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BGL lobbies Treasury to drop 45-day reporting proposal

By Homepage, In the Media, IndustryNo Comments

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Published by SMSF Adviser, powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
Written by Miranda Brownlee on 19 November 2020

SMSF software firm BGL has called on the Treasury to drop its proposed 45-day preparation requirement for SMSF accounts, with the SMSF industry having “already suffered through a year of extreme stress”.

BGL managing director Ron Lesh said the proposal to require SMSFs to prepare their financial statements 45 days before their lodgement date makes no sense and could lead to increased instances of backdating.

“I am trying to understand why this is necessary or where this has come from. It will not improve SMSF reporting, it will not improve SMSF audits, it will not improve SMSF annual return lodgements — so why has it been proposed?” Mr Lesh said.

“In fact, in my view, it could do the opposite. It could put SMSF trustees in a position where they need to backdate accounts — for no reason or benefit.”

Mr Lesh said the SMSF industry has made it clear that the change is unnecessary and that it will simply be an additional burden on SMSF trustees, administrators and auditors.

“I thought post-COVID-19 we were trying to cut unnecessary red tape rather than add more regulations to an already incredibly overregulated industry,” Mr Lesh continued.

“I hope Treasury is listening. A clear statement from Treasury or the government that this change will be dropped is needed now before it causes more angst in the SMSF industry that has already suffered through a year of extreme stress.”

BGL is one of the latest firms to slam the measure, with the accounting bodies and associations such as The Tax Institute and the SMSF Association all expressing concern about the proposed reporting requirement.

“The proposed amendment will achieve nothing beyond forcing the preparation of SMSF accounts into a tighter time frame which will place additional pressure on accountants and those assisting SMSFs in the preparation of their accounts,” The Tax Institute said in its submission.

“Around 99 per cent of SMSFs use a tax agent to lodge their annual return, and tax agents cannot afford to lose 45 days out of their schedule to prepare SMSF accounts earlier in order to meet the proposed requirement.”

GuestTrack helps over 4,000 businesses with its powerful guest check-in solution

By BGL Update, Homepage, TechnologyNo Comments

In June 2020, BGL Corporate Solutions, Australia’s leading supplier of SMSF administration and ASIC corporate compliance solutions, launched GuestTrack – a free QR code driven, browser-based application to help businesses collect and store guest data.

“GuestTrack makes it really easy for businesses and organisations of all shapes and sizes to keep a secure, digital visitors log” said BGL’s Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “This app is fast and easy for guests to use therefore providing a sensational customer check-in experience.”

Since its release just 4 months ago, GuestTrack now supports over 4,000 organisations across Australia, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Philippines and the USA with a satisfaction rate of 99.85% and over 2.24 million guest check-ins.

All data collected by GuestTrack is encrypted to the highest security standard with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Key Management Service (KMS). KMS is designed so no one, including the BGL and AWS teams, can decrypt or access the data. 

“The BGL team continues to work hard to further develop this amazing app, recently adding new features including the ability for users to create custom form fields, unlimited QR Codes and much more – all to create a seamless and engaging check-in experience for guests.” continued Lesh. “What started out as an initiative to help our clients’ clients, has turned out to be a spectacular tool. As we enter the new normal, apps like GuestTrack will be a key feature in all organisations for years to come.”

Learn more and sign up FREE today at guesttrack.com.au!

What’s new in your BGL Data Services?

By BGL Update, Homepage, Product Updates, Simple Fund 360No Comments

The BGL Data Services Team have recently released some exciting new features and enhancements in Simple Fund 360 and we would love to share these with you.

New Features and Feeds

What’s in the Pipeline?

The Product Team are currently working on a new signed authority forms upload. This feature will streamline the authority form process and enhance security for you and your clients. Keep an eye out on the BGL Community for further announcements! In the meantime, please continue to email your authority forms to [email protected].

The BGL Client Experience Team are working closely with the BGL Data Services Team to improve your experience with us. If you have any feedback, please email us at [email protected].

ANZ Authority Forms

We have been experiencing delays in processing ANZ authority forms. The BGL Data Services Team are actively working with ANZ to rectify these problems. To help clients in dealing with these processing delays, we are working with ANZ to provide clients with up to TWO YEARS HISTORICAL DATA!

We sincerely apologise for these delays and appreciate your patience with us.

Bankwest Managed Investments

The Bankwest Cash Management Account product was closed on 31 August 2020. BGL is working to update our systems to reflect this change. For further information, please refer to the BWAMI website.

Please Note: If you have any BWAMI accounts registered with BGL’s Bank Data Service, these accounts will be updated to ‘Account Closed’.

We look forward to sharing more with you soon!

CAS 360 Software Update Release September 2020

By BGL Update, CAS 360, Homepage, New Zealand, NZ BGL Update, NZ Product Update, Product UpdatesOne Comment

A September in Melbourne without football finals has allowed the CAS 360 team to push out another huge update!

Export all Documents

Users can now export all company documents at the click of a button. So, now when a company wants their documents or moves to another accountant, users are now able to export all the documents and provide these documents. This feature has also been added to trusts in CAS 360.

Register Improvements

We have also improved and added more options to the CAS 360 registers, users can now choose to prepare a historical or current register of officers when preparing officer changes. Unitholder registers can now also be prepared in a current or historical state at any point in time.

Look and Feel

Cosmetic interface improvements have been made to a number of screens, including a new reports screen. Improvements have also been made to fonts, spacing and error messages.

Australia

Form 370

In the Australian Jurisdiction we have added support for ASIC form 370. This can now be prepared with any officer resignation when required. The form 370 can be prepared as part of a single company change or a multiple company change. Supporting documents will also be prepared for form 370, and form 370 can be electronically lodged to ASIC.

Other improvements

Improvements have been made to the Company comparison report to support weird and wonderful ASIC data. We have also added enhancements to the RC05 sent from ASIC in for company name reservations.

New Zealand

Multi Company Changes

New Zealand jurisdiction companies are now supported in Multi Company Changes. This will allow a number of changes to be made across a wide range of entities. Support now includes: 

  • NZ Company Registered Address Change
  • NZ Company Address for Service Change
  • NZ Company Officer Change
  • NZ Company Officer Change for AU company with NZ Directors
  • NZ Company Officer Secretary Change

CAS 360 will prepare the necessary documents for all of these changes and allow direct electronic filing to the Companies Office. 

These changes will also work correctly for firms that support both Australia and New Zealand companies. 

Annual Return

A number of important improvements to the Annual Return process for NZ Companies.

  • Annual Return Reminders – Users can now send clients email reminders to remind clients about outstanding Annual Returns
  • Annual Return Status filters have been added to the Annual Return screen
  • New NZ Annual Return cover letter template
  • Pre-Fill signing contact for NZ Changes
  • Added Reference Number to NZ AR filing

New Member Register Options

New Register of Member Settings have been added for New Zealand Companies, now registers can show the following: 

  • Show Premium Paid
  • Show Historical Data
  • Show in Date order
  • Add Premium to amount paid
  • Register name order

Singapore

Companies Activities

Singapore Companies can now add Singapore Activity codes to companies, this includes support for primary and secondary activities.

Officers

Singapore Companies Officers have been improved, with new identification options, improved validations, support for Companies as Directors and Nominator Directors have also been added with information hovers.

Looking forward to October where we will have even more great features!

BGL Case Study: Lowe Lippmann Chartered Accountants

By Case StudyNo Comments

Make the change, you will not regret it! We have to acknowledge as humans we don’t like change, but this change will give you a new lease on life. It is that good!

As a user, with over a decade of experience using Simple Fund Desktop, we asked Luke Martin, CPA SSA | Supervisor of Lowe Lippmann Chartered Accountants; a premier chartered accounting, financial services and consulting firm in Melbourne; about his experience migrating to Simple Fund 360 and how it has allowed Lowe Lippmann to provide value-add services to their clients and remain competitive in the market.

Tell us about your experience with Simple Fund Desktop and transition to Simple Fund 360

As a user, with over a decade of experience using Simple Fund Desktop, transitioning to Simple Fund 360 was seamless. Any issues that were undiscovered in Simple Fund Desktop were identified on migration to Simple Fund 360. Within a week of using Simple Fund 360 the functionality of the software was embedded.

How would you compare Simple Fund Desktop and Simple Fund 360?

Simple Fund 360 caters for the challenges of dealing with the ever-changing compliance issues presented to the industry. The ability of real time reporting is complemented by the smart matching feature. Year-end processing becomes extremely efficient with the distribution tax automation function and the corporate actions function ensures that no DRP, demerger or other corporate actions are overlooked. Any tricky situation can be easily resolved with the smart help function and the ability to log a support call on the platform is useful. Ongoing updates are supported by monthly webinars, tips and tricks are shared by the developers; these should not be missed.  

The functionality and processing ability of Simple Fund 360 is far superior to Simple Fund Desktop. Time saved on the processing allows for attention to the ever increasing compliance burden. Real time reporting is a reality, it is here, and Simple Fund 360 has the capabilities to deliver.

Can you tell us the benefit of migrating to Simple Fund 360 to your Firm?

It is becoming expedient for SMSF to have ‘real time’ reporting available to their clients e.g. contributions made, determining superannuation interests and pensions withdrawals. Simple Fund 360 is the tool that assists in providing the efficiencies necessary for these add-on services to clients, without the add-on costs.

What are the key results you have experienced since you started using Simple Fund 360?

Without Simple Fund 360 ability to transition to real time reporting would be extremely challenging, keeping on top of TBAR reporting would be difficult.

What are the key takeaways of using Simple Fund 360 for your business?

Simple Fund 360 has allowed us to provide extra add-on services to clients while maintaining our competitive price structure.

If your best friend were on the fence about trying Simple Fund 360, what would you tell them?

Make the change, you will not regret it! We have to acknowledge as humans we don’t like change, but this change will give you a new lease on life. It is that good!

About Lowe Lippmann Chartered Accountants

Lowe Lippmann provides premium accounting services, with the capabilities and resources of a ‘Big Four Firm’ but with the personal touch of a ‘Boutique Firm’.

Phone: 03 9525 3777
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.lowelippmann.com.au
Location: Level 7, 616 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3004

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

By Case Study, UncategorisedNo Comments

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

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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.