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Case Study

Simple Invest 360 is a ‘game-changer’

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Simple Invest 360 is a ‘game-changer’ in terms of time-saving, cost efficiencies and overall administrative cohesion across both of our core divisions

About Lantana Private Wealth

Lantana Private Wealth is a high functioning, multi-disciplined firm located in Malvern, Melbourne. With both a public practice taxation division operating in cohesion with a fully self-licenced financial planning and wealth management service offering, clients are provided with a genuinely bespoke ‘one stop shop’. With the firm priding itself on maintaining a highly personalised client experience and results-driven advice process, the firm has grown into an award-winning and highly respected professional services group.

The Challenge

Efficiently implementing a software package that could be used for both ATO reporting plus client-facing performance and valuation reports

As the Director of both our taxation and wealth management division, Brett was looking for a software package that could be used for both ATO tax reporting and client-facing performance and valuation reports. Some of the initial challenges included the time in having to set up equities and cash account data feeds, particularly given as he wanted to proceed with a bulk set-up of non-SMSF entity types.

“These concerns were quickly overcome, with BGL always providing me with support from a senior product manager with a rapid response every time, invariably in less than a few hours!”

Brett was also concerned about client take-up considering how time poor many are. He found, however, that with the intuitive self-guided initial setup (including secure MFA), “…the delivery of Simple Invest 360 has been both seamless and critically enjoyed by clients.”

Why Simple Invest 360

A ‘game-changer’ in terms of time-saving, cost efficiencies and overall administrative cohesion across both of our core divisions

“We had previously been using BGL’s software offering for SMSF preparation (Simple Fund 360) and were already well aware of BGL’s abilities in this space. Being able to extend the taxation works for non-SMSF entity types, while simultaneously eliminating the then duplicated client reporting software, was a ‘game-changer’ in terms of time-saving, cost efficiencies and overall administrative cohesion across both of our core divisions.”

The Solution

The speed with which a new entity can be set up plus complete data feed configuration were integral

When looking for a technology stack solution, Brett and the team at Lantana Private Wealth focused on cost; speed of implementation; ease of implementation; reliability; support and overall, both internal and client user experience.

The speed with which a new entity can be set up plus complete data feed configuration were integral to the decision to use Simple Invest 360. “The last thing our office wants to be doing, nor our clients’ spending their time on, is having to fiddle around with clunky back-end processes and then having to test the veracity of these.”

The Results

Ever-desired transparency and assurance across the entire spectrum; more time to provide higher value work for clients

“Clients now have the ability to view their investment entities in fully APESB quality, ‘24/7’ via the web and/or via BGL’s secure mobile application (Engage by BGL). This has further increased clients’ transparency over their investments, particularly by our many HNW clients, understandably demanding higher than ever visibility over their FUM.

The fact that the taxation team, wealth management team and client are working off or viewing the same data file has saved a vast amount of time and cost in managing a secondary system, otherwise required for client reporting purposes. This is especially relevant for our firm as our wealth management division is and always has been off-platform, designed to reduce as many client-costs as possible.”

The fact that both our accounting and wealth management divisions are viewing the same data file, in tandem with clients, promotes ever-desired transparency and assurance across the entire spectrum.

With the efficiencies gained from using Simple Invest 360, Brett and the team now have more time to spend providing higher value work for their clients, without having to manage multiple systems. This includes being able to spend more time speaking with clients face-to-face or virtually, if preferred.

About Brett

After gaining experience at Deloitte and with a series of boutique advisory practices, Brett founded Lantana Private Wealth with a sole focus on individual, family groups and SME client types. Brett holds undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications from Monash University, where he was also a resident lecturer and Scholarly Teaching Fellow for four years. Brett is a registered Financial Adviser, Tax (Financial) Adviser, SMSF & direct securities specialist; and Responsible Manager of the Group’s AFSL. In Brett’s spare time, he enjoys photography, learning different languages and travelling back to Gippsland where he grew up.

It is impossible not to save time using Simple Invest 360

It is impossible not to save time using Simple Invest 360

By Case Study, Simple Invest 360No Comments

We are very excited to be able to present a double entry accounting system with full investment register capabilities to our clients. It will save processing time and allow us to take on more clients. The investment reports are first class and continually improving.

About Clarke & Brownrigg

Clarke & Brownrigg is a full service Chartered Accounting firm specialising in family businesses, professionals and wealth administration for clients, with two partners who have been in partnership for over 20 years. The original practice (prior to the retirement of an initial founding partner) had been in business for a further 20 years. They have family groups who have been with the firm for up to 40 years. During that time Clarke & Brownrigg have provided professional, high quality work to a vast client base. The firm has a proud history of staff stability and can boast staff members employed for up to 25 years.

The Challenge

Getting useful share history information out of old software to enable setup in Simple Invest 360

Prior to Simple Invest 360, the team at Clarke & Brownrigg used a very basic Investment Register System that had received limited updates over 20 years. As a member of the Simple Invest 360 beta testing program, the Clarke & Brownrigg team found it challenging getting useful information out of their old system to export into Simple Invest 360, but Simple Invest’s new features are making it much easier.

Why Simple Invest 360

It is impossible not to save time using Simple Invest 360

“The BGL SmartDocs software enables AI conversion of some reports directly into the software, plus there is a very efficient data entry screen which also uses AI to read the data and make intelligent decisions on investment account codes to add unit quantities and include the appropriate acquisition dates.

The input of source information has many different options you can use. It is impossible not to save time. It is possible to scan bank statements which the BGL SmartDocs AI technology can read, import CSV files and the best practice going forward will be a direct bank feed into the software. The Corporate Actions function is so simple and almost does everything for you. Compared to our previous manual system for accounting for demergers and company reconstructions, it is fantastic!

Machine Learning is making the most of the many transactions it “sees” and will continue to improve. The tax reporting is now developed, and the year-end processing functions are state of the art. With trusts, Simple Invest allows for automation of distributions, including streaming of classes of income and preparation of tax reconciliations out of the accounting system, with user editable adjustments for tax purposes. The input of managed fund data is so much easier than it has ever been prior to BGL. They are even producing beneficiary distribution statements for trust clients when you need to provide information to external beneficiaries. All of the above information would previously have been done manually using Excel spreadsheets or Word documents, which are prone to error and need much more user interaction.”

The Solution

Ease of use and seamless integration - A complete accounting solution

“When considering a technology stack, we look for ease of use and seamless integration. BGL is a very innovative software company, and we highly value their training and updates to assess what should be in our technology stack. The BGL ecosystem of bank feeds, wraps, client financial statement accounting software, minutes and workpapers is a complete accounting solution.”

The Results

Save processing time to take on more clients

“Our clients are very keen to utilise the investment reporting, including time weighting of investments and the unrealised gains by parcel reporting to make specific investment decisions, which was not available in our previous Investment Register Software without manual intervention. Having daily market prices is very valuable. We will be encouraging use of the mobile app (Engage by BGL) and trustee/client access to help them engage more with us. Simple Invest 360 will be an important part of enabling our clients to track their wealth outside of the SMSF space.

We are very excited to be able to present a double entry accounting system with full investment register capabilities to our clients. It will save processing time and allow us to take on more clients. The investment reports are first class and continually improving. It is also important to us that the presentation of reports can be consistent across all entity types. For the small outlay per client it is very easily recoverable in time saved.”

About Linda

Linda is a Senior Accountant at Clarke & Brownrigg and has been with the firm since 1999. She has a special interest in Self-Managed Superannuation Funds, but also has extensive experience with investment and business entities. Linda prides herself on personal service, including prompt responses to client communication and building long term client/accountant relationships. She is excited to see where the future of technology can take the accounting profession.

Simple Invest 360 Success Study with Clarke & Brownrigg

The benefits of transitioning to Simple Fund 360 are invaluable! – Bedford story

By Case Study, Homepage, Industry, Simple Fund 360No Comments

The intuitive and easy to use interface has led to processing efficiency. Especially for complex funds with lots of transactions, the processing time has reduced by more than half, which is incredible.

About Bedford

Bedford CA is a highly skilled and proactive firm of professional accountants and business advisors with over 70 years of history behind them.

The team at Bedford CA pride themselves on their proactive, personalised service to their clients. They partner with their clients to set goals and develop strategies to achieve them, from start up to retirement, as well as managing their client’s compliance requirements effectively every year.

About Diana Porta

Diana Porta, client manager at Bedford, is an experienced, knowledgeable, pro-active and engaging accountant with proven skills in Tax Preparation, SelfManaged Superannuation Funds, Auditing and Business Process Improvement.

Diana holds a Bachelor of Business and Commerce from University of Western Sydney, where she was awarded the 2010 Dean’s Medal. She is also a Chartered Accountant through the Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, and is currently working towards her Masters in Economics and Finance through Sydney University.

The Challenge

Inefficient and difficult to use software

Prior to making the transition to Simple Fund 360, Bedford CA legacy systems were hard to manage – everything from digital usability to simple fund processing was difficult.

“Our previous super fund software was not very intuitive and after investing a considerable amount of time and money, there were still inefficiencies in processing super funds across the firm.”

The team at Bedford CA knew they needed a much simpler solution– and they found that in Simple Fund 360.

Why Simple Fund 360

Intuitive, innovative software that adds value to our firm and clients

“We really wanted to move to a leading software provider that demonstrates a commitment to continuous improvements to their product. Other key considerations included: If the software features were intuitive and easy to use? If the reports were easy to understand? And most importantly, if the new software would add value to our firm and our clients?”

The Solution

An intelligent, automated solution - Simple Fund 360

“We were a bit worried about the transition to Simple Fund 360, but the process was very easy. The BGL team imported all the data from our previous software and generated all the documents to set up bank and broker feeds”.

“Now, with the bank and broker feeds up and running, we are able to obtain a lot of information from directly within the software, which has considerably reduced the volume of queries to clients”.

“Processing transactions and year-end adjustments is also really easy and BGL’s Online Help is a great resource for information on processing corporate actions and matching transactions”.

Using Simple Fund 360’s Matching Rules Screen, Bedford’s CA team can now easily view, create and manage funds’ transaction matching rules – which determines the logic Simple Fund 360 uses to automatically code transactions that feed into funds through bank feeds, CSV or other file uploads.

“My favourite time saving features in Simple Fund 360 are the “Drag and Drop” file import feature and the “Transaction Matching – Create New Rule’’ feature. I love being able to “Drag and Drop” csv files into the file import feature and by “Creating Rules” in the Matching Rules Screen, most of the work is done for the current and future years”.

“Finally, the BGL Support Team has been quick and responsive to any issues we have faced so far, and the Simple Fund 360 Product Development Team is continually adding new helpful features”. 

The Results

Our processing time has reduced by more than half and now we can focus on what really matters - our clients!

“The benefits of transitioning to Simple Fund 360 are invaluable.”

“As we continue to automate as much as we can, not only are we saving time on processing, but we’re also streamlining other internal procedures. This helps us to keep a competitive price structure for our clients.”

“Now we can focus on what really matters – our relationships with our clients and assisting them with their compliance.”

BGL Case Study: Lowe Lippmann Chartered Accountants

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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 >>>

“Just DO IT! CAS 360 practically does everything for you”

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We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Scott Murray, Partner at Accounting Firm Tester Porter Services, to talk about the challenges he has faced and overcome in his endeavours to help clients.

Since joining Tester Porter in 1996, Scott has implemented many new tech systems to keep the firm up to date and in some cases ahead of other firms. After migrating his team to Xero Practice Manager, Scott looked to BGL’s CAS 360 to simplify the annual review process and automate some of the steps with their corporate secretarial services.

“We had recently migrated to Xero Practice Manager and were hoping to integrate the client database and remove the need to maintain 2 client databases, which did happen with the integration with CAS 360 & XPM”.

It wasn’t long before Scott and his team started to see the benefits of CAS 360.

How have you specifically benefited from CAS 360?

“The process of preparing documents and tracking documents with ASIC (and the clients ASIC fees) is easy in CAS 360. It takes less time to do more work”.

What are the results you have experienced since you started using CAS 360?

“We are spending less time processing ASIC documents since implementing CAS360. Plus, with the XPM integration, all the company information (client database) to complete documents is automatically merged so you are not typing the same information over and over. Client details are integrated from XPM so very rarely is there doubling up of the same client”.

What specific feature (s) do you enjoy most about CAS 360?

“Multi-company documents – for producing the required documents for multiple changes within a company and the Automated Reminders for Annual Review fees, debtor reminder (email or SMS)”.

How is the integration between CAS 360 and XPM helping you?

“We’re more efficient – definitely saving time so we can focus on other activities”

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

“CAS 360 is easy and efficient. Details of companies and company contacts all set up within CAS 360 make it easy to produce documents, lodge documents with ASIC, follow up payment of Annual Review fees and so on”.

If your best friend was on the fence about trying CAS 360, what would you tell them?

“Just DO IT! CAS 360 practically does everything for you”.

About Tester Porter Services

Tester Porter Services has been providing accounting, tax and compliance services for over 100 years from its base in Young, New South Wales. Its clients include primary producers, small businesses, investors, professional sports people and superannuation funds. Visit their website to learn more – www.testerporter.com.au

BGL Case Study by Amazon Web Services (AWS)

By Case Study, Homepage, In the Media, Simple Fund 360, TechnologyNo Comments

BGL worked on the application of AI for its market-leading, cloud-based platform, Simple Fund 360, for two years. The goal for BGL was to integrate an AI personal assistant with Simple Fund 360 to support the labor-intensive pre-audit process. This, in turn, would help accountants improve productivity—reducing costs further—and lower transaction categorization errors.

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