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Monthly Archives

June 2021

Simple Invest 360, our investment portfolio platform, is now available!

By News, Product Updates, Simple Invest 360No Comments

Today we announce the launch of Simple Invest 360, our intelligent cloud-based software to help accountants streamline CGT compliance administration for Trusts, Companies and Individuals.

This exciting NEW product wraps several disparate investments and CGT based tools under one unified solution. We are automating the tedious process of CGT record-keeping and Financial Reporting. In layman’s terms, Simple Invest 360 saves an accountant time no matter what the tax structure: Trust, Company, or Sole Proprietor. Simple Invest 360 uses the same proven and award-winning smart engine that powers Simple Fund 360, the No. 1 SMSF solution.

Simple Invest 360 achieves time savings by leveraging automated corporate actions, smart machine learning categorisation and integrated accounting work papers.

Many clients go to their accountants for tax advice only to find out that they may have already made a mistake with major investment decisions. Primarily, this happens because people did not keep or could not explain to the accountant their multiple asset classes and tax structures. Simple Invest 360 solves this problem, with the Client, Accountant, and Planner, now working entirely in the cloud on daily automated wealth positions.

Simple Invest 360 transpires into spending less time on the preparation and thereby reducing costs. Accountants can spend more time on other matters & increase fees, as when your clients are making better investment decisions, they will value the advice. With more value delivered, clients are less likely to switch accountants. Reduced preparation and switching costs enable more time to acquire new customers for those looking to expand their services.

Early on we knew that we had to move fast while really listening to what the client’s end goal was. Having open and honest communication not only between ourselves but also with our beta clients meant that we were able to understand at a deeper level how to solve the issue of not only providing the client with a robust CGT engine for tracking their investments, but also a seamless year end workflow which makes allocating accounting profit and tax to beneficiaries a breeze.

Andrew Paszko - Simple Invest 360 Product Manager

But don’t take my word, here’s what our beta clients are telling us about why they love using Simple Invest 360:

Makes it easy to track shares and dividends, especially when clients may not supply all of the documentation you can reconstruct history. Quickly do CGT calcs and reports.

Amber Williams, Trident Business Group

Easy to use cloud base software with smart transactions matching, great for keeping CGT records. "Live" portfolio reports and review function to keep you up to date with your current investments, projected CGT and tax planning.

Olga Petrovskaya, Sinclair Wilson

The Simple Invest 360 team led by Andrew Paszko started with just a single developer: Yang Huang, and a software tester: Mario Blagejovic. From the get-go, the small group were laser-focused on only combining value-added features while staying close to the customer.

Once the plans were drawn up and a challenging roadmap set by myself and Ron Lesh, the Simple Invest 360 team combined forces with the larger Simple Fund 360 team to working collectively through 2020 & 2021 on the new project. Critically, the Simple Fund 360 teams provided valuable advice and experience to the younger team. The additional resources were needed to decouple some of the SMSF related functions and deal with the complexity of multiple tax structures to support Trusts, Companies, and Sole Proprietors.

The newer Simple Invest 360 team had the added challenges of Melbourne 2020 and 2021 lockdowns and needed to form good bonds as a second Software Developer, Nathan Mitchell, and new Business Analyst, Andrew Perera, completed the team. While the Simple Fund 360 team still had to deliver major compliance changes including TBAR, Superstream and COVID early release. Despite the added challenges, both teams hit every milestone. In many cases, earlier than planned.

With the early Beta Launch of Simple Invest 360 last October, valuable feedback from our beta clients was delivered into today’s successful product launch two weeks ahead of schedule.

Now the good news. All current Simple Fund 360 clients from today have free access to 5 entities until the 31st of August 2021. No catches, no drawn-out signup process. Simply login using your existing Simple Fund 360 credentials and add a New Entity. Choose from a Trust, Company or Individual and get started today. For all other BGL clients or new to BGL clients, contact your account manager on 1300 654 401 or navigate our website and enjoy the same free trial.

Learn more about Simple Invest 360 >>>

Mental Health: No judgment. No shame. No bias. Just listen.

By Culture, In the Media, No Drama with Tramma, WellnessNo Comments

The last 14 months have been tough. The impact is widespread. The effect on people’s personal and emotional wellbeing has been enormous. It is not something you can just throw money at and hope it goes away.

Mental health is a topic that I am passionate about. Having the support of Ron Lesh to pursues this accreditation is something that I am very grateful for. When I undertook the MH First Aid course, one of the great takeaways was that my role is not to diagnose but to simply come alongside people and point them in the right direction. This was empowering and showed WE can ALL make a difference. People often ask me how we in Victoria are faring in lockdown. Personally, while frustrated and limited at times, overall, I am doing okay. I have an amazing role and blessed to be a part of an incredible business. For this I am grateful. I do however have my days and to counteract this I do my best to live my life with the greatest level of normality. I regularly touch base with those most important to me. I do my best to watch my self-talk, exercising, taking breaks, get fresh air, limit my time on the media, create tasks and projects to keep me occupied.

However, my mind is NEVER far from those that are not doing well. The reality is that millions of people and across this state are suffering emotionally, mentally and financially. Businesses and lives touched devastating ways. Let’s add to this loneliness, lack of access to health care, 3 previous lockdowns, fear-mongering media and language, separation, home-schooling and the list goes on and on and we are pretty much beyond the tipping point of a mental health tsunami.

To back my observations, I read an interesting article in The Age on Saturday 5 June titled – “‘I can’t be bothered’: Victorians battling ‘compounding fatigue’ of lockdowns” by Wendy Tuohy, where Rhonda Andrew’s CEO of Barrington Centre, a corporate and wellbeing service provider, provided some very interesting data.

From 27 May to 3 June:

  •  82% ⬆️ in demand for support
  • 40% ⬆️ family conflict
  •  55% ⬆️ workplace issues
  •  82% ⬆️ mental health requests

The sentiment in this state from many that I speak to is that the idea of “We have done this before, we will do it again” or “We have got this”, simply does not cut it.

Many are tired. Many have no more to give. Many just want to get on with our lives and live. This is the reality that we as business leaders, managers and people across this state MUST acknowledge, work with and help navigate people through.

Each of us is touched by what is going on. And if we personally are not, then someone we know is. These lockdowns hurt and it is more important to be on the lookout for each other than ever before.

Please, if you are struggling, please do reach out. It is okay to not be okay. There are times where you will be trapped in thoughts of negativity or feelings of hopelessness. The reality is that it is hard not to be. It is normal. However, do your best to not stay in that space too long. If you do however find these thoughts and feelings lingering, take action. Speak to someone. Call your doctor. Early intervention works.

Make sure to look out for others also. Look for signs that they may be struggling. Be on the lookout for things like withdrawing behaviour, social media activity contrary to their normal behaviour, slow to or no response to messages, negative language, letting go of their appearance or hygiene. Pretty much, any behaviour outside of their normal selves is a window for you to ask the question “R UO K?” or “I have noticed this, is all ok?” Believe, it can make all the difference.

Be informed and across the resources like R UO OK?, Beyond Blue, and Headspace, to name a few. There are many great tools available to not only better understand mental health but to come alongside, and help others along their journey.

Finally, I cannot help but emphasise that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up and say you need help. On the other hand, if you are doing okay, don’t be afraid to extend a hand and reach out to someone that you know is not and let them know you are there for them.

No judgment. No shame. No bias. Just listen.

Just genuinely care!

We can all make a difference.

 

 

Reference: Wendy Tuohy | The Age

Trust Distribution with CAS 360

By CAS 360, IndustryNo Comments

Trust Distribution with CAS 360

As 30 June quickly approaches, we enter the familiar and sometimes frantic phase of the year where tax planning becomes front & centre. 

Reviewing family groups, company performance, and projecting how they might end the year, enables firms with the opportunity to plan, and ensure their clients are in the best tax position possible. 

But did you know that you could be generating all your Trust Distribution statements from CAS 360?

Recently we ran a webinar on the benefits of managing your Trusts in the software. The ability to generate unit registers, unit certificates, capture trust events, and most importantly for this time of year, generate your distribution statements and declaration of distribution. 

In order to get your trusts into CAS 360, you have the option of manually setting them up, however, if you’re also managing the corporate trustee for the trust in CAS 360, the beneficiary details, addresses etc, will already be in your software, so it will make adding these details a breeze. 

Alternatively, we have a template that can be downloaded, you then provide us with the details for all your trusts, and we will complete a bulk import into CAS 360 for you.  

The document templates are customisable also, so once your trusts are in, you are able to download the template and adjust as necessary, personalising the content and the experience for your clients. 

Dividend statements can also be prepared from within CAS 360, another wonderful tool to be utilising at this time of year if you have companies declaring year-end dividends. 

With both of these options, you can also enable the use of Digital signing, using either DocuSign or Adobe sign, both integrated with CAS 360.

If you didn’t get the chance to catch the Trust Distribution with CAS 360 webinar, check it out >>>

APIs should be free!

By Homepage, In the MediaNo Comments

This is an opinion piece

I think charging for APIs that allow clients to access THEIR data is wrong.

It’s becoming a trend – a bit like buying disparate businesses – companies desperate for revenue decide to charge for access to their APIs. We are seeing more and more of this these days.

APIs for those who don’t know are gateways into your data. They are used by multiple software businesses to connect your apps together.

BGL made a decision on Day 1 of our cloud products that we would not charge for our API. We have reasonably simple rules around who can use the API – but the determining factor of whether the access is available is decided by authorisation from our clients. We authorise the connection – the client authorises access.

I find it interesting however some software companies think they are entitled to a share of revenue earned by the business accessing their API. How ridiculous! The data belongs to the client. The client is being charged a fee for the service provided. And now the client is being asked (and in the end the client will pay for this) to pay for the same data twice. What a racket. It’s almost an exhortation!

So if you are in our industry and your supplier decides to charge your connections (auditors, document providers, other services) for access to their API, please come and talk to us. We are happy to convert your data for FREE and even give you 6 months free to move to our solutions.

Make your Tax Planning time less stressful and more efficient with Simple Fund 360!

By Industry, Simple Fund 360No Comments

Simple Fund 360 makes your Tax Planning less stressful and more efficient - enabling you to wow your clients!

As another financial year draws to a close, thoughts of lodgement due dates drift away (hopefully), and focus shifts to Tax Planning time. Ensuring your clients have maximised contributions, meet their minimum pension requirements and end the financial year in the best possible tax position is front of mind. 

Simple Fund 360 is the perfect tool to assist with making sure you have their SMSF covered during this process. 

The first notable feature is the filter options on the Entity Workflow screen. These can be used to really filter through your funds, whether that be by Member ages, TSB, Concessional Cap status, NCC status, Pension or Non-Pension Funds, and Pension Status. 

Next, we move onto transaction data! If you find yourself looking at a fund with no data in it (as you have no bank feeds set up), and you’re needing to get those transactions in and allocated to gain a clear picture, look no further than Smart Docs. Once you have obtained copies of the bank statements from the client, whether that be in PDF or paper form, simply scan them or take a photo of them and upload them into the software. Ta-da! Transactions in! From here, the use of the Smart Matching rules can help quickly sort through contribution or pension transactions and allow you to match multiple transactions at a time. 

Once transactions are allocated, you can view fund by fund visuals using the dashboards to check contribution and pension status’. With the contribution dashboard, you can now also include contributions that may have been made to an external fund, whether it be in the current year or previous years, potentially impacting bring-forward rules. The Pension Dashboard can also be used to check if minimum pensions have been withdrawn from the fund. The reduction in the minimum pension due to Covid has also been built into the software, so it will take this into account when looking at the minimum. 

Whilst going through this process, you might also want to create a specific tax planning report pack, ensuring you have supporting documentation saved for any details you are providing to your clients. This can easily be done from the reports screen by following the steps: Clear any current selections and create a new report pack by dragging and dropping the required reports – Contributions Summary, Contribution Breakdown, SuperStream Contribution Data and Minimum Pension reports are good ones to keep a copy of on file when preparing and providing any advice. Once selected, simply hit save new report pack on the bottom, and you will be able to generate the report pack for any fund that you have selected. 

You are also able to create Custom Reports. These could be used to potentially put together a cover letter in order to present your client with their current fund stats. Think merge fields that pull member names, current contribution or pension data from the software! The easiest way to implement one of these is to take your standard email/letter template that you would ordinarily send to the client and download the document template from Simple Fund 360 that contains all the merge fields from the software. You can find this template in the Reports tab, under the ‘Custom Reports’ heading. Then you want to select the relevant merge fields to replace your data with, things like Member Name, Total Superannuation Balance, Contributions received to date are good ones to include. 

Starting with your own already existing document will mean that you have any of your firm’s disclaimers included or any standard paragraphs used by the firm. 

The above are just a couple of tricks that Simple Fund 360 has in order to make your tax planning time less stressful, more efficient, and ultimately enabling you to really be able to wow your clients!

For more tips and tricks, check out our Tax Planning webinar recording >>>