The BGL Blog

Keep up to date with whats happening at BGL and the industry.

BGL releases the first SMSF Artificial Intelligence in Simple Fund 360

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BGL is proud to announce the release of Stage 1 of its Artificial Intelligence (AI) Assistant for Simple Fund 360. This is a first in the SMSF admin software industry.

“This is a huge achievement by our Simple Fund 360 Team” says “BGL Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “BGL has been working on AI for over 12 months. We needed to teach the AI Engine about SMSF transactions through a process known as Deep Learning. This results in Simple Fund 360 providing a level of confidence on where transactions have been allocated in the ledger based on the 250 million plus transactions in the Simple Fund 360 database. It is truly amazing technology”.

“BGL’s AI Assistant can predict compliance breaches and spot incorrectly coded transactions that may have been input by a human or categorised in error by a rule” added Lesh. “The AI Assistant utilises purpose built Machine Learning classification algorithms to review bank transactions and attempts to locate any possible user or rule based coding errors and recommend coding corrections. This tool can be used, for example, during the pre-audit phase to locate outliers, improve processing consistency and reduce the time it currently takes to prepare a fund for Audit”.

BGL has already won 4 awards in 2018 including innovation awards for both Simple Fund 360 and CAS 360. “We have had an incredible start to 2018” noted Lesh. “The investment we have made in industry leading technology and innovation is giving our clients a huge advantage in the highly competitive SMSF admin industry”.

 

BGL turns product success into 3 awards in one week!

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We’re proud to announce that BGL Corporate Solutions has received, in just a single week, three different awards for customer service, industry leading software and innovation!

After a year marked by technology innovation, software enhancements, a host of third party integrations and the release of CAS 360, BGL again shows why it is the market leader in compliance software for SMSFs and ASIC compliance. In just one week, we received three important industry awards for Software Innovator of the Year, Best Fund Administration Software Provider and an Australian Achiever Award for Customer Service.

“It’s a great achievement by the BGL Team to have both Simple Fund 360 and CAS 360 recognised as both the best and most innovative software solutions in their categories”, says Ron Lesh, BGL Managing Director. “Our Team has worked tirelessly to ensure our clients have the best solutions to meet their needs and these awards are a tribute to their hard work”.

“BGL was first acknowledged with an Australian Achiever Award for Excellence in Customer Service. Twelve years in a row receiving this award must almost be a record” said Lesh. “This was followed by the Australian Enterprise Award for Best Fund Administration Software Provider 2018 and then the 2018 Software Innovator of the Year award at The Fintech Business Awards”.

“It’s been a journey for the BGL Team”, added Lesh. “I keep talking about our products as children going through the normal growing pains as children do and now past infancy and moving to adolescents. Like most children, they will grow into adults and gain maturity as time goes on. And all we can do is thank to everyone involved! Thanks for being part of our journey”.

Here are some of the extremely pleasing comments of our clients that accompanied the Australian Achiever Award:

“BGL Corporate Solutions are a proactive group who come across as innovative and thought leaders in the industry. They do fantastic work for our company and are very easy to deal with. We have been using them for fifteen years, which says a lot”.

“Their customer service is incredible. The person I usually deal with is always lovely and so willing to help. Their product has absolutely saved my life, from a business and time management perspective. I cannot thank them enough for that. I am extremely happy with them”.

Should there be truth in advertising in the SMSF software industry ? (Part 3)

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This is my third post in the series “Should there be truth in advertising in the SMSF software industry?”.

The first post was all about sales people who – well just lie (nothing has changed here, the lies continue).

The second post was about “numbers of funds”. I wonder if anyone has noticed how the way fund numbers are reported change when a business is struggling… For those that have not noticed (we have), go back and check how our competitors report fund numbers today and compare this to how they reported fund numbers 12 months ago… (surprise!!)

But today’s post is to correct some lies peddled by some SMSF software sales people. I hate lies. And eventually they come back to bite you on the ass. Well guys, here comes the bite. Maybe I should start a hashtag….

So let’s look at Lie 1. “We have better data feeds than everyone else”. Simple not true. Most data feeds come from the same data sources.

1.  Bank Data Feeds: All bank data feeds come from the banks. BGL gets them direct from the banks. So does everyone else.

2. Wrap and Platform Data Feeds: These come direct from the wrap or platform. BGL gets them direct from the wrap or platform. So does everyone else.

3. Registry Data: These come direct from the registries.  No other SMSF software supplier has registry data feeds. No other SMSF software supplier verifies holding balances to the registries. The registry IS the source of truth. Getting holding balances from brokers is simply unreliable. First, few brokers provide holding balance data. Second, if a fund has multiple broker accounts, reconciling holding balances is virtually impossible. Some people claim collecting holding balance data from brokers is the best thing since sliced bread – I reckon it is hopeless and leaves a lot of room for error. Those who do not get registry data, simply make excuses.

4. Broker Data: BGL gets broker buy / sell data from contract notes. We use contract notes rather than direct broker feeds as we need to support sooo many brokers – over 120 at the moment. BGL has build smart software that automatically reads PDF contract notes, creates a buy / sell transaction,  adds the transaction to our software and attaches the contract note PDF to the transaction. It is a fully automated process. It is very reliable and has worked well for almost 1,000,000 contract notes over 6 years. But most of all it is 100% verifiable – the contract note is attached to the transaction – it is not relying on the broker to deliver the correct transactions.

Now for Lie 2. “BGL manually process contract notes” Just absolute rubbish.

5. Corporate Actions: BGL gets corporate action data from the ASX. We figure this is a good place as the ASX is the source of truth for corporate actions. And when we combine ASX corporate action data and registry data, we simplify the corporate action process. I do not know where others get corporate action data, but I do like how we do it.

Next let’s talk about ASAE 3402 reports. Many client have asked us about these. These reports, like many other certifications (think AS 9000), are all about documentation, processes and procedures. These reports do not guarantee quality of data. And while some auditors may place some reliance on them, from what we see, most do not. It does not matter what reports you have, if the data source itself is unreliable. So BGL figures, it is much smarter to compare the balances in our Simple Fund 360 software with the balances in the data feeds each day and report differences. This ensures any data feed discrepancies are highlighted and can be quickly resolved.

Let me give you a simple example of data feed error. A few weeks ago the bank account balances in my super fund did not agree with the data feed. The 2 accounts are with a big 4 bank. What happened ? Simply, the bank did not send us some transactions. We could have had 100 AS reports it would have made no difference. Our systems highlighted the error and we contacted the bank. Eventually the bank (it took them about 4 days) sent us the missing transactions. No matter how many AS reports one may have, the quality of the data received is 100% dependent on the supplier.

This post has been all about lies and data, but let me add a few home truths. Getting the data, is only part of the story. How the data is processed by your SMSF software, is where you gain the huge benefits. Simple Fund 360 processes data better than any other SMSF software. And there is no AS report for that. And with Artificial Intelligence just around the corner, the future is very exciting indeed.

CAS 360

CAS 360 turns 1!

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Today marks one year since the release of CAS 360 and WOW what a year it has been!

The last 12 months have been incredibly busy for the entire BGL Team, we have:

  • Released 28 new updates packed full of features to make completing company compliance requirements easier than ever before!
  • On-boarded almost 900 accounting firms
  • Added almost 200,000 companies to the platform (97,230 were migrated from CAS Desktop)
  • Added 1,476,137 documents to the platform
  • Added integrations with DocuSign, Xero Practice Manager and Simple Fund 360
  • Released our open API allowing for integrations with Topdocs, Cleardocs, Smarter SMSF, ACIS and many more!

We started working on CAS 360 back in 2014. We knew from our experience with Simple Fund 360 that building a new product from initial design all the way through to public release is an incredibly labour intensive process.

We also knew that building an exact replica of CAS Desktop simply wouldn’t cut it. We set our goal on making a product that was 10 times better.

We were up for the challenge because we believed that we could make a beautiful product that transformed company secretarial work.

Below is a comparison from our wireframe (left) companies screen to the finished product (right):

CAS 360

Our next 12 months are set to be even more exciting, we have a roadmap full of amazing features that will allow your firm to grow the services you provide to your clients and to complete existing work quicker than ever before. All while still having fun. We are just getting started.

I and the entire BGL team are incredibly grateful for the contributions of a number of CAS 360 users. These are the users that keep us up thinking about features all night, make our meetings go longer than they should and make us all giddy with excitement on release night.

We do this for you, and we hope we are making your jobs easier.