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In the Media

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

By Homepage, In the Media, Product Updates, Simple Fund 360, TechnologyNo Comments

‘It’s not magic!’ but one could certainly be forgiven for thinking there has to be a bit of it happening behind the scenes!

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

In the latest Simple Fund 360 New Features Webinar, Matt Crofts, our wonderful head of Simple Fund 360, ran us through what’s new, what’s been added, and what’s to come, and let me tell you, implementing even one of these new features is sure to add back time to your day!

From the introduction of having more control over digital signing with the addition of priority groups, yes, now you can elect that trustees/members sign first, ensuring tax agents or auditors don’t receive any notifications until it’s their turn, to the addition of the ability to add Direct comparatives for those often-occurring interim accounts. This release sure covers a lot.

The emphasis on using the account view, basically makes the need to run general ledger reports to gain a running balance, redundant. The detail in which this account view is now able to drill down is worth checking out, my personal favourite is the bank accounts, or the PAYG Instalments, which now shows which year each instalment relates too.

Another great addition is the ability to create % splits within the transaction rule screen, think of those monthly life insurance premiums, that historically had to be split manually, you can now simply set up a percentage rule of say 40% to be allocated to one member, and 60% to the other, and going forward this will now pick up this split. Also, great to be used in the instance where you have fortnightly or monthly rent payments that are split between Rent Income, Agent Fees, Property expenses, simply click ‘Review before Applying’, and any adjustments that need to be made can be done to the transaction, without needing to add the accounts in every time.

There’s also been an update to the corporate actions available for the 2021 financial year, for those of you processing on a regular basis. Also, in the investment space, the addition of a security description for those ASX listed securities that start to get a bit messy, think preference shares, convertible notes etc.

The new Feed Management License report also provides users with a great way to export and view their subscription usage in excel, both overall as a firm, and then drilling down into each fund.

Last but not least on the Simple Fund 360 front (note this feature is also available in Simple Invest 360), and this is truly where I think the magic is, is the update to the CGT/Smart Docs report function. Think of those funds you receive from another firm, after the initial excitement of winning a new client wears off, the realisation of having to recreate opening balances kicks in, and when this involves a vast investment portfolio, and receiving a huge unrealised capital gains report with multiple parcel purchases, a slight sense of dread is understandable.

“Not anymore! Simply upload the Unrealised CGT report into the CGT – Smart Docs screen, and the ‘magic’ of smart docs will read the report and input into the information into the software… historical data.. DONE!”

Not to be forgotten is also the extensive amount of work the team have put in, in developing our newest kid on the block, Simple Invest 360, the magic of Simple Fund 360, is now available for Trust, Company and Individuals.

The most noteworthy update in this latest release is the Tax Reconciliation screen, and distribution allocation functionality. Making working out your Taxable and Accounting Profit, and where it’s all going a breeze. If ever you found yourself as an SMSF processor, wishing for the ability to achieve the kind of efficiency you were getting with super funds with your trusts and companies, Simple Invest 360, is the answer. If you’re interested, jump onto our website, search for Simple Invest 360 and register for our Beta phase.

Looking forward to the next release and will definitely be keeping an eye on what’s to come, particularly in the historical and external contributions space, as well as the greatly anticipated workflow management screen.

All in all, a wonderful release of some great functions, features and well quite frankly magic! A big well done to the Matt Crofts, Andrew Paszko and both the Simple Fund 360 & Simple Invest 360 teams.

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

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

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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.”

Not all corporate compliance and SMSF admin software is the same

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

Not all corporate and trust compliance and SMSF admin software is the same. There are reasons why clients invest in BGL software and why you should be very cautious investing in our competitors software.

So:

I could talk about longevity – BGL has been in corporate and trust compliance and SMSF admin software business over 30 years.

I could talk about our management team – between them they have over 100 years experience in corporate and trust compliance and SMSF software industry

I could talk about the skills of our teams – with so many CA’s CPA’s, MBA’s and SSA’s

I could talk about the awards we have won over the past year – 2019 AFR’s 5th Most Innovative Technology Company or our National Award from Australian Achiever for Australia’s Best Customer Service (in the category of computer systems, software and internet services) or the 2020 FinTech Breakthrough Award for Best Regtech Company.

But I am not, I am just going to talk about product features. And to make it simple for your to compare corporate compliance, trust management and SMSF software solutions, I have created a checklist for you to compare our software products with those of our competitors:

So:

First, ask our Sales Team to SHOW you each of these features in our software.

Second, ask our competitors sales people to SHOW you each of these features in their software. Not TELL you their software has a feature,  BUT actually SHOW you the feature and HOW the feature works in their software.

I am confident this comparison will demonstrate to you the HUGE difference between BGL’s software products and those of our competitors.

Last. The one BIG thing that sets businesses apart is great customer service. The BGL Team provides sensational customer service. My team genuinely cares about you – our clients. We don’t care about our share price – because we don’t have one. We do not need to impress analysts and investors – because we don’t have any. The only people we need impress, the only people for whom we need to create remarkable experiences – is you, OUR CLIENTS.

So check out the feature lists, speak to my team, and let us create remarkable experiences for you ad help you create remarkable experiences for your clients.

Early access impact overstated

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Published by selfmanagedsuper
Written by Jason Spits on 29 April 2020

The impact on the retirement income of superannuation fund members who choose to withdraw $10,000 from their fund in the current financial year under COVID-19 early access measures has been vastly overestimated by some models, according to an investments and retirement-focused fintech firm.

mSmart managing director Derek Condell said while the models put forward by ASIC and Industry Super Australia (ISA) are using figures presented in real dollar terms, they have also factored in inflation until the age of retirement, which in some cases could be up to 40 years away.

Condell said modelling conducted by mSmart, using algorithms developed by mSmart director Dr Frank Ashe and which eliminated the inflation component, found the overall decrease in a final super balance was around $30,000 for a super fund member aged 35 at the time of early access and who had an initial balance of $70,000 at that time.

He added the decrease translated to only a $55 a fortnight, or $1430 a year, drop in an original estimated pension drawdown of $58,000 and similar declines were seen for members currently aged 45 and 55 and retiring at age 67 and drawing a pension from age 68 onwards (see table below).

“We have calculated the above with a 50 per cent probability and assume that the investment portfolio is continually invested in assets despite markets having fallen from their highs, and the results are shown in today’s dollars, where we have taken inflation out to give a meaningful ‘like with like’ result,” he said.

“We have done this to show what purchasing power people would have with their superannuation if they were accessing the money today compared to what these funds may look like in 10, 20 or 30 years, and the impact is minimal.”

The firm’s numbers echo comments from a senior Treasury official who was questioned during a senate committee about the modelling used by ISA in producing its figures.

ISA released its model on 26 March and estimated fund members could face an impact on their final superannuation balance that was twice that estimated by ASIC on its Moneysmart webpage.

Responding to questioning from Senator James Paterson as to the difference in the figures, Treasury retirement income policy division head Robert Jeremenko told the the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19, which is examining the government’s response to the pandemic: “The major reason for that is the use of nominal figures rather than real figures. Those figures that ISA quote do not use today’s dollars, effectively.

“That is inconsistent with what ASIC has told super funds and what ASIC has told anyone who is making public statements about the effect on retirement balances of various withdrawals from super.

“So it makes intuitive sense to me that you use today’s dollars when you’re trying to estimate what effect a withdrawal will have at some point in the future, which is what the ASIC Moneysmart calculator does.”

mSmart recently announced it was in the final stages of developing an app that projects the likelihood of the future value of superannuation, savings pools and education funding plans, taking into account all the uncertainties of economies and markets.