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Finalisation of TBAR requirements for SMSFs

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Episode 24 – Finalisation of TBAR requirements for SMSFs

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) has recently finalised the approach for SMSFs to comply with the introduction of reporting various debits and credits against a member’s transfer balance cap. It has been a process of going back and forward with the industry, with the ATO having initially landed on a decision, only to be taken to task over the additional cost and compliance burden that was being imposed, not only on trustees, but the professionals who have endured enormous workloads due to the reforms, in addition to the ongoing problems with stability of ATO systems.

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BGL Corporate Solutions, Australia’s leading developer of SMSF administration and ASIC corporate compliance software solutions, is proud of its achievement in getting the ATO to rethink its SMSF Events Based Reporting regime.

“We started our campaign in late July 2017 with a petition to the Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer and the ATO Commissioner Chris Jordan” says BGL Managing Director Ron Lesh. “We then met with the ATO in early August and voiced our concerns at the proposed reporting regime that seemed to have been signed off by not only the ATO but also by many of the professional organisations”.

BGL was concerned about 2 aspects of the proposed events based reporting regime. The first was the frequency and deadlines of reporting and the second was the need to report ALL SMSF member balances – whether the balance was $50,000 or $1.6m. “We thought this was big brother gone mad” noted Lesh.

“The first meeting with the ATO was organised with the SMSF Association. It was great to have their support throughout this campaign” added Lesh.

“BGL first became aware of the proposed reporting requirements early in 2017” said Lesh. “We had our concerns then, but expected the accounting industry associations to make representation to the ATO suggesting this was not a good idea. We did not however see much activity – with the exception of the work done by the Institute of Public Accountants. The others were nowhere to be found”.

“We started the campaign by asking our clients to sign our petition on This was probably not as successful as I would have liked but it seemed to get the attention of the Assistant Treasurer. I would like to thank Ms O’Dwyer for her help in getting the ATO to rethink the events based reporting regime” Lesh said.

“When the ATO released its Position Paper in August 2017, it was great to see there had already been some change in the ATO position” stated Lesh. “It was really only then the other software suppliers and accounting industry associations decided to support our proposals. I was really disappointed in the way much of the industry handled this. Organisation members were not asked their views and accounting organisation bureaucrats were taking positions without any reference to members whose membership fees pay their salaries”.

“I would like thank the ATO for listening to our concerns” added Lesh.

“It has been a trying time for SMSF administrators with so much change over the past 18 months and little certainty as to what the future held. It is great we now have certainty around Events Based Reporting and our clients can get on with their work knowing what is coming and that BGL will always support them” concluded Lesh.

BGL adds life insurance filters to Simple Fund 360 Big Data

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BGL Corporate Solutions, Australia’s leading developer of SMSF administration and ASIC corporate compliance software solutions, has added new filters to Simple Fund 360 Big Data views to help clients review the life insurance of SMSF fund members and obtain a quote for life insurance from Australian Group Insurances Pty Ltd (AGI) insurance.

All SMSF Trustees are required each year to consider whether fund members require life insurance. This new feature makes it easy for Simple Fund 360 clients to fulfil this obligation.

“This highlights another way how Big Data is helping our clients says BGL’s Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “In a few mouse clicks, Simple Fund 360 clients can review a fund members’ life insurance, prepare an insurance quote, pre-fill an insurance proposal and purchase the policy. This is what integration and automation is all about”.

John Felsch from AGI, providers of the insurance added ”This is a great partnership for AGI. BGL Simple Fund 360 clients now have simple automated access to AGI’s SMSF Master Insurance Plan, a product specifically designed for SMSF members”.

BGL, through Simple Fund 360, has created a streamlined solution to provide SMSFs online access to life insurance at competitive wholesale rates – providing significant savings for SMSF members. This exciting new solution also makes it easy for BGL clients to highlight SMSFs without insurance.

This insurance is underwritten by AIA Australia, one of the largest insurers in the country who provide life insurance to over 3.2 million Australians.

This is just one of a host of new features added to Simple Fund 360 over the past few months.

Simple Fund 360 is now the preferred SMSF admin software for over 3,300 SMSF administrators and accountants representing over 180,000 SMSFs.

Earlier this week, a BGL client loaded the 150,000th company on CAS 360, BGL’s market leading ASIC corporate compliance solution. “We have reached this milestone in less than 9 months” said Lesh. “Just a fantastic team effort”

Those that are second so often claim to be first….

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I just love it when people claim “firsts”. If BGL did a media release every time we did a “first”, we would be doing media releases every day.

Someone claimed today to be the “first” to release Simpler BAS for SMSFs. However, this was NOT a first.

BGL released Simpler BAS in our market leading SMSF admin software, Simple Fund 360, on 12 October 2017. We did not however think this warranted a media release. We have much more important things to inform the market – like the partnership with BT we announced today that will provide our clients massive benefits.

So is this claiming a “first” just more false and misleading advertising ? Probably. Seems to be a way of life for some people.

But in any case, I guess that makes Simple Fund 360 first, AGAIN !! First with Simpler BAS, first with Registry Integration, first with Big Data, first with – well the list goes on and on.

BT moves accountants onto cloud to improve SMSF services

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BT Financial group has announced a partnership with software provider BGL Corporate Solutions, in a move that it hopes will help accountants make the most of BT Panorama’s self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) solution.

The partnership will allow accountants to better collaborate with advisers and investors on the establishment and management of SMSFs. Accountants will be able to access BGL’s Simple Fund 360 from BT Panorama, giving them insight into investment data, data entry and the processing of transactions in Simple Fund 360.

BT Financial Group’s head of distribution, Jo Moxey, said that she hoped the new partnership would lead to better collaboration in the management of SMSFs.


BT Panorama joins forces with BGL

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BT Financial Group has partnered with SMSF software provider BGL to set up two-way data feeds between the two software platforms.

SMSF accountants and advisers will now have access to data feeds between BT Panorama and BGL’s Simple Fund 360, which provide a daily snapshot of investment data, data entry and processing of transactions in Simple Fund 360.

BT Financial Group head of advisor distribution Jo Moxey said the partnership will make BT Panorama more accessible to accountants.

“We know that many accountants collaborate with advisers in managing their clients’ SMSFs and they are looking for smarter ways to work together to best serve trustees,” said Ms Moxey.

BGL managing director Ron Lesh said accountants are increasingly moving to the cloud with an estimated 250,000 of the 590,000 SMSFs in Australia now administered via the cloud.

“BGL estimates 30 per cent of its SMSF administration clients have moved to the cloud over the past three years,” said Mr Lesh.


Should there be truth in advertising in the SMSF software industry?

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One of the things I think is very important for software sales people today is that they tell the truth. If they don’t know the answer to a question, they need to find out. If asked about a competitor or a competitors product, they should sell the benefits of their software and suggest to the customer to discuss the competitors product with the competitor. Usually this works OK – but certainly it is what I expect of my sales team.

Others however, do not work the same as BGL. Maybe that is why BGL has survived for over 30 years while others are simply passing by until they are gobbled up or taken over. I suppose time will tell.

But the one thing I hate is businesses that are simply dishonest. Not only are they dishonest, but they are deliberately dishonest.

If I was buying SMSF software today, I would check very carefully the claims made on websites. I would check very carefully what the supplier says their software will do, is actually the truth. I would not be conned by too good to be true offers which contain material that a court may find is false and misleading.

BGL has prided itself over the years on having a strong culture of honesty. It is core to what we do. Unfortunately, not all our competitors think the same way. Some will do ANYTHING to make the sale as “getting the numbers” is the only thing important to them. Luckily at BGL we don’t have a share price to worry about. We don’t have to “get the numbers” each quarter to survive.

It has often been said “buyer beware”. I don’t however think the buyer should need to check the honesty of a software suppliers website…