It’s a new year and by now you should be well and truly rested, back from your break and ready to attack 2019 head on! The start of a new year will generally be a great time for your firm to set goals, and make a plan to improve areas of your business that may need a little bit more love.
SMSF software technology has improved in leaps and bounds over the past 5 to 10 years, which in turn has seen many firms to turn to cloud based SMSF software. Cloud based software has an array of benefits, including data feeds.
Data feeds are one of the biggest reasons why you should be using a cloud based application if you’re not already. Data feeds provide automation of bank accounts, investment holdings and wrap accounts which will therefore eliminate the burden of manual data input.
Furthermore, data feeds provide you with direct access to source data. This can in turn allow for your firm to commence working on funds without having to wait for your clients to get their act together and send you documents you have requested. If structured properly, the days of waiting around for clients before you can start processing a job should be over.
The Problem with Data Feeds
There is an old saying that states “all good things take time, patience and a bit of hard work”, and when it comes to data feeds you will most definitely need all three! Unfortunately, by switching to a cloud based application doesn’t mean you will instantly have data feeds for all of your funds. There is a process that requires time and effort. However as mentioned above, the benefits will come!
What is required to establish a data feed?
The first thing is a plan; your firm will definitely need a plan. This is because with all of the other “billable” work within your firm, staff by nature will generally focus on their day to day activities as opposed to a ‘project’ such as becoming involved in the process to start data feeds for your SMSF client base. Unfortunately, we see this time and time again. Firms move to a cloud based application, however in a years’ time, sometimes even two or three years’ time, their data feeds have not been activated (or partially activated). This really makes you think “why did the firm make the change to cloud in the first place”.
Therefore, once your firm has set out a plan, established responsibilities, in addition to ensuring someone will govern this task, you can then commence the process.
- All authority forms need to be generated from the SMSF software
a. This means entering in bank account and investment information to allow the system to generate an “Authority Form”
- Once you have the form, your client must sign and return it to you
- From there, the form will need to be sent to the relevant institution
a. We recommend sending the originally signed copy to the institution as they may not accept a copy of the original
i. This means you will need to have your client return the original version!
ii. You need to keep a copy
The above process will work for nearly all your bank data feeds, however, for any wrap or investment feed, the process may differ as brokers and online activation may need to be involved.
How Can I make This Process Easier?
Fortunately, there is a better way!
You can hire an SMSF specialist firm to help with the transition burden.
Here at SuperAA we have a team that specialise in SMSF conversion and data feed activation. This means we can help with those tricky elements of the process that have been known to trouble most firms.
Moreover, we provide a system that helps you track the progress of how many data feeds you have obtained. This provides visibility and accountability to everyone!
What SMSF Software do you recommend?
As stated, we highly recommend a cloud based application for all firms wanting to take their SMSF administration to the next level.
The two systems we feel provide the most “bang for your buck” are BGL360 and Class Super.
Both have their strengths and weaknesses, however, what should be known is that any cloud based application is better than no cloud based application.
Pick one and get the ball rolling!
Want to learn more about what cloud based application is right for you? Or, do you need help making the switch to a cloud based application? Contact the team at SuperAA today find out more!