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BGL welcomes SMSF Association Cost of Operating an SMSF Report

By BGL Update, Homepage, IndustryNo Comments

BGL welcomes the release of the Rice Warner SMSF cost of operating an SMSF report prepared for the SMSF Association.

“It’s great to see a proper analysis of SMSF cost and return data” said BGL’s Managing Director, Ron Lesh. “And knowing the vast majority of the data came from BGL’s Simple Fund 360 clients makes me even more proud.”

“The report shows the cost of running an SMSF highlighting that larger balance SMSFs cost less to operate than any other type of superannuation fund or account” noted Lesh. “And for smaller balances, SMSFs are comparable with APRA regulated funds”

The report data was sourced from BGL’s Simple Fund 360 and Super Concepts SuperMate software. “It is great to see 2 industry software companies working with Rice Warner to provide the data required to prepare the report at no cost to the SMSFA” added Lesh. “It is unfortunate that not all industry software companies chose to participate”.

“The other data I also found fascinating was the table on Page 21 of the Report showing investment returns for the last 14 years “says Lesh. “From 2005 to 2018, for 9 of the 14 years returns shown in the table, SMSFs performed better than APRA regulated funds”

“Clearly this shows ASIC’s SMSFs are not for everyone flyer was absolute rubbish” stated Lesh. “I said this flyer was misleading and did not fairly represent the cost of running an SMSF. The Rice Warner report validates my statements and furthermore shows that SMSFs with a balance of less than $500,000 are clearly cost competitive with APRA funds dispelling statements made in the December 2018 Productivity Commission report”

Was our reaction to COVID-19 over the top?

By Homepage, In the Media, UncategorisedNo Comments

Was our reaction to COVID-19 over the top?

There has been a lot written about Australia’s response to the COVID-19 virus. You have many cheering on the lockdowns and restrictions most of whom were largely unaffected. Politicians, public servants and most of the media were very lucky to escape the economic consequences of COVID-19.

But as most of our clients know, their clients were not. Many thousands of businesses will never return.

Many people, especially the young, will find it difficult to find a job for a long time.

Some businesses were lucky – they were able to not only survive but thrive during COVID-19. I am lucky BGL was one of those businesses.

But the question I keep asking is did we overreact ? And don’t think I am being heartless. I said all along we need to protect the vulnerable – a job which was done extremely poorly by the Victorian state government. But we also needed to better handle testing and maybe we should have put ANYONE who had the virus in proper quarantine. rather than letting them stay at home and go out for exercise!

We still have no idea of the long term mental health consequences of the lockdowns. I see it in my people. I see many suffering from a lack of social contact. Those that have regularly come into the office through the lockdown appear to be in a better mental state than those who did not. I worry about the long term effects and wonder what it would have been like if the virus was handled this differently.

I look at countries like Japan, Taiwan and Vietnam who did a great job of managing COVID-19. They did not do it with lockdowns. They did not lecture or scare their communities – they brought their communities along for the ride. Unfortunately our governments did not take this approach.

So what would have happened if our governments had not imposed draconian lockdowns on our communities ? The answer is we don’t know. The Andrews government imposed masks in Victoria, for example, but gave no time to see if this alone reduced the spread of the virus. In other words, in the name of keeping us safe, our governments and their group of poorly qualified Chief Health Officers decided on what was easiest for them.

I don’t know the answer – but either do they.

What I do know is unemployment is only being kept low by Jobkeeper and that our governments have generated a huge amount of intergenerational debt that our children will have to repay. I wonder if they really understand this. Few of our politicians were around when interest rates were 20%

We certainly are not all in this together.

Those who imposed the rules are all fine. Most did not lose 1 cent of income – in fact many even got a salary increase during COVID-19 while their lockdowns put so many people out of work. Those on whom the rules were imposed are not fine.

I always question when a government says we are doing this to keep you safe. Because keeping us safe always seems to lead to a loss of our rights and freedoms.

I have had huge concerns about the mental health of my team during the lockdowns in Victoria. The Victorian government seem to have ignored mental health. They are so focussed on eliminating COVID-19 they forgot all else. More is being written about the mental health affects of the lockdown now. I recently came across this article Victoria fights back COVID-19, but at what cost?

I would probably prefer to be less safe because the cure seems to have been far worse than the disease.

And finally, please checkout the attached article by Chris Kenny of the The Australian. He says this a lot better than me:

Time to unmask the coronavirus alarmists and sideline the fearmongers – by Chris Kenny |
Download here!

 

BGL lobbies Treasury to drop 45-day reporting proposal

By Homepage, In the Media, IndustryNo Comments

Software SMSF Adviser Logo

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, TechnologyOne Comment

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!