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Muro Group Accounting Firm: Let go of the past, create the future!

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After 10+ years using BGL’s desktop solutions, Muro Group Accounting Firm – with the assistance of MuroTech, migrated to the cloud.

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” 

About MuroTech:

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 >>>

BGL announced integration with LightYear Docs

By BGL Update, CAS 360, HomepageNo Comments

BGL announces integration with LightYear Docs – one of Australia’s most advanced legal, tax and superannuation document creation and strategy automation engines.

“We’re thrilled to launch this new service with LightYear Docs”, said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “LightYear Docs is an industry leading provider and has been part of our Ecosystem for a while now. This seamless document integration represents a huge time saver to our clients by enabling them to create companies, trusts and super funds as well as other documents from within the LightYear Docs platform and then send the data and documents to CAS 360 with the click of a button. It has never been so easy to prepare documents – It’s just simple and quick!”, added Lesh.

LightYear Docs CEO Grant Abbott said, “We have spent the last year building strategy automation, with our longest being our comprehensive estate plan of more than 10 documents bundled into the one interview, plus we continue to instal a new document or strategy every week. With our low maximum $99 per single document pricing we have seen many accountants comparing what they spend and making the move. The next and most important step has been our BGL integration and we thank Ron and his team for making it happen. Strategy just got that much easier.”

“When software talks seamlessly to each other, it is a win-win for BGL, LightYear Docs and our clients”, stated Lesh. CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 now support over 350 integration partners including banks, brokers, wraps, platforms, registries, practice management solutions, actuaries, document providers and many more.

BGL has won the award for SMSF software provider for the third time in a row!

By BGL Update, Homepage, Simple Fund 360No Comments

Software SMSF Adviser Logo

Published by SMSF Adviser, powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA

BGL has won the award for SMSF software provider for the third time in a row!

It has been another tumultuous year for the SMSF sector, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn impacting everything from investment to compliance. The ATO and the SMSF sector in general has worked tirelessly to address some of the unforeseen issues arising from the current environment. As always, SMSF professionals and their clients have relied heavily on SMSF service providers to guide them through this period of change. Partnering with firms that are adaptable and agile is critical at the moment and has a direct impact on the confidence and satisfaction of clients.

Now in its seventh year, the SMSF Awards recognise the excellence and innovation of the best performing operators servicing SMSF professionals. The winners are based on a survey which was distributed to SMSF Adviser’s database of SMSF professionals. The results were collated and determined by an independent analyst.

With the impact of COVID-19 requiring reviews of investments and changes to strategies, having access to timely information on assets and balances and being able to execute changes quickly is essential. SMSF software plays a critical role in this for SMSF professionals. With the advancement of SMSF software in recent years removing more and more manual processing, it has also given advisers and accountants more time to assist their SMSF clients with critical decisions in this volatile environment. This year’s winner, BGL, has made significant leaps in the areas of artificial intelligence and deep learning.

From BGL’s Founder and Managing Director, Ron Lesh

“We’re thrilled of being recognised by Momentum Media as the SMSF Software Provider of the year – for the third year in a row! This is recognition for all the effort put in by each member of the BGL Team and the continued support of our clients – we’re immensely grateful for each and every one of you.

Established in 1983 as a consulting firm to assist accountants and small businesses to gain more value from their computer systems, BGL has evolved to become Australia’s #1 provider of SMSF administration and ASIC corporate compliance management software solutions – CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 – providing remarkable customer experience to over 8,000 clients in 15 countries.

We believe the key to success relies on commitment, focus, team and technology. With clients at the forefront of our business strategy, we are committed in combining a unique first-class customer experience with innovative technology solutions to help our clients automate processes and succeed.

Clients today are looking for Zero Touch SMSF processing so they can focus on what really matters – their clients. BGL is getting closer and closer each day to this level of automation through the use of Artificial Intelligence and Deep Learning. We developed the world’s first AI processing assistant and the first Deep Learning transaction review/matching process for the SMSF software industry. As a result, our clients can work faster, smarter and with more accuracy! Recently, we have released BGL SmartDocs, an intelligent document reader able to quickly turn paper documents into data in seconds! And our innovations don’t stop there. With a significant number of proprietary technologies, our applications are by far the most technically advanced in the industry.

We see the future as a world of opportunities. Our focus will always be on improving automation, supporting our clients, providing an excellent customer experience and expanding the BGL Ecosystem.”

BGL announces integration with GreatSoft

By BGL Update, CAS 360, Homepage, Simple Fund 360No Comments

BGL announces a two-way integration with GreatSoft.

The company has recently announced a two-way integration with GreatSoft. This two-way integration will allow any changes made to client details in GreatSoft Practice Manager to automatically update the CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 database. Plus, in CAS 360, the user is prompted to prepare all the relevant ASIC compliance documents. Furthermore, if the contact details are changed in either Simple Fund 360 or CAS 360, this change is automatically updated in GreatSoft Practice Manager.

“This is a huge achievement for the API team”, said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “It will help many clients using both software solutions as mutual GreatSoft Practice Manager and BGL Simple Fund 360 / CAS 360 clients are now able to have just a single database – the ultimate goal of any professional firm.” Added Lesh.

“The challenge for firms is to improve the quality and accuracy of their data by eliminating data silos and reducing the number of out of sync databases that have been created as a result of lack of integration across suppliers”, said CEO of GreatSoft, Brian Armstrong.

“Accurate and easy access to client and compliance information is important to any accounting firm, and our integration with BGL provides the industry with a scalable cloud-based practice management and compliance solution, which delivers a 360° view of the client and a single source of truth. This gives practices the freedom and flexibility to create a truly integrated cloud practice ecosystem built on an open platform” added Armstrong.

“When software talks seamlessly to each other, it is a win-win for BGL, GreatSoft and our clients”, stated Lesh. CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360 now support over 350 integration partners including banks, brokers, wraps, platforms, registries, practice management solutions, actuaries, document providers and many more.

About GreatSoft

GreatSoft addresses the gap that exists in the market for a scalable, integrated cloud practice management solution that meets the needs of progressive accounting firms, including mid-tier and large firms.

GreatSoft is a proven solution that is used by over 1000 accounting firms in 15 countries. We work with some of the leading Accounting & Auditing firms in Australia and New Zealand to connect their practice ecosystems and use APIs to build a 360° unified view of the client and a single source of truth.

BGL announces integration with ChangeGPS

By BGL Update, CAS 360, Homepage, Simple Fund 360No Comments

BGL proudly announces integration of Blueprint by ChangeGPS with CAS 360 and Simple Fund 360. Blueprint is designed to help accountants provide structure advice to their clients by generating easy to understand and automated structure charts.

“It’s great to have ChangeGPS as part of the BGL Ecosystem”, says Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “ChangeGPS provides Australia’s leading tools designed to help automate day-to-day tasks for cloud-based accounting firms. The integration with BGL’s CAS 360 will save our mutual clients time and money, remove complicated data entry and time-consuming chart creation as well as provide efficiency gains and improve the communication with their respective clients by extracting CAS 360 data through our API to automatically generate smart, easy to understand and complete business structure charts”.

Blueprint by ChangeGPS extracts data from BGL’s CAS 360 and creates a structure chart using relationship information. Traditionally, clients find it difficult to understand their business structure and a chart is great but can often take up to an hour to prepare. Using BGL’s API, Blueprint will extract company, trust, super fund, officer, shareholder, beneficiary, unit holder and other entity relationships. Once the data is extracted, users will be easily be able to modify the chart to meet their needs and the needs of their clients. Blueprint is designed to help clients instantly understand the accountant’s advice – making it much easier for them to say “yes” to structure advice. Blueprint can also generate $1,000’s of extra revenue each month.

“We are thrilled to boost our legendary blueprint structure advice with information from BGL’s corporate compliance data set. This will give accountants more time back whilst having powerful information to communicate structure advice to clients” David Boyar, CEO

“At BGL, we are a strong advocate of developing ecosystem partnerships that help our clients to work better with their clients. Partnering with ChangeGPS is an example of two leading technology providers collaborating for the benefit of both our clients”, adds Lesh. BGL currently has over 350 partners in our Ecosystem.

BGL announces closed BETA for Simple Invest 360

By BGL Update, Homepage, Simple Invest 3602 Comments

BGL is proud to announce closed BETA for its new non-super cloud Investment Portfolio software solution, Simple Invest 360!

“The Team have done a great job through the COVID-19 lockdowns to get Simple Invest 360 to closed BETA many months ahead of schedule” said BGL’s Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “We have had many enquiries from clients who have been looking for a non-super investment solution which provides the same level of automation and AI as Simple Fund 360. Simple Invest 360 is that solution”.

“Leveraging the powerful, award-winning technology of our SMSF admin solution Simple Fund 360, together with our ecosystem of over 300+ automated data feeds, Simple Invest 360 will provide a sensational CGT record-keeping and reporting solution for companies and trusts using our smart artificial intelligence powered categorisation and data capture.” added Lesh.

“Simple Invest 360 is built on the Simple Fund 360 general ledger and CGT engine” noted Lesh. “The team has done a superb job of leveraging the power of Simple Fund 360 with corporate actions and trust distribution automation features of Simple Invest 360 and the power of BGL’s double entry general ledger to make data processing smart, simple and flexible”,

If you would like to participate in the Simple Invest 360 open BETA later in 2020, complete the expression of interest form.

CAS 360 Company Changes

By New Zealand, NZ BGL Update, NZ CAS 360No Comments

In last week’s blog, we showed you how CAS 360 would transform the way you process Annual Returns.

Today, we will show you how simple it is to complete Company Changes from within CAS 360.

Simple change process

CAS 360 is home to all your company data, and CAS 360 integrates with the Companies Office website, allowing you to make changes very quickly to your client company data.

Transactions such as a change of officer, when using CAS 360, are completed in seconds, not minutes.

Detailed Supporting Documents

CAS 360 will prepare all the documents required for each transaction; this includes maintaining all your company registers, minutes, resolutions, certificates and consents.

You will no longer be manually finding – and updating – documents in MS Word. With CAS 360, we do this for you.

Digital Signing Integration

CAS 360 has built-in integrations with Adobe Sign and DocuSign, allowing your clients to sign the documents you send them; wherever they are and notify you in real-time when complete.

Best of all, the Companies Office has approved our digital signing integrations.

Direct Filing with Companies Office

With CAS 360, company changes can be filed directly from our software, giving you Instant filing at the click of a button.

Say goodbye to the Companies Office website.

To see CAS 360 in action, watch our pre-recorded product demonstration:

Watch CAS 360 Demo!