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Trading Hobbyist: Accounting trap or goldmine?

By Homepage, In the Media, IndustryNo Comments

Trading Hobbyist: accounting trap or goldmine?

Never before has there been such a perfect storm leading to potentially either a goldmine or a nightmare for accountants. In this post, I will attempt to explain why accountants need to be prepared, how we got here and how you can turn a possible disaster into a goldmine for your firm.

It has been written and talked about ad nauseam – the world has changed. Ever since March 2020 we were told to go home: it’ll only be a few weeks and then we can all go back to normal. As weeks turned into months and the months into years and the situation spiralled out of control, many of us struggled with what to do with all this extra time we had on our hands. We were no longer distracted by social activities, ferrying kids around to various sports or being forced to go on holidays.

It was finally here. This was our chance. We were home when not eyeing people off suspiciously at the supermarket, or trying to hold in a cough at the chemist (just a dry throat, I swear). And then the storm hit. The formula looked something like this:

Increased time at home + technology at our fingertips + low brokerage fees = we could all be the Wolf of Wall Street.

Finally living the dream. Sitting around in pyjamas, a bowl of corn chips resting on our enlarged bellies, phone in one hand while keeping an eye on whatever it was Netflix told me everyone else was watching so why aren’t you. And within the phone the power to trade across time zones, across markets, derivatives, options, CFDs, crypto… Endless opportunities to make your millions, or quietly realise a loss that would never be spoken about.

This scenario may sound familiar or chances are you know someone that went down this path. Some people were just passing the time with a flutter, others legitimately trying to build wealth. Either way, we know that a lot of Australians did this.

According to SelfWealth’s (a flat fee retail share trading platform) Annual Report, active traders on their books increased by 105% during FY21 and the total number of trades increased by 147% for the same period¹. The reduced costs associated with working from home and lack of alternatives meant people had a surplus of cash and now that cash became seed capital for their own private hedge fund.

While the popularity of ETFs is growing, only 15% of investors choose this investment type compared to 58% of investors directly holding Australian shares (ASX, 2020)². A key area to watch is the number of investors dipping their toes (and sometimes up to their neck) in the ever-expanding galaxy of cryptocurrencies. According to the AFR, 1 in 5 Australians is likely to buy cryptocurrency in the next 12 months³.

We are now seeing investors using multiple brokers and exchanges to take advantage of sign up offers and referral programs. This may make sense for the investor looking to capture the highest return possible, but it does mean that they may end up with poor records and difficulty in tracking their investments.

Throw into the mix buybacks, stock splits, DRPs, demergers as well as the even more complex world of crypto yield farming and come tax time there will be either underreporting (non-compliance) or a heap of work for someone to reconcile the data and make sense of all the transactions.

While excel has been one of the greatest fintech solutions since Lotus 1-2-3, it does have limitations. Excel formulas can be error-prone, time must be invested for compliance changes and reconciliation back to any data source is limited or non-existent.

Luckily for today’s accountants there exists a whole new world of automation: an ecosystem of data feeds, AI and automated processing that will drastically reduce the amount of time required to keep track of CGT records, produce financials and arrive at a reliable tax optimised position.

The perfect storm has enabled trading and wealth creation for a whole new generation and now this generation needs your help to make sure they do not give it all back with poor tax planning and compliance issues.

References:

  1. SelfWealth Limited Annual Report (2021, June 30)  https://www.selfwealth.com.au/investor-centre/
  2. ASX Australian Investor Study (2020) https://www2.asx.com.au/blog/australian-investor-study
  3. AFR (2021, June 8) Four million Aussies set to buy into crypto https://www.afr.com/companies/financial-services/four-million-aussies-set-to-buy-into-crypto-20210608-p57z2g

CX is Far from a Fad!

By Bec Loves CX, Homepage, In the Media, Industry3 Comments

You may have heard word on the street that Client Experience (CX) is the new industry fad and that if you don’t embrace it, your business is setting itself up for failure. This is a controversial opinion among critics however, only one part of this is true and I can say with confidence, CX is far from a fad!

CX has been around for decades however, it has commonly been mistaken for customer service and pumping valuable dollars into the latest and greatest technology. Although these are contributors to CX, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The expectations from our clients to deliver on CX is growing day by day. 

CXPA refers to Client Experience as “the perception that customers have of an organisation – one that is formed based on interactions across all touchpoints, people and technology over time”. 

I interpret this as an emotional connection you form with a business based on your experiences with them on all levels. It’s that heart-fluttering nostalgia you get when Mr Whippy drives by playing music, in the middle of summer – Doesn’t that take you back to some fun memories? And Mr Whippy generally drove a beat-up old van and his ice cream machine was probably older than your parents, but the experiences and memories that it gave you evoke a fuzzy feeling every time.

The first question to ask yourself is this: How do our clients perceive our business? 

Many of us have been guilty of drawing off assumptions however, the key to CX is facing the hard facts of what clients really do perceive or feel when they think of your business. The biggest mistake business owners make is assuming their business is perceived a certain way and implementing changes based on this. This is self-sabotage!

Hearing and seeing hard facts or data on this matter can be a hard pill to swallow for some but if you have a genuine understanding of your client’s perception, you’re already on the path to CX success and can start implementing meaningful change.

I could go on about CX for hours and hours and don’t worry, I will! But before I flood you with what I have learnt about the six competencies of Client Experience (and work to convert you into a CX superstar!), I’d like you to think about the following points:

  • Mr Whippy was delivering Client Experience to children decades ago, it’s not a fad that will fade away and it doesn’t mean you need the latest and greatest of everything. 
  • There are two types of business owners in the world, the ones that have already embraced CX and the ones that will be forced to embrace it in order to survive. Which one do you want to be?
  • Client Experience is a genuine feeling and perception of your business.

Let’s make a start on this journey together and pick one point from this post that you can apply in your everyday life. It will make a world of difference and allow you to get a feel for what it is to live CX.

CAS 360 New Features Webinar recap with Alissa Haralambopoulos!

By CAS 360, In the Media, Product UpdatesNo Comments

The CAS 360 New Features webinar held on the 12th of August was jam-packed with some great updates, which you should be aware of!

CAS 360 New Features Webinar recap with BGL’s Product Advocate, Alissa Haralambopoulos!

The CAS 360 new features webinar held on the 12th of August was jam-packed with some great updates – which you should be aware of!

The following is a brief recap of what’s new: 

CAS 360 announced integration with its third Digital Signing provider: FuseSign - this integration went live on 12 August 2021. FuseSign is an Australian application that boasts quite a different price point from other providers, with document packs signed for as low as $0.90 per pack!

From the Company Selection screen, there have been new filters added, you can now filter by company type, eg. foreign companies, super trustee companies. You can also add a column to be able to sort or view by the manager if you are looking after a large number of companies and have them split between managers in the firm.

The ability for View Only users to be able to download the Trust Deed once it’s been uploaded into CAS 360.

Better support for the effective date when transactions take place in the default minutes and resolutions. You’ll also notice large numbers or shares etc. now show with a comma.

Email Settings - When an email is sent from CAS 360 it comes from [email protected] but the custom email address is now available for purchase. There is a process involved with setting this up to ensure this meets internet protocols. It means emails can come from the firm email address. There are limited spots available for this, so if this is something you are interested in, contact your Account Manager.

Documents Outstanding Export - Exports a list of outstanding documents to CSV. This can be done on a global level or on a company by company level.

Updating of System Messages - Attention box newly designed, modernised the look and feel.

Added Trust Meeting Address to meeting usage report.

Added Company Name to the trace number heading track.

Decimal places for dividend statements, meaning you can now select how many decimal places you would like to show.

Trust deeds will also appear under the Documents tab.

When you import data from ASIC via an RA71 or Annual Review it does not import the history, just the data. It will override whatever history is in the software.

6 new features were introduced for completing discretionary trust distributions:
- You can now copy a previous distribution for a prior year if there are only small changes;
- Set the Order of how the names appear on the resolution when using free text, this can be done by both % amount or name.
- Adding the ability to expand the free text size;
- Can add a beneficiary more than once;
- Merge fields were added to improve the look of the distribution minutes.

The team have also been busy implementing some performance gains, whilst these are mainly under the hood they should result in an improvement in the efficiencies.

Looking forward to the next release and will definitely be keeping an eye on what’s to come!

In case you missed it, you can watch the CAS 360 New Features webinar recording below.

Leading service providers awarded

By In the Media, News, selfmanagedsuperNo Comments

Published by selfmanagedsuper Magazine
Written by Jason Spits on 19 August 2021
Click here to read on selfmanagedsuper website

selfmanagedsuper and research house CoreData have announced the winners of the SMSF Service Provider Awards for 2021, which were presented during an online event today.

The winners in the awards – now in their ninth year – are drawn from 17 categories covering investments and services available to SMSFs, and represent the leading providers, according to financial advisers working within the sector today.

CoreData principal Andrew Inwood, who oversaw the collection and analysis of the adviser feedback, said during the awards presentation that service providers that were named as leaders usually had good processes in place, an ability to meet the need of advice practitioners or had become entrenched in the market due to a consistent provision of services over the years.

Inwood noted the COVID-19 pandemic had continued to put stress on the SMSF sector, but service providers had maintained their high levels of delivery during this period.

He said it was important to have the views of advice practitioners in the SMSF sector and the research behind the awards gave a good understanding of their opinions on service providers.

“The awards were based on a survey of 585 advisers and accountants, conducted in June and July, and this was a voting sample so it was frequency of use and satisfaction which drove the numbers,” he said.

Long-term awards sponsor La Trobe Financial echoed Inwood’s comments, with its director of client partnerships Lilian Chin saying: “It is important we support these awards as they recognise the best of the best in the industry.

“With the judging undertaken by advisers, these awards are truly demographic and representative of the market’s voice, and this is a simple and critical difference compared with other awards.”

This year’s award winners include some new names, including stock trading firm AUSIEX, formerly CommSec Adviser Services, which now operates independently of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and listed investment company Global Value Fund Limited. Other names are more familiar and have been award winners in the past, including Heffron, Accurium, BGL, Macquarie Wrap and ASF Audits, which all were named as leading providers in their relevant sectors in 2020 as well.

selfmanagedsuper and CoreData congratulate all the winners for their high level of service provision in the past year.

The 2021 adviser-voted winners for the best SMSF service providers in their respective categories are:

Adviser category

Australian shares – AUSIEX

International shares – Macquarie

Fixed Income – Macquarie

Administrator – Heffron

Commercial property – Goodman

Residential property loan – La Trobe Financial

Investment platform – Macquarie Wrap

Cash and term deposits – Macquarie

Insurance – TAL

Actuarial certification provider – Accurium

SMSF software – BGL Corporate Solutions

Audit function provider – ASF Audits

ETF provider – BetaShares

Listed investment company – Global Value Fund Limited

Trust deed supplier – Cleardocs

Infrastructure – Macquarie

Innovator – La Trobe Financial

Simple Fund 360 New Features Webinar recap with Alissa Haralambopoulos!

By In the Media, Product Updates, Simple Fund 360, Simple Invest 360No Comments

Overall a massive update, ensuring the software is well and truly ready to assist you with processing your 2021 financials and returns.

Simple Fund 360 New Features Webinar recap with BGL’s Product Advocate, Alissa Haralambopoulos!

We start this Simple Fund 360 new features webinar with two screens that have received facelifts after many years…

The first is the Fund Dashboard screen, this new screen gives a great overview of the selected fund including details such as ABN, TFN, Superstream Status, deed uploaded, how many unmatched transactions you have, workpapers left to complete, data feed reconciliation status and client queries. The dashboard also gives an overview of the funds’ investments and performance, as well as allowing for notes to be displayed on this main page so that they are easily accessible.

The other dashboard which has received a makeover is the reports screen. You still have access to all the reports you’ve come to know and love, the big difference is that now you can not only see the report categories, but you can also see a list of all reports which can be filtered A-Z or new-old. The new reports screen also allows you to add tags to reports, meaning you can now filter by these too, think ‘GST’ or ‘Pension’ tags. You will still be able to access your report packs, and create additional report packs if necessary. You can also now preview reports with a single click. 

The 2021 tax return is now available for lodgement with the ATO for those super-speed processors! The audit workpaper reports have also been rolled forward and updated for the 2021 financial year. Along with this, we are working on adding the 2021 Distribution Tax Data, if you find an Annual Tax Statement that is not currently available in the software, please send it through so that we can look to add the data for you.

Another new arrival can be found on the Property Dashboard, where you are now able to generate a fund level or global level Property Summary Report, this report can show you the property type, valuation and the last valuation date. Great for checking the status of all the properties in all the funds you manage. This report can also be generated from the reports screen. 

Are you currently using digital signing? If it’s an idea you’ve been toying with, be sure to check out our latest digital signing integration partner, FuseSign. An Australian based business, offering fantastic pricing for BGL clients, it’s definitely worth looking into. This integration is also available across all BGL products. 

The pension reduction has been applied in the software for the 2021 financial year for the 50% reduction. This update can be seen on the pension dashboard, and various pension reports. Also updated for this year is the NCC Bring forward extended to age 66, this can be seen on the Contribution Dashboard and Contribution Breakdown Report.

Finally, there was a new broker added, Soundbridge Financial Services, so if this is a provider that your client is using, you will now be able to set up data feeds for this.

Overall a massive update, ensuring the software is well and truly ready to assist you with processing your 2021 financials and returns.

Looking forward to the next release and will definitely be keeping an eye on what’s to come!

In case you missed it, you can watch the Simple Fund 360 New Features webinar recording below.

BGL launches integration with digital signing tool

By In the Media, News, SMSF AdviserNo Comments

Published by SMSF Adviser, powered by MOMENTUM MEDIA
Written by Tony Zhang on 16 August 2021
Click here to read on SMSF Adviser website

The SMSF technology provider has launched a new integration with a digital signing service.

BGL Corporate Solutions, supplier of SMSF administration and ASIC corporate compliance and investment portfolio solutions, has announced that CAS 360, Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360 are now integrated with digital signing tool FuseSign by FuseWorks.

“It’s great to add FuseSign to the BGL ecosystem,” Ron Lesh, BGL’s managing director, said.

“FuseSign creates a seamless workflow for BGL clients so that all company, trust, individual and SMSF documents can be digitally signed, speeding up the compliance process and reducing signing times to minutes rather than days for the price of a stamp.”

Melissa Voss, co-founder and head of clients and partners at FuseWorks, said that the firm is thrilled with this partnership and to be able to offer BGL clients with the digital signing tool straight from their platform.

“I am passionate about automation and helping accountants to simplify the day-to-day, removing inefficiencies through the power of automation so they can focus on more human tasks, and that is exactly what FuseSign does — it gives your clients a better experience with your brand, saves your business time and money, and it empowers your team to focus on tasks they really enjoy,” Ms Voss said.

Made for accountants by accountants, FuseSign is an affordable, intuitive and easy-to-use digital signing tool and can be used for all company, trust, individual and SMSF documents prepared by CAS 360, Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360. Recent legislative changes have now made it possible to sign more document types digitally than ever before.

The FuseSign process in BGL applications provides a seamless workflow for clients, with the firm noting that recent evaluations of digital signing solutions have proven documents are signed quicker, easier and with much less friction when digital signing solutions are used.

BGL launches integration with FuseSign

By In the Media, News, XU MagazineNo Comments

BGL launches integration with FuseSign

BGL Corporate Solutions, Australia’s leading supplier of SMSF administration, ASIC corporatecompliance and investment portfolio solutions, is proud to announce CAS 360, Simple Fund 360and Simple Invest 360 are now integrated with digital signing tool FuseSign by FuseWorks.

“It’s great to add FuseSign to the BGL Ecosystem” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director.“FuseSign creates a seamless workflow for BGL clients so that all company, trust, individual andSMSF documents can be digitally signed, speeding up the compliance process and reducingsigning times to minutes rather than days for the price of a stamp.

Melissa Voss, Co-Founder and Head of Clients and Partners at FuseWorks, said: “We’re thrilledwith this partnership and to be able to offer BGL clients with our Digital Signing tool straight fromtheir platform. I am passionate about automation and helping Accountants to simplify theday-to-day, removing inefficiencies through the power of automation so they can focus on morehuman tasks, and that is exactly what FuseSign does, it gives your clients a better experiencewith your brand, saves your business time and money, and it empowers your team to focus on tasks they really enjoy.”

Made for accountants by accountants, FuseSign is an affordable, intuitive and easy to useDigital Signature tool and can be used for all company, trust, individual and SMSF documentsprepared by CAS 360, Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360. Recent legislative changeshave now made it possible to sign more document types digitally than ever before. TheFuseSign process in BGL applications provides a seamless workflow for clients. And recentevaluations of digital signing solutions have proven documents are signed quicker, easier andwith much less friction when digital solutions are used.

BGL currently has over 350 partners in our Ecosystem and it is great to be able to addFuseSign to the list.

For more information about this sensational integration, visit https://www.fusesign.com/bgl/

BGL launches integration with FuseSign

By Australian FinTech, In the Media, NewsNo Comments

BGL launches integration with FuseSign

BGL Corporate Solutions, Australia’s leading supplier of SMSF administration, ASIC corporate compliance and investment portfolio solutions, announces CAS 360, Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360 are now integrated with digital signing tool FuseSign by FuseWorks.

“It’s great to add FuseSign to the BGL Ecosystem,” said Ron Lesh, BGL’s Managing Director.

“FuseSign creates a seamless workflow for BGL clients so that all company, trust, individual and SMSF documents can be digitally signed, speeding up the compliance process and reducing signing times to minutes rather than days for the price of a stamp.

Melissa Voss, Co-Founder and Head of Clients and Partners at FuseWorks, said, “We’re thrilled with this partnership and to be able to offer BGL clients with our Digital Signing tool straight from their platform. I am passionate about automation and helping Accountants to simplify the day-to-day, removing inefficiencies through the power of automation so they can focus on more human tasks, and that is exactly what FuseSign does, it gives your clients a better experience with your brand, saves your business time and money, and it empowers your team to focus on tasks they really enjoy.”

Made for accountants by accountants, FuseSign is an affordable, intuitive and easy to use Digital Signature tool and can be used for all company, trust, individual and SMSF documents prepared by CAS 360, Simple Fund 360 and Simple Invest 360. Recent legislative changes have now made it possible to sign more document types digitally than ever before. The FuseSign process in BGL applications provides a seamless workflow for clients. And recent evaluations of digital signing solutions have proven documents are signed quicker, easier and with much less friction when digital solutions are used.

BGL currently has over 350 partners in our Ecosystem and it is great to be able to add FuseSign to the list.

Lockdowns truly suck

By Homepage, In the MediaNo Comments

Lockdowns affect our entire country. They hurt every sector.

Really disappointing to hear and see people in Victoria and in other parts of the country taking swipes at those in lockdown which are taking place in NSW and across Australia. Those who are should have a good hard look at themselves.

What we have been through in Victoria over the last 12 months is not something I would wish upon anyone. We should be the last to applaud lockdowns given our experience and taste for the devastation they cause. Ron Lesh and I speak often about such matters. The toll is heartbreaking and real.

How short are our memories? How quickly we forget that over the past 15 months, we in Victoria have been locked down for over 170 days with restrictions right through and with us today.

We would have gladly exchanged place with our friends in Sydney to experience the freedom they had at the drop of a hat.

Are we not one Nation? One, people? One hurts, we all hurt?

Lockdowns affect our entire country. They hurt every sector. They hurt people emotionally, financially, socially and physically. No one wins in lockdowns. They are draconian and crippling on all fronts. The hit on mental health is far-reaching, affecting generations to follow well beyond the life of this virus.

The leaders across our states have a lot to give account for and we should all be questioning the harsh, disproportionate measures. The last thing we should be doing is heralding lockdown as great leadership. It is not!

The biggest threat to our country is not the VIRUS. The biggest threat is that we have forgotten what it means to be truly Australian.

Mental Health: No judgment. No shame. No bias. Just listen.

By Culture, In the Media, No Drama with Tramma, WellnessOne Comment

The last 14 months have been tough. The impact is widespread. The effect on people’s personal and emotional wellbeing has been enormous. It is not something you can just throw money at and hope it goes away.

Mental health is a topic that I am passionate about. Having the support of Ron Lesh to pursues this accreditation is something that I am very grateful for. When I undertook the MH First Aid course, one of the great takeaways was that my role is not to diagnose but to simply come alongside people and point them in the right direction. This was empowering and showed WE can ALL make a difference. People often ask me how we in Victoria are faring in lockdown. Personally, while frustrated and limited at times, overall, I am doing okay. I have an amazing role and blessed to be a part of an incredible business. For this I am grateful. I do however have my days and to counteract this I do my best to live my life with the greatest level of normality. I regularly touch base with those most important to me. I do my best to watch my self-talk, exercising, taking breaks, get fresh air, limit my time on the media, create tasks and projects to keep me occupied.

However, my mind is NEVER far from those that are not doing well. The reality is that millions of people and across this state are suffering emotionally, mentally and financially. Businesses and lives touched devastating ways. Let’s add to this loneliness, lack of access to health care, 3 previous lockdowns, fear-mongering media and language, separation, home-schooling and the list goes on and on and we are pretty much beyond the tipping point of a mental health tsunami.

To back my observations, I read an interesting article in The Age on Saturday 5 June titled – “‘I can’t be bothered’: Victorians battling ‘compounding fatigue’ of lockdowns” by Wendy Tuohy, where Rhonda Andrew’s CEO of Barrington Centre, a corporate and wellbeing service provider, provided some very interesting data.

From 27 May to 3 June:

  •  82% ⬆️ in demand for support
  • 40% ⬆️ family conflict
  •  55% ⬆️ workplace issues
  •  82% ⬆️ mental health requests

The sentiment in this state from many that I speak to is that the idea of “We have done this before, we will do it again” or “We have got this”, simply does not cut it.

Many are tired. Many have no more to give. Many just want to get on with our lives and live. This is the reality that we as business leaders, managers and people across this state MUST acknowledge, work with and help navigate people through.

Each of us is touched by what is going on. And if we personally are not, then someone we know is. These lockdowns hurt and it is more important to be on the lookout for each other than ever before.

Please, if you are struggling, please do reach out. It is okay to not be okay. There are times where you will be trapped in thoughts of negativity or feelings of hopelessness. The reality is that it is hard not to be. It is normal. However, do your best to not stay in that space too long. If you do however find these thoughts and feelings lingering, take action. Speak to someone. Call your doctor. Early intervention works.

Make sure to look out for others also. Look for signs that they may be struggling. Be on the lookout for things like withdrawing behaviour, social media activity contrary to their normal behaviour, slow to or no response to messages, negative language, letting go of their appearance or hygiene. Pretty much, any behaviour outside of their normal selves is a window for you to ask the question “R UO K?” or “I have noticed this, is all ok?” Believe, it can make all the difference.

Be informed and across the resources like R UO OK?, Beyond Blue, and Headspace, to name a few. There are many great tools available to not only better understand mental health but to come alongside, and help others along their journey.

Finally, I cannot help but emphasise that you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up and say you need help. On the other hand, if you are doing okay, don’t be afraid to extend a hand and reach out to someone that you know is not and let them know you are there for them.

No judgment. No shame. No bias. Just listen.

Just genuinely care!

We can all make a difference.

 

 

Reference: Wendy Tuohy | The Age