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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.”

BGL is dismayed by Treasury’s proposed 45 day SMSF accounts rule!

By BGL Update, Homepage, IndustryNo Comments

BGL is dismayed at Treasury’s proposed 45 day SMSF accounts rule.

“It’s just dumb” said BGL’s Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “Why do SMSFs need to prepare their financial statements 45 days before their lodgement date? It just makes no sense”

In a draft amendment to the The Treasury Laws Amendment (Miscellaneous and Technical Amendments) Regulations 2020 it is proposed to insert a new regulation 8.02AA into the Superannuation Industry (Supervision) Regulations 1994 to require accounts and statements for SMSFs to be prepared at least 45 days before the annual return is required to be lodged.

“I am trying to understand why this is necessary or where this has come from” asked Lesh. “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?”

“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” noted Lesh.

“The SMSF industry has clearly said this change is unnecessary and that it would simply be an additional burden on SMSF trustees, administrators and auditors” says Lesh. “I thought post COVID-19 we were trying to cut unnecessary red tape rather than add more regulations to an already incredibly over-regulated industry.”

“I hope Treasury is listening” stated Lesh. “I do not know who came up with this dumb idea, but one would suspect it was someone who has no experience in the real world. A clear statement from Treasury or the Government 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.”

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!

BGL named Australia’s 9th most innovative technology company in AFR awards

By BGL Update, Homepage, TechnologyNo Comments

On Thursday afternoon, BGL was named Australia’s 9th most innovative technology company in the AFR BOSS Most Innovative Companies awards.

This is a sensational achievement by the BGL Team, and I could not be prouder of each and every one of you.

BGL’s submission to the AFR awards was BGL Smartdocs. This was developed by the BGL Big Data Team led by James Luo.

So, what is BGL Smartdocs? Well, I described it in our submission to the AFR in the following paragraph:

BGL has built a solution to convert PDFs or images files into transaction data files. Then using our award winning (2019 AFR Most Innovative Technology Company) Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, we automatically process this data in our SMSF administration software. The documents can be clean or contain notations. We use AWS Textract as our OCR provider and then apply Natural Language Processing, Probability and Statistics on lots of linguistic data to help us extract and categorise the data. We then automatically link the data and the document through a system of tags. Our deep learning model runs in the “Edge”, so clients can scan and optimise documents via their mobile phone. BGL SmartDocs will even verify the client has the right data in the right place if they upload a different source document. And BGL SmartDocs also automatically indexes the documents and images making the documents full text searchable.

The BGL Big Data Team have done some amazing work over the past few years. Apart from BGL Smartdocs, they have also developed BGL Smartpost III, our AI based transaction posting solution as well as the big data views in Simple Fund 360 and now Simple Invest 360.

I am especially proud because this is the second year in a row BGL has made the top 10 list. Last year we were recognised as Australia’s 5th most innovative technology company with BGL Smartpost III.

It is unusual and incredible that a 30+ year business can continue to be innovative. This is a reflection of the BGL Culture.

Innovation should be part of the DNA of every business. It is at BGL. But you do not achieve awards like this without a high level of team engagement. At BGL, this is close to 90%. When I hear statistics that only 17% of people are engaged at work, I can understand why the world is in the mess it is today. And why so many of companies have forgotten why they are in business. Hey, let me remind you – it is to serve your customers – not cover the arses of your directors!

When I look at the new board composition laws in California, I wonder what the world has come to. When did we stop selecting the best people for the job rather than the best politically correct candidate? When did quotas ever work? The Victorian government optimizes this stupidity and is one of the reasons my state is in the COVID-19 mess it is in today. Our state public service is employed on the basis of diversity and political views rather than competence.

I am glad to say we have a widely diverse teams of sensational people at BGL. We did not go out to employ a diverse team – we simply employed the best people who came through our doors no matter who they were or where they were from. As Martin Luther King Jnr said I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. Boy have many of us forgotten this.

Congratulations again to the BGL Team. You are incredible!

 

Simple Fund 360 Software Update Release October 2020

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

The Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360 teams have delivered their first release for October 2020 with some exciting new features and client wish list items ticked off! Check out the full release notes on the BGL Community >>>

Learn what’s new direct from our product team by attending our New Features Webinar on 13 October at 11:30 AEDT. Register Now >>>

Digital End to End

The team continues its focus on removing paper and improving the digital experience for clients. This October, we have added a new Upload Authority Form feature to make the bank feed authority setup process faster and more secure for clients. We have also made it simpler for clients to upload any CSV files they may have received from clients and keep track of these in our Feed Management screen.

We have simplified the 2020 tax reporting season by providing you with digital distribution tax statement data for over 530 commonly held investments. This update supports:

  • All Vanguard ETFs and popular Vanguard managed investments
  • All BetaShare ETFs
  • All ETFSecurity ETFs

Continuing the digital theme, we have added a Compilation Report and Engagement Letter to the growing list of documents that can now be digitally signed using both Adobe Sign and DocuSign.

For Financial Planning focused firms, we are excited to announce a new Time Weighted Performance page that has been modified from our mobile interface to take advantage of the larger screen real estate. This MOBILE first approach allows both you and your clients to VIEW the same performance data, without the need to switch to a separate Client View application. This is available for both our Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360 Beta Clients.

Client Wish lists

We have managed to tick off several clients wish lists. Users can now view a contact’s mobile and email address directly from the Fund Relationships screen. Plus, the CGT Register Detailed Report when exported to excel now includes the description of CGT transaction.

Order Documents

The Smarter SMSF Order Document page has a fresh new look! In addition, 3 new documents can now be completed, including;

  • Add or Remove a Fund Member
  • Lost Trust Deed
  • Lost Pension Deed (Affirmation and Confirmation)

Simple Invest 360 (Closed Beta)

We have added several new features to Simple Invest 360:

  • Added support for individual investors. Simple Invest 360 now supports all investor types – Individuals, Trusts and Companies.
  • A new Appropriation Statement report now available for Trusts and Companies.
  • A new Tax Reconciliation report now available for Trusts.

Plus, digital signing solutions Adobe Sign and DocuSign are now available for the following documents in Simple Invest 360:

  • Compilation Report Company
  • Compilation Report Trust
  • Trustee Minute – Family Trust
  • Trustee Minute – Unit Trust
  • Trustee Resolution – Family Trust
  • Trustee Resolution – Unit trust
  • Trustee Declaration
  • Directors Declaration

If you are interested in shaping the Early Release of Simple Invest 360, click here to register your interest for closed beta >>>

Don’t forget to register for BGL REGTECH 2020 to see get a sneak peek at Stage 2 of our AI-Powered BGL Smart Docs feature and a look at Simple Invest 360 – the next evolution in automating your Investments for Trusts, Companies and Individuals.

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 cleans up 2020 SMSF awards

By BGL Update, Homepage, Simple Fund 360One Comment

BGL was today announced the winner of the 2020 CoreData SMSF Software award.

This is a clean sweep. First BGL achieved highest overall satisfaction among accountants using SMSF software providers in the 2020 Investment Trends SMSF Accountant Report.

Second BGL was recognised by Momentum Media as the 2020 SMSF Software Provider of the year –  for the third year in a row!

And then today, BGL is announced as winner of the 2020 CoreData SMSF Software award.

This confirms it. BGL and Simple Fund 360 are the #1 SMSF software solution in Australia. No buts. The results are in and they are very clear.

BGL won these awards because of the work of our amazing team. The software is sensational – a great job by the Simple Fund 360 Team led by Matt Crofts and supported by our team managers James Luo, Jeevan Tokhi, Anthony Fernandez, Joanne Ng and Brad Wilkinson and of course all our business analysts, developers and testers. You guys have done and amazing job and you should be very proud of yourselves!

But great software is only part of the story. Its is the work of the account managers and sales team, the admin team, the API / integrations team, the client success team, the data services team, the devops team, the IT team, the marketing team, the people and culture team and the support team that helps make BGL #1.

We also can’t forget of course that Simple Fund 360 is only 1 part of the BGL story. Without CAS 360 kicking goals and the upcoming release of Simple Invest 360 and the work of these teams, BGL would not be where it is today.

It is the fully integrated product suite and our extensive ecosystem that makes BGL THE supplier of choice for SMSF admin, corporate and trust compliance.

This post is huge shout out to the team. Great teams with awards. Even greater teams win multiple award. But only the best teams clean up winning ALL the awards in one year. So guys – give yourselves a huge round of applause – you deserve it.

My challenge to the teams: back to back and then let’s head for the 3peat. Let’s do it again in 2021!