention is the ability to auto import company details from ASIC when you take on a new client. A great way to ensure the company details you’re bringing in, are accurate.

All in all, a feature packed webinar from our CAS 360 team, with plenty of auto completing and time saving features. Well done to the CAS 360 team on another great release!

Simple Fund 360 New Features Webinar recap with BGL Product Advocate, Alissa Haralambopoulos!

By Homepage, In the Media, Product Updates, Simple Fund 360, TechnologyNo Comments

‘It’s not magic!’ but one could certainly be forgiven for thinking there has to be a bit of it happening behind the scenes!

Simple Fund 360 New Features Webinar recap with BGL Product Advocate, Alissa Haralambopoulos!

In the latest Simple Fund 360 New Features Webinar, Matt Crofts, our wonderful head of Simple Fund 360, ran us through what’s new, what’s been added, and what’s to come, and let me tell you, implementing even one of these new features is sure to add back time to your day!

From the introduction of having more control over digital signing with the addition of priority groups, yes, now you can elect that trustees/members sign first, ensuring tax agents or auditors don’t receive any notifications until it’s their turn, to the addition of the ability to add Direct comparatives for those often-occurring interim accounts. This release sure covers a lot.

The emphasis on using the account view, basically makes the need to run general ledger reports to gain a running balance, redundant. The detail in which this account view is now able to drill down is worth checking out, my personal favourite is the bank accounts, or the PAYG Instalments, which now shows which year each instalment relates too.

Another great addition is the ability to create % splits within the transaction rule screen, think of those monthly life insurance premiums, that historically had to be split manually, you can now simply set up a percentage rule of say 40% to be allocated to one member, and 60% to the other, and going forward this will now pick up this split. Also, great to be used in the instance where you have fortnightly or monthly rent payments that are split between Rent Income, Agent Fees, Property expenses, simply click ‘Review before Applying’, and any adjustments that need to be made can be done to the transaction, without needing to add the accounts in every time.

There’s also been an update to the corporate actions available for the 2021 financial year, for those of you processing on a regular basis. Also, in the investment space, the addition of a security description for those ASX listed securities that start to get a bit messy, think preference shares, convertible notes etc.

The new Feed Management License report also provides users with a great way to export and view their subscription usage in excel, both overall as a firm, and then drilling down into each fund.

Last but not least on the Simple Fund 360 front (note this feature is also available in Simple Invest 360), and this is truly where I think the magic is, is the update to the CGT/Smart Docs report function. Think of those funds you receive from another firm, after the initial excitement of winning a new client wears off, the realisation of having to recreate opening balances kicks in, and when this involves a vast investment portfolio, and receiving a huge unrealised capital gains report with multiple parcel purchases, a slight sense of dread is understandable.

“Not anymore! Simply upload the Unrealised CGT report into the CGT – Smart Docs screen, and the ‘magic’ of smart docs will read the report and input into the information into the software… historical data.. DONE!”

Not to be forgotten is also the extensive amount of work the team have put in, in developing our newest kid on the block, Simple Invest 360, the magic of Simple Fund 360, is now available for Trust, Company and Individuals.

The most noteworthy update in this latest release is the Tax Reconciliation screen, and distribution allocation functionality. Making working out your Taxable and Accounting Profit, and where it’s all going a breeze. If ever you found yourself as an SMSF processor, wishing for the ability to achieve the kind of efficiency you were getting with super funds with your trusts and companies, Simple Invest 360, is the answer. If you’re interested, jump onto our website, search for Simple Invest 360 and register for our Beta phase.

Looking forward to the next release and will definitely be keeping an eye on what’s to come, particularly in the historical and external contributions space, as well as the greatly anticipated workflow management screen.

All in all, a wonderful release of some great functions, features and well quite frankly magic! A big well done to the Matt Crofts, Andrew Paszko and both the Simple Fund 360 & Simple Invest 360 teams.

In case you missed it, you can watch the Simple Fund 360 New Features webinar recording below!

The future of BGL’s Simple Fund Desktop

By BGL Update, Homepage, NewsNo Comments

Below is an email I sent to Simple Fund Desktop clients today.

If this affects you, please speak to your BGL account manager

************************************************************************

I am writing to advise you of the future of your BGL Simple Fund Desktop software.

As you would be aware, there will be a number of significant changes to superannuation law in the 2021 calendar year. These changes include indexation of the pension cap of $1.6m, Superstream Rollovers and the ability to have 6 members in an SMSF.

BGL has made the decision to not make these changes to Simple Fund Desktop and therefore 30 June 2021 will be the last tax release of Simple Fund Desktop.

BGL launched Simple Fund Desktop in 1997. This software has had an incredible life but eventually all good things must come to an end.

BGL will continue to support Simple Fund Desktop clients. No date for the cessation of support has been set and we know it will take a while for all clients to move to Simple Fund 360.

What’s next?

Simple Fund 360 is the natural move for Simple Fund Desktop clients. Migration is seamless and ALL data and reports are migrated from Simple Fund Desktop to Simple Fund 360, meaning you do not lose ANY of your valuable data.

To prepare for your transition to Simple Fund 360, it’s best to start early by:

  1. Setting up your data feeds,
  2. Preparing your funds for migration, and
  3. Reaching out to your Account Manager

My Account Management and Client Success Team are here to help make your move absolutely seamless. I have asked them to reach out to you in the coming weeks to help you get started but if you would like to contact us, please call on 1300 654 401.

Finally, let me thank you for being a Simple Fund Desktop client. For many of you, I know Simple Fund Desktop has been a part of your lives for a very long time. I hope Simple Fund 360 will help you continue this remarkable experience

 

BGL very concerned about Total Balance Cap indexation

By BGL Update, Homepage, Industry, NewsNo Comments

BGL is very concerned about the practical implementation of the indexation of the Total Balance Cap.

“It’s simply too complicated” said BGL’s Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “Indexing the $1.6m cap to $1.7m is not the problem – it’s the partial indexation where a person has already commenced a pension that is crazy.”

“There are 2 real problems with partial indexation.

1. Potentially every person can now have a different total balance cap, and
2. Access to ATO total balance cap data is not readily available.

This makes these changes a nightmare for SMSF advisers” says Lesh. “The ATO and Treasury have known for 2 + years that this will be a problem but have done nothing about it. BGL and many others have been asking for API access to ATO total balance cap data, but our requests have been ignored – it’s simply not good enough.”

“Something needs to be done – and fast”

“The Government needs to find a solution to this – fast” added Lesh. “The simplest is to remove partial indexation and increase the total balance cap for everyone to $1.7m. This removes the complexity and is fairer than some of the other solutions. Why should the date a person commences a pension determine how much that pension should be? Clearly this is unfair”

“BGL needs to implement these changes in our market leading Simple Fund 360 SMSF admin software by 1 July 2021. Implementing partial indexation without access to ATO total balance cap data is going to result in many errors” noted Lesh. “Something needs to be done – and fast”.

BGL has over 6,000 clients representing over 200,000 SMSFs using it’s multi award winning Simple Fund 360 SMSF admin software. “It would be really nice if the government took into account the practical implementation issues of the legislation and made changes to help accountants who have already beared the brunt of the work around JobKeeper of the past 12 months” Lesh said.

Meet BGL’s Product Advocate, Alissa!

By BGL Update, Meet the BGLers, NewsNo Comments

Hi, my name is Alissa, and my journey to BGL has been quite an interesting one…

At 21, after completing a qualification in Event Management, which turned out, wasn’t quite for me, I found myself working in retail. It was during this time that I decided to further my education and get myself a degree. My love for processes and numbers, made accounting an obvious choice. Fast forward three years, and I had successfully completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Accounting.

Even with my degree now under my belt, I still felt a bit apprehensive about entering the corporate office environment, and as such, deferred starting my accounting journey, instead opting to teach children to swim, whilst also training as a development manager. Although I loved my time working with children, the travel eventually became too much (Beaumaris to Caroline Springs – everyday!) and I felt I was ready to join the accounting industry.

“Straight away, my passion for process naturally drew me into the SMSF space.”

I was fortunate enough to be introduced to a small boutique-chartered firm, which is where my accounting journey began. Straight away, my passion for process naturally drew me into the SMSF space, which is where I predominantly focused my time, also dabbling in Business Services and commencing my CA studies. I was largely involved in the firm’s migration from BGL’s Simple Fund Desktop Product to their cloud-based solution, Simple Fund 360. This change enabled me to focus on new processes, increasing automation, and improving efficiency, thus being in a position to really come up with ways that we could display client information in an engaging way, and focus time that ordinarily would have been spent completing compliance jobs, in adding value to the client.

It was during this time that I attended BGL’s RegTech conference, and the atmosphere, general excitement and passion at this particular event really resonated with me. This got me thinking about my career, and the direction in which I wanted to go. Whilst I loved my SMSF clients, and I really enjoyed working with the team, my true passion was the process, and because of this I made the decision, having just completed my Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting (CA) to move out of the chartered accounting space, and across to BGL.

It was here, at BGL, that I realised the combination of hands-on experience using the product, the knowledge of how a firm operates and the technical understanding that I possessed, put me in a unique position of being able to not only understand the questions faced by clients when contemplating a software change, but also ways to overcome them, and really emphasised features of the products that make BGL an obvious choice.

I now look forward to expanding my contact base, working with the various product teams within BGL and engaging with a wider audience to discuss various topics, from product updates, tips & tricks to best practice methods.

Here comes the next part of my journey….

24 lessons for 24 years

By BGL Update, Meet the BGLersNo Comments

Today I turn 24 years of age at BGL!

Yes, more than 1/2 of my life! And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

As I reflect on my time, I would like to share with you my 24 lessons for 24 years.

To my BGL family members, clients, community + friends, I celebrate you today.

Excited by that which is ahead.

24 lessons for 24 years

1

True leadership is rare and BGL has what I would consider one of the best!

2

Belief is the greatest gift you can give someone.

3

Servanthood and humility are the foundations of leadership.

4

A leader’s role is to mitigate and eliminate fear and free your people for greatness.

5

Words have the power to inspire or destroy.

6

Set the stage, draw the curtain, marvel and celebrate the accomplishments of people.

7

Being candid with someone is the basis of trust and respect.

8

Relationships are the platform for trust and engagement. Trust does not just happen. It is earned.

9

Pull your competitors tail every now and again. It’s good fun.

10

When the crap hits the fan, dust yourself off, stare failure in the mirror. Don’t bow down to it or be intimidated by it. Failure doesn’t determine destiny.

11

Winning alone means your accomplishments are selfish.

12

Make every touch point with your clients, community and people remarkable.

13

Sacrifice is the foundation of success and growing people.

14

Listening is the greatest form of respect you can show to someone.

15

Culture doesn’t just happen. It requires a daily commitment of time and effort.

16

Connect people to the greater good by aligning them to the why.

17

Deliver to market products and services that astound your audience.

18

Wisdom comes from living, observing, learning, trying, failing and winning.

19

A lived experience is the great enabler and pathway to opportunity.

20

People matter. Make people feel special, connected, loved and heard. Genuinely love people.

21

Honour and never forget those that have invested in you to make you who are today. Honour them by doing the same with someone else.

22

Sorry shouldn't be the hardest word.

23

Passion, values, integrity cannot be taught. They are instilled in your DNA.

24

Nothing is permanent.