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September 2021

It is impossible not to save time using Simple Invest 360

It is impossible not to save time using Simple Invest 360

By Case Study, Simple Invest 360No Comments

We are very excited to be able to present a double entry accounting system with full investment register capabilities to our clients. It will save processing time and allow us to take on more clients. The investment reports are first class and continually improving.

About Clarke & Brownrigg

Clarke & Brownrigg is a full service Chartered Accounting firm specialising in family businesses, professionals and wealth administration for clients, with two partners who have been in partnership for over 20 years. The original practice (prior to the retirement of an initial founding partner) had been in business for a further 20 years. They have family groups who have been with the firm for up to 40 years. During that time Clarke & Brownrigg have provided professional, high quality work to a vast client base. The firm has a proud history of staff stability and can boast staff members employed for up to 25 years.

The Challenge

Getting useful share history information out of old software to enable setup in Simple Invest 360

Prior to Simple Invest 360, the team at Clarke & Brownrigg used a very basic Investment Register System that had received limited updates over 20 years. As a member of the Simple Invest 360 beta testing program, the Clarke & Brownrigg team found it challenging getting useful information out of their old system to export into Simple Invest 360, but Simple Invest’s new features are making it much easier.

Why Simple Invest 360

It is impossible not to save time using Simple Invest 360

“The BGL SmartDocs software enables AI conversion of some reports directly into the software, plus there is a very efficient data entry screen which also uses AI to read the data and make intelligent decisions on investment account codes to add unit quantities and include the appropriate acquisition dates.

The input of source information has many different options you can use. It is impossible not to save time. It is possible to scan bank statements which the BGL SmartDocs AI technology can read, import CSV files and the best practice going forward will be a direct bank feed into the software. The Corporate Actions function is so simple and almost does everything for you. Compared to our previous manual system for accounting for demergers and company reconstructions, it is fantastic!

Machine Learning is making the most of the many transactions it “sees” and will continue to improve. The tax reporting is now developed, and the year-end processing functions are state of the art. With trusts, Simple Invest allows for automation of distributions, including streaming of classes of income and preparation of tax reconciliations out of the accounting system, with user editable adjustments for tax purposes. The input of managed fund data is so much easier than it has ever been prior to BGL. They are even producing beneficiary distribution statements for trust clients when you need to provide information to external beneficiaries. All of the above information would previously have been done manually using Excel spreadsheets or Word documents, which are prone to error and need much more user interaction.”

The Solution

Ease of use and seamless integration - A complete accounting solution

“When considering a technology stack, we look for ease of use and seamless integration. BGL is a very innovative software company, and we highly value their training and updates to assess what should be in our technology stack. The BGL ecosystem of bank feeds, wraps, client financial statement accounting software, minutes and workpapers is a complete accounting solution.”

The Results

Save processing time to take on more clients

“Our clients are very keen to utilise the investment reporting, including time weighting of investments and the unrealised gains by parcel reporting to make specific investment decisions, which was not available in our previous Investment Register Software without manual intervention. Having daily market prices is very valuable. We will be encouraging use of the mobile app (Engage by BGL) and trustee/client access to help them engage more with us. Simple Invest 360 will be an important part of enabling our clients to track their wealth outside of the SMSF space.

We are very excited to be able to present a double entry accounting system with full investment register capabilities to our clients. It will save processing time and allow us to take on more clients. The investment reports are first class and continually improving. It is also important to us that the presentation of reports can be consistent across all entity types. For the small outlay per client it is very easily recoverable in time saved.”

About Linda

Linda is a Senior Accountant at Clarke & Brownrigg and has been with the firm since 1999. She has a special interest in Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, but also has extensive experience with investment and business entities. Linda prides herself on personal service, including prompt responses to client communication and building long term client/accountant relationships. She is excited to see where the future of technology can take the accounting profession.

Simple Invest 360 Success Study with Clarke & Brownrigg

Trading Hobbyist: Accounting trap or goldmine?

By Homepage, In the Media, IndustryNo Comments

Trading Hobbyist: accounting trap or goldmine?

Never before has there been such a perfect storm leading to potentially either a goldmine or a nightmare for accountants. In this post, I will attempt to explain why accountants need to be prepared, how we got here and how you can turn a possible disaster into a goldmine for your firm.

It has been written and talked about ad nauseam – the world has changed. Ever since March 2020 we were told to go home: it’ll only be a few weeks and then we can all go back to normal. As weeks turned into months and the months into years and the situation spiralled out of control, many of us struggled with what to do with all this extra time we had on our hands. We were no longer distracted by social activities, ferrying kids around to various sports or being forced to go on holidays.

It was finally here. This was our chance. We were home when not eyeing people off suspiciously at the supermarket, or trying to hold in a cough at the chemist (just a dry throat, I swear). And then the storm hit. The formula looked something like this:

Increased time at home + technology at our fingertips + low brokerage fees = we could all be the Wolf of Wall Street.

Finally living the dream. Sitting around in pyjamas, a bowl of corn chips resting on our enlarged bellies, phone in one hand while keeping an eye on whatever it was Netflix told me everyone else was watching so why aren’t you. And within the phone the power to trade across time zones, across markets, derivatives, options, CFDs, crypto… Endless opportunities to make your millions, or quietly realise a loss that would never be spoken about.

This scenario may sound familiar or chances are you know someone that went down this path. Some people were just passing the time with a flutter, others legitimately trying to build wealth. Either way, we know that a lot of Australians did this.

According to SelfWealth’s (a flat fee retail share trading platform) Annual Report, active traders on their books increased by 105% during FY21 and the total number of trades increased by 147% for the same period¹. The reduced costs associated with working from home and lack of alternatives meant people had a surplus of cash and now that cash became seed capital for their own private hedge fund.

While the popularity of ETFs is growing, only 15% of investors choose this investment type compared to 58% of investors directly holding Australian shares (ASX, 2020)². A key area to watch is the number of investors dipping their toes (and sometimes up to their neck) in the ever-expanding galaxy of cryptocurrencies. According to the AFR, 1 in 5 Australians is likely to buy cryptocurrency in the next 12 months³.

We are now seeing investors using multiple brokers and exchanges to take advantage of sign up offers and referral programs. This may make sense for the investor looking to capture the highest return possible, but it does mean that they may end up with poor records and difficulty in tracking their investments.

Throw into the mix buybacks, stock splits, DRPs, demergers as well as the even more complex world of crypto yield farming and come tax time there will be either underreporting (non-compliance) or a heap of work for someone to reconcile the data and make sense of all the transactions.

While excel has been one of the greatest fintech solutions since Lotus 1-2-3, it does have limitations. Excel formulas can be error-prone, time must be invested for compliance changes and reconciliation back to any data source is limited or non-existent.

Luckily for today’s accountants there exists a whole new world of automation: an ecosystem of data feeds, AI and automated processing that will drastically reduce the amount of time required to keep track of CGT records, produce financials and arrive at a reliable tax optimised position.

The perfect storm has enabled trading and wealth creation for a whole new generation and now this generation needs your help to make sure they do not give it all back with poor tax planning and compliance issues.

References:

  1. SelfWealth Limited Annual Report (2021, June 30)  https://www.selfwealth.com.au/investor-centre/
  2. ASX Australian Investor Study (2020) https://www2.asx.com.au/blog/australian-investor-study
  3. AFR (2021, June 8) Four million Aussies set to buy into crypto https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/four-million-aussies-set-to-buy-into-crypto-20210608-p57z2g

CAS 360 Product Update Release – September 2021

By CAS 360, Product UpdatesNo Comments

Hello all and welcome to Spring! We have another BIG CAS 360 update for you!

Don’t forget to join the conversation about this release and so much more on the BGL Community >>>

What's New in CAS 360?

Company Incorporations

Let’s kick off with Company Incorporations. Now you can start using CAS 360 for Company Incorporations, the previously required digital certificate has been removed, all that is required now is a direct debit account with ASIC. 

All company incorporations from CAS 360 are done for the ASIC fee only. It has never been faster or easier to incorporate companies. 

While CAS 360 does not currently have a constitution, we will soon, keep your eyes open.

Minutes and Resolutions

Next, we have made some big improvements to our minutes and resolutions. Share and Unit transactions now show more information about each transaction, including effective dates. We have also added thousands separator commas to all Director, Trustee, Member and Unit holder minutes / resolutions. Share and Unit certificates have also been improved. 

File Upload Security

Security is an important part of all software applications these days and CAS 360 is no exception, we have now added system wide file scanning on all uploaded documents. From this update, every uploaded file will be virus scanned, and you will be notified if the document is marked suspicious.

Report Improvements

Reports have been updated with the People group report now showing more trust relationship information, the Address Usage report now showing all addresses, with the ability to filter the new address types. The Companies Listing report options are now dynamic to your firm’s data (i.e options that are not relevant won’t be shown)

User Interface Improvements

Last and certainly not least we have made a number of interface changes to improve how CAS 360 works. 

Now all screens that have a table (Company, Documents, Annual Reviews etc.) have a sticky header. This means that as we scroll down the page, the headings will stay visible, this is a great improvement. 

We have also redesigned the company notes screens in company selection with a new modern look, and also the SMS messages conversation box has been updated with a fresh new look.

When you find the right culture, it all makes sense!

By Culture, HomepageNo Comments

When you find the right culture, it all makes sense!

I’ve found my “happy place” – in a work / culture sense at a place I’d never heard of – BGL.

An insider's experience, coming in from the outside...

After working for incredible, global organisations and an inspirational NFP where I’ve been presented with so many opportunities, I found myself a bit lost during this Covid thing (alongside everyone else!). After taking time off and having the opportunity to focus on my kids, I wasn’t sure what to do next. Volunteering is amazing and a passion, but one needs cash to pay the bills (I know – I’m a dreamer).

I casually looked at a few roles that sounded perfect on paper. It took a few months and stints of contracting, but finally something really caught my eye and it was only after I’d had my first interview that I realised the diamond I’d stumbled upon.

My first interview with BGL was with some guy called Ron and another called Daniel. Must be recruiters? Oh nooo. Ron created, built and has run BGL for close to 35 years. Daniel, as I learned, is the COO and has been integral to BGL for over 20 years (and my boss. Spoiler alert…). For the two most senior people in the organisation to interview me – and it was Round One – made me sit up. These guys really care about the existing team and want to ensure new recruits are a cultural fit.

I was very grateful and nervous that Ron and Daniel thought I had the skills and I made it to Round Two – “The Team Interview”. Have any of you ever been interviewed by your potential future team? I hadn’t and it was nerve-wracking! And then it all made sense. The team is composed of six highly skilled and energetic marketers – it was so much fun to meet them and hear what they are looking for in a new colleague. 

Long story short – I GOT THE ROLE! Don’t want to show off when so many of us are really finding it hard to find work (BGL are hiring…) but I’m loving being part of a culture that gets me and I feel a part of something! Everyone, I mean EVERYONE, is included. Ron bought us all lunch the other day (pre-lockdown). There are no barriers, there’s no pecking order. We are all there to do the best we can and it’s inspiring working with such a talented team of dark horses.

BGL rarely promotes themselves – the culture and the time-saving products speak volumes. Am so grateful to be a part of this awesome team. The moral of the story is: when an opportunity taps you on the shoulder and the culture is a fit, go for it!