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Monthly Archives

November 2021

Are SMSF software companies looking for a new way to charge clients ?

By BGL UpdateNo Comments

There have been a lot of changes in the SMSF software industry over the past couple of years.

With no new entrants to the market, some of the existing businesses think they are in a powerful pricing position. And we are seeing this already with 2 software providers charging for (or intending to charge for) API access and 1 adding a cut down external service in an upgrade and pay play. The upgrade, of course, leads to increased revenue to the software company through commissions. With the upgrade and recent charges introduced to API access (most of which will be passed on to clients), their price per fund will be almost $350 per fund per annum + GST.

But what I find more interesting is the suggestion SMSF software suppliers may start charging on the basis of funds under management.

Most of you would be aware, 1 SMSF software supplier has recently been purchased by a financial services platform. The other is already owned by a financial services institution. These businesses already earn much of their revenue from fees based on funds under management – so is this the future for their SMSF software businesses? I recently read an article in The Sentiment newsletter where an increase in clients and funds under management was being touted as a reason for the purchase of a SMSF software business. That financial software business already charges fees based on the funds under management  I do not think it is a bridge too far to suggest this business may ben considering charging SMSF software clients fees based on funds under management.

Those of us who have been in the SMSF software industry for a while know SMSF software providers have no control over the funds under management of their SMSF software clients.  One provider had to specifically exclude the distribution of their financial products through their SMSF software and through their SMSF administration network from their service agreements.

But maybe times are changing. So maybe in the future this will change,

BGL is not a financial services business and is not owned by a financial service business. While it would be great if we could charge subscription fees based on funds under management (our FUM is around $425b), we have no plans to do so. Nor do we think SMSF software providers should be changing for API access or providing products where forced upgrades are required.

Our pricing strategy is clear and simple. As we add new features and enhancements to our products and services providing our clients with greater efficiencies, we will look to increase our prices. We will never charge on the basis of funds under management – we operate on a subscription fee for service model.

Over time, as our costs increase, so will our product prices. When or how much is determined by us when the time is right.

But I am not so sure of the others.

Only time will tell!

BGL recognised as Most Innovative Fintech Company

By BGL Update, TechnologyNo Comments

BGL is proud to announce it has been recognised as Australia’s Most Innovative Fintech Company as part of the International Investor Business Awards 2021. 

“This is a great achievement by the BGL Team to be recognised as Australia’s Most Innovative Fintech Company” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Our team has worked tirelessly through 2020/21 producing heaps of sensational software for our clients and this award is a tribute to their hard work”.

BGL has received several other industry awards in 2021 including the Core Data SMSF Software Award for Simple Fund 360, AFR Australia’s 6th Best Technology Place to Work Award and an Australian Achiever Award for Excellence in Customer Service. 

“BGL won these awards as a result of the amazing work by our team,” added Lesh. “Over the past 30 years BGL has grown to become the leading provider of SMSF administration and ASIC company compliance software solutions in Australia and we would not be here without our amazing team of 180+ sensational committed professionals”.

Your guide to implementing tech in your practice

By UncategorisedNo Comments

There are many catalysts that might cause a firm to seek out new systems. That said, a number of common goals appear: the desire to streamline processes, improve internal efficiency, and save time costs to better help clients. The only problem is, it can sometimes be hard to choose the right tech to support those goals for your firm.

Head of Accounting and chartered accountant, Rebecca Mihalic, brings you the ultimate guide to choosing and implementing new tech for your firm. Rebecca has a wealth of experience and has been recognised as ‘Innovator of the year’ in the 2018 Australian Accounting Awards for using technology to support clients and her firm’s growth. This year, Rebecca was selected as the Accounting ‘Thought Leader of the Year’, recognising her contribution to the industry.

Read this guide to learn:

  • The step-by-step process you should follow to ensure successful selection, implementation and integration of new technology within your accounting practice.
  • The change management strategies to ensure your team are aligned, motivated and bought into the process.
Download Now

Enjoy the read!

Dave New
Head of APAC
Practice Ignition

I used to love living in Victoria – now it is officially a basket case

By UncategorisedOne Comment

I try not to listen to Daniel Andrews. His voice annoys me. I am sick of being lectured. I simply turn off the radio or switch channels on the TV. If he comes up in my socials feed, I quickly move to the next item.

I hate his dishonesty. I hate how corrupt Victoria has become. We have a government, politicians (especially the 3 useful idiots) and a public service that are completely out of touch.

But the thing I hate the most is the rhetoric of divide and conquer. This week, all Victorians who are protesting his draconian legislation in the streets are bad. Those who are not are good – so the 100,000+ who attended last weekend are all bad. Bad, bad, bad Victoria, because they do not want his draconian pandemic laws to be passed by parliament. I am not saying everything the protestors did was smart – some of it I thought was pretty dumb – but the 99,975+ people who attended were not doing or saying dumb things, they are not extremists – they are citizens of Victoria who wanted to be heard. But Andrews refused to listen. Karma eventually comes to everyone and in Victoria’s case, it came as Adem Somyurek. Andrews was so quick to throw Somyurek under the bus. Andrews seemed to forget he was knee-deep in the branch stacking and red shirts sagas. But what annoys me most is the dishonesty. At least in NSW, their ex-premier admitted she did the wrong thing and resigned. There are no similar admissions in Victoria. Kill 801 people – sorry don’t remember. Throw another minister or 2 under the bus – no problem. Protect your mates – No. 1 objective – as long as it suits you. Morals, values, decency, honesty, integrity etc are all missing. What happened to accountability? The rule of Law? Conventions under our system of government?

Andrews has spent the last 2 years dividing the Victorian community with its woke laws and woke public servants. Critical Race Theory and demonising any opposition are straight out of the China workbook. But in China, they put you in a re-education camp. In Victoria they name you and shame you – just look how differently they treated some members of the Jewish community (who did some dumb things through lockdown) from some members of other communities where the majority of the cases were (and who also did some dumb things through lockdown). One is named and shamed – the other doesn’t rate a mention. One splits its vote between Liberal and Labor, one predominantly votes Labor.

I am not going to talk about SlugGate. Nor am I going to talk about the incompetent decision making causing the death of 50 Victorians at St Basil’s. Our Chief Health Officer Sutton’s incompetency, lack of integrity and possible corruption are clear here for all to see. This will all play out in time, but how he can remain as Chief Health Officer is beyond me. How can the man who locked down Victoria for 245 days – a world record – claim there was no alternative possibly remain in his job?

Last, I would like to talk about the fiasco at WorkCover Victoria. I think the first question one must ask is why? Why, when 801 Victorians died, could WorkCover only find the Department of Health responsible? No people. No public servants. No politicians. If this was a private company and it was responsible for the deaths of 801 people, the jail cells for the directors would already be prepared. But when the Andrews government KILLS 801 people no one is responsible. The question must be asked: How corrupt is WorkCover Victoria? Who is paying whom or more likely who is doing whom favours? The decision by WorkCover not to charge individuals with Industrial Manslaughter is astounding. It makes a mockery of our laws. It tells us that the law does not apply to public servants or politicians. This farce is not over. I encourage you to support the Not above the Law campaign from Self Employed Australia. We need to tell WorkCover to do its job and prosecute the Guilty Party!

And this is the main purpose of this post. Please support Ken Phillips and Self Employed Australia to get justice for the 801 Victorians killed by our incompetent government. Someone needs to stand up for them because our government will not. Or for more info, check out the video.

Heffron adds new features to Super Toolkit

By In the Media, News, SMSF AdviserNo Comments

Published by SMSF Adviser, powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
Written by Tony Zhang on 15 November 2021
Click here to read on SMSF Adviser website

Heffron adds new features to Super Toolkit

Heffron SMSF Solutions has added new features to its Super Toolkit, including a new BGL integration and multiple subscription levels.

Drawing on extensive technical knowledge and understanding of SMSFs, Heffron is creating new tools for SMSF professionals, which contain unique features to guide users through the process of creating fully compliant SMSF documentation.

As part of the latest release, Heffron has added a Professional subscription level to the Toolkit offer. Subscribers can now manage access for multiple users from within a firm to collaborate in a single account. They will still be able to share documents with interested parties outside their organisation, like trustees or financial advisers.

Another feature of the Professional subscription is integration with innovative and award-winning SMSF software provider BGL. This technology will allow client details to be populated in the documentation as it is created, creating business efficiencies.

“We are excited about the next evolution of our Super Toolkit. Our intention is to provide tools that enable intermediaries and trustees to play the role they want to play with SMSFs,” Ms Heffron said.

“For some, this might simply be providing a compliance document. For others, it will be guiding them through the key decision points for a range of different SMSF events or activities (we’re calling this ‘guided decision-making’).

“The BGL integration is something we are extremely proud of. This will save our clients time by allowing fund and member data to be automatically pre-populated from BGL’s Simple Fund 360.

“We will continue to develop useful tools to help our clients with many aspects of their SMSF work.”

For more information, go to https://www.heffron.com.au/services/super-toolkit.

Data-Driven Decisions

By Bec Loves CX, Homepage, IndustryNo Comments

You’ve put your Customer Experience Strategy out into the atmosphere and now your team and your business have the foundations set and completed your first step in becoming a CX guru! 

What happens next? You deep dive into understanding your clients, using Voice of Customer (VOC), Customer Insights and Understanding.

When you listen, you learn!

Shifting your focus to understanding your clients is the best approach for enabling your team to gain a genuine understanding of who their audience is. When you know this, you can then start using this information to align your CX strategy and your CX delivery with your clients’ best interests. Calling all Accountants – Who doesn’t love making data-driven decisions, am I right?

There are two types of approaches that can be used to collect information:

  • Quantitative 
      • Relationship surveys
      • Touchpoint surveys
      • Focused surveys
  • Qualitative 
    • Unsolicited customer feedback
    • Ethnographic research
    • Focus groups
    • Voice of employee – Don’t forget, employees are our clients too!

For example, Airport security collected data (quantitative) and conducted observations (qualitative) of passengers to identify that floppy-eared sniffer dogs were viewed as less intimidating to passengers and made the experience more enjoyable and people more cooperative, therefore in most cases, the dog that sniffs your bags prior to departure will most likely look like a dog you would want to cuddle.

How do we make sure we provide the “fluffy puppy” experience?

Whilst quantitative data collection enables you to make data-driven decisions, you must consider the fact that the surveys are created by you, and you decide what to ask – Before you send a survey, ask these questions:

  • What are we trying to achieve – Is the survey going to bring value to the business? Or am I wasting clients time with a pointless survey?
  • Are we asking the right questions? 
  • Are we only asking what we think we need to ask and not what we should be asking?
  • If we’re asking the wrong questions, is the data going to be accurate? 

As much as accountants thrive on data, it’s important when collecting it, that we get it right or the decisions we make based on the results will be misaligned. Data can be our friend or our foe, don’t rush the process and make surveys valuable!

Qualitative information is where you can start to build up client personas because everyone is different but is just as important as one another in the CX lifecycle. 

Client personas are fictional characters that represent the key characteristics of the main types of clients you will encounter through the business. It is an easy way of capturing your understanding of them and putting a personal touch on them.

For example, you might have a client that (for persona purposes) is called ‘John’. John is a 37-year-old business executive, who is a sole trustee of his own SMSF. When he comes in for his annual appointment with you (the accountant), you notice he drives a Tesla and always wears a handmade suit. John is sophisticated and is always short on time.

For someone like John, you would design your CX delivery based on your CX strategy and ensure it aligns with his persona.

Again, this can be your friend or your foe. Don’t ever simply create personas off the top of your head. Do your research and really get to know people. This will ensure your fictional characters accurately represent different pools of clients that do business with you and help you to design CX journeys for each type of client.

Your investment in research and data collection should be at the core of every decision you make, be it CX or otherwise. How are you going to adopt these approaches in your business today?

BGL launches integration with Colonial First State’s FirstWrap platform

By In the Media, News, SMSF AdviserNo Comments

Published by SMSF Adviser, powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
Written by Tony Zhang on 10 November 2021
Click here to read on SMSF Adviser website

BGL launches integration with Colonial First State’s FirstWrap platform

BGL has successfully completed its Simple Fund 360 integration with Colonial First State’s FirstWrap platform.

BGL Corporate Solutions’ Simple Fund 360 is now integrated with Colonial First State’s FirstWrap platform.

“It’s great to have Colonial First State as part of the BGL ecosystem,” BGL’s managing director Ron Lesh said.

“FirstWrap is a full-service wrap platform, providing comprehensive investment choice, convenience and great flexibility.”

Mr Lesh noted this new integration means FirstWrap now has seamless integration with Simple Fund 360, with bank, investment and income transactions automatically loaded.

“Simple Fund 360 will then automatically map the required accounts and tax data to drive further efficiencies for your firm,” he added.

Colonial First State’s chief distribution officer, Bryce Quirk, said FirstWrap is excited to partner with BGL and provide the benefits of Simple Fund 360 to members and advisers.

“Adding to the comprehensive tax reporting features of FirstWrap, the welcome addition of Simple Fund 360 integration will further enhance the value and efficiencies for our joint customers,” Mr Quirk said.

BGL currently has over 350 partners in the firm’s ecosystem, and it is great to be able to add FirstWrap to the list.

FirstWrap is a full-service wrap, including FirstWrap Plus Super, Pension and Investments, which offers advisers and clients comprehensive investment choice, convenient administration, and the flexibility to design a portfolio to suit their investment needs.

Director IDs: How can CAS 360 help?

Streamline Director IDs with CAS 360

By BGL Update, CAS 360, IndustryNo Comments

CAS 360 is helping ASIC registered agents manage and streamline Director IDs for their clients!

CAS 360 is Australia’s leading cloud solution for the management of companies and trusts.

The recent introduction of Director IDs means Australian company directors are required to identify themselves with the ABRS via MyGovID between now and November 30, 2022.

ASIC Registered Agents help businesses handle the compliance requirements of the vast majority of Australian companies, so the job to ensure every company director has a Director ID will ultimately fall on their shoulders…

That’s where CAS 360 can help!

To help manage and streamline the administration of these new requirements for ASIC Registered Agents, BGL released a suite of Director ID features in CAS 360. We have not just “added a field” to record the Director’s ID. We have provided a suite of features to help you through the process. Click here to skip ahead to our video >>>

Director ID Alert

The Director ID alert will show CAS 360 users the company directors that have completed their Director’s ID.

Director ID Screen

The Director ID screen provides CAS 360 users with the ability to:

  • Send a customisable email to all company directors about the new Director ID requirements,
  • Send email reminders to company directors when the Director ID deadline is approaching,
  • View which company directors have not completed their Director ID requirements,
  • See if a contact is a director in multiple companies,
  • Add a director’s email address, and
  • Add a director’s ID number once the director has completed registration.

See CAS 360’s Director ID features in action!

Watch our video to hear from BGL’s Head of CAS 360, Warren Renden and see a live demonstration of the Director ID features available now!

If you would like to learn more about CAS 360 and how it can benefit your business, contact the BGL sales team on 1300 654 401 or email [email protected].

BGL launches integration with Colonial First State’s FirstWrap platform

By Australian FinTech, In the Media, NewsNo Comments

“It’s great to have Colonial First State as part of the BGL Ecosystem,” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “FirstWrap is a full service wrap platform, providing comprehensive investment choice, convenience and great flexibility. This new integration means FirstWrap now has a seamless integration with Simple Fund 360 with bank, investment and income transactions automatically loaded”.

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