BGL Update

BGL welcomes Matt Green to the BGL Leadership Team

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BGL is delighted to welcome Matt Green to the BGL Leadership Team. Matt is currently a director of MXL Consulting and former Team Lead at myprosperity.

Having worked with multinational corporates, SMEs and start-ups with angel or venture capital backing, Matt brings to the BGL Team many experiences and learnings from both the product and sales perspectives. Matt will join the BGL Team as the Head of Sales and Account Management with a focus on building strong relationships with existing clients and prospects to drive sustainable growth in BGL cloud products.

“I’m thrilled to be joining BGL!” said Matt Green. “BGL has a wonderful team. They’ve worked hard to build a solid business with innovative products and enjoy very loyal customers. I look forward to helping the BGL Team build upon their successes to date”.

“Matt is a great addition to the BGL Leadership Team” says Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Matt has a wealth of experience in the accounting and financial services industry and with SaaS businesses. We are excited Matt has decided to join us”.

BGL has a team of over 150 people across Australia, China, Hong Kong, Philippines and Singapore.

Words Matter

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Thursday thought with Tramma – Words Matter…

As a leader, your words matter. As a person of any influence, in whatever capacity, your words matter.

To say the least, times have been very interesting. While much of the talk has been about the virus, I want to share a few thoughts on the power of words and leadership.

At the beginning of the State of Pandemic declared in Victoria, the managing director and founder of BGL, Ron Lesh, told the team: “Your jobs are safe, look after yourselves and families, know that we will get through this and we will do all we can to support you”. In that very moment, Ron took away the impact and power of fear in a few brief words and moments.

I listened to a webinar with Jeff Immelt, ex CEO of GE, last week. He said one of the most important roles of a leader is to “absorb fear”. I add to this that true leaders personally carry the burden of fear, shielding their people from its power and potential effect. They use words that instill confidence, hope, courage and belief. Watching and listening to some of the leaders, I cannot help but express my frustration at the choice of words and language used. Phrases like “the worst is ahead”, “prepare for carnage”, “be afraid”, “thousands will die” and “our hospitals will be full” do absolutely nothing to instill a sense of hope or offer any assurance or confidence to the people. In this time, unfortunate as it may be, some leadership styles have defaulted to Leadership by Fear.

Leadership by fear is designed to make you scared. This allows the leader to control, manipulate and force desired outcomes often driven by hidden agendas. Some see this as great leadership when in fact, the exact opposite is true.

By magnifying fear and fuelling its power, we give permission for fear to take hold and define us. This fear and the continual drumming into us “what could be” is contributing to an escalation of mental health issues that will make the virus a literally a bump in the road. The virus curve is flat. The curve of concern, anxiety, insecurity, uncertainty, hopelessness and desperation is well and truly on the rise.

In a recent survey, peoples greatest concern was found to be the global economy, the local economy, a loved one contracting the virus and the person themselves getting the virus. The virus may have been No 1 at the beginning of the pandemic, but this has now changed. However, the language from some of our leaders has not.  The level of fear, confusion and despair has escalated significantly. People’s ability to provide for themselves and their families is of significant concern. People need to get back to work, be engaged and have their self-esteem and confidence restored. This needs to happen sooner rather than later. This can only happen with strong positive leadership.

While I do not object to measures taken, we have done and continue to do our part, and what we want now is a plan. What we want is some encouragement, words of affirmation, positivity as well as the many positive stories and developments that give us real reason for hope and a great future. Instead, positivity rarely gets to the surface and negativity is amplified as that is what gets the people’s attention.

We need a plan to address the concerns of the people and that clearly articulates a way forward. We need to see leadership that takes people by the hand, taking each of us through to the other side of this. Countries like Austria and New Zealand have done this superbly. It’s not that hard. Instead, in this country, it has become a game of state government against state government and very evidently, state government against federal government. In this very moment we have a once in a lifetime opportunity to unite a nation (we need this more than ever before) instead we have defaulted to leadership by comparison.

Drop the comparisons, egos and agendas. Leadership is about people. That is a leader’s primary responsibility. The language and words used can either fuel hope and aspiration or hopelessness and defeat.

Leaders of this nation, please come together and make this nation great again!

Accountants: The unsung heroes of COVID-19

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BGL says we need to recognise the extraordinary contribution made by accountants, bookkeepers and financial planners during COVID-19.

“Our clients are doing it really tough” says Ron Lesh, BGL Managing Director. “They are working 16+ hour days to help their clients through the incredible complexity of the government’s COVID-19 support packages while dealing with the same financial difficulties in their own business”.

There has been much well-earned praise for our hospital workers, emergency workers, the staff at Coles and Woolworths, the many thousands of food retailers, restaurant owners and all the others battling to keep the Australian economy alive during this crisis. But nothing has been said about the incredible contribution made by those helping Australia’s 2,000,000 + small business survive the economic carnage.

“One thing New Zealand got right through their shutdown is a voucher scheme for accounting services” Lesh observed. “I see the IPA and the CPA’s have been calling for a similar scheme for Australian small businesses. It really is time the government stepped up”.

“I am also incredibly disappointed our politicians and public servants do not seem to want to share the pain and sacrifice made by so many others” added Lesh.” We really are not ALL in this together. If you are a politician or senior public servant, you seem to be in a protected class!”

“I am really concerned about the economy and the mental health of my people, our clients and their clients” said Lesh. “The rhetoric coming from the state premiers and so much of the media really does not help give Australian’s any sense of a positive future – and there is a hell of a lot to be positive about!”

“Employees want to know their jobs are secure and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel” Lesh said. “From Day 1, I went out to our people and told them their jobs are safe – focus on your health and your family. The rest will take care of itself. This period of economic vandalism will end. And you will be able to be with your mum on Mother’s Day – who would have known the Grim Reaper from Spring Street would be so cruel as to ban that!”

“I am really proud of the BGL Team” noted Lesh. “My guys have continued to release market leading software throughout this period. And our clients have continued to benefit from our first-class product support while our account managers have helped those we can.”

ATO extends 2019 SMSF lodgement date to 30 Jun 2020

By BGL Update, Homepage, In the Media, IndustryNo Comments

I hope this was as a result of lobbying by the accounting bodies.

When I last spoke to the ATO, I was told the accounting bodies supported the ATO position of asking each tax agent to apply for extensions. What changed their minds ?

I called out the previous ATO position as stupid.

It is nice to see the ATO eventually agreed!

BGL announces unique integration with cryptocurrency exchange platform Cointree

By BGL Update, Homepage, Simple Fund 360No Comments

BGL is proud to announce a unique integration with Cointree, a leading cryptocurrency exchange platform.

“It’s great to have Cointree as part of the BGL Ecosystem”, says Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director. “Cointree provides outstanding cryptocurrency exchange experience and is a go-to for many Australians buying, selling or trading cryptocurrency especially first-time traders. This is a great opportunity for Simple Fund 360 clients to add a new class of assets to their portfolios.”

“We are excited to be the first exchange to join the BGL Ecosystem”, says Jess Renden, Cointree’s Head of Operations. “With cryptocurrency continuing to grow in popularity globally as an alternative asset class, our partnership with BGL continues Cointree’s goal of making crypto easy, fast and safe for everyone. The integration joins our suite of tax tools and makes it easy for Australians to meet their SMSF reporting obligations.”

The new integration with Cointree will keep track of all relevant CGT and crypto trading events for an SMSF. Clients can easily download a transaction file from Cointree’s platform and import into Simple Fund 360 by using the BGL File Import in the Wraps and Platforms screen.

“At BGL, we are a strong advocate of developing ecosystem partnerships that establish a better way for our clients to work with their clients. Partnering with Cointree is an example of two leading technology providers collaborating to create new opportunities and for the benefit of both our clients”, adds Lesh.

BGL currently has over 350 partners as part of our Ecosystem.

About Cointree

Cointree is a digital currency exchange here to make cryptocurrency easy for everyone. Founded in Melbourne in 2013, we are one of Australia’s leading exchanges. We are an Australian Blockchain Industry Awards 2019 finalist for best digital currency exchange and members of Blockchain Australia. Cointree is on a mission to educate and excite Australians about digital currencies, providing all the vital tools to buy, sell, trade, pay bills, and grow their investment portfolios.

Cointree is a registered digital currency exchange with AUSTRAC (the Australian Government regulatory and monitoring body for AML/CTF) and a partner of the not-for-profit Blockchain Centre.

Working remotely? How to nail it!

By BGL Update, Homepage, Industry, WellnessNo Comments

In a matter of weeks, we adapted our software to meet our clients’ changing needs and improve their experience; implemented innovative ways to keep our teams connected and productive; and sought out ways to help the community. Now, we want to share what we’ve learned so far in hopes that it might help you during this transition. Here are some tips from the BGL team to help you nail WFH:

Plan the day and week ahead – set goals and keep track of them

Everyone has their own way of planning their time, however, one great tip is to get into the habit of writing your to-do list for the day and week ahead. Also, consider your most difficult tasks and try to get them out of the way as early as possible to avoid procrastination. Using Project Management platforms such as Jira, Asana, can be quite helpful.

Communicate with other team members – Implement regular meetings

Since you’re no longer close to your co-workers or manager, it’s good to schedule 1:1 check-in meetings with them on a weekly basis to chat about your goals, upcoming projects and daily tasks. Use this time to clarify any concerns or questions you might have, plus inform about achievements and future tasks. Using communication, video conferencing platforms such as Slack, Skype, Zoom or GoTo can be quite helpful.

Get dressed properly and set up a workstation

Your morning prep routine – People often joke that they would love to work in their pyjamas but, in reality, getting dressed as if you are heading to the office can help put you in ‘work mode’. It also ensures you look professional in all video meetings. The same mindset applies for a proper workstation set up, it can help you stay focused on activities while WFH, so make sure you have one!

Stay connected, lean on community

To feel supported and stay connected to the “real world”, become part of a remote community. We’ve found that being surrounded by others who are successfully working remotely inspires us to remain productive while embracing the flexibility. Plus, human interaction can make all the difference in your productivity as well as your mental and emotional well-being. Participate in Facebook Groups, Slack Channels, attend online events and other community initiatives 🙂

Make the most of your cloud-apps

Automate processes as much as you can. Take advantage of the perks of using cloud-based apps for greater collaboration when working remotely: Cloud computing has made it incredibly easy for workers in a company to collaborate and being able to keep providing the same service level to clients! At BGL, we use a number of cloud applications and that is allowing us to keep providing next level service to clients and collaboration between teams. Make sure you and your team have the right resources in place and are making the most out of it.

Plus, keep positive, enjoy a nice coffee, play with your pets, and celebrate your family!

Working from home can be a big transition. You might feel any combination of lonely, isolated, stressed, frustrated, anxious, unmotivated, or — on the other hand — relieved, relaxed, energised, or productive. It’s all OK and normal. Take it easy on yourself and make sure you remain positive!

If you want to find out more about BGL’s updates, click here.