This time of year is always one of reflection; to contemplate where we started, where we wanted to go and whether we actually got there. Ideas at the start of the year always sound good, but what is it that we actually achieved that we can be proud of as we come towards the close of 2019?
This is something we do as a team each year – to highlight the goals we set out to achieve and celebrate the level of work that we’ve delivered. Success doesn’t happen without a clear vision and buy-in from the entire team to implement it. Throughout the year, there’s healthy debate, ideas that fail (and learn from), things that we thought would be big that amounted to very little and conversely, small ideas that amounted into much bigger outcomes.
Most importantly, it’s a focus that remains client-centric, inspiring best practice within the SMSF space to enable you as professionals to effectively do what you do best.
One of our favourite sayings is that forward is always forward, no matter what pace. Whether you are working through bigger projects or smaller ones, the ability to keep things moving in the right direction provides a framework to succeed. At times, it has felt like the wheel has been turning very slowly, but most importantly it has been turning. The persistent ‘push’ allows us to gain pace as the flywheel continues to turn.
Achievements in 2019
So, what have we achieved this year? Here’s a list of items delivered by our team at Smarter SMSF:
- We launched an industry first, SMSF document service within BGL’s Simple Fund 360. Powered by Smarter SMSF, this provides the ability for BGL users to order documents directly from within your SMSF software. The development for this project has been significant across 2019 and will continue as a major focus in 2020. It’s fair to say that we have some very exciting initiatives to build into this offering as we move into the new year, in addition to significantly growing access to the document suite.
- We have added over 10 documents to the Smarter SMSF platform in 2019, taking our list to well over 60+ documents on the platform. This year we have added Lost SMSF Deed, Unit Trust, updated Investment Strategy Report, Lost Pension Deed, Discretionary Trust and more. This is in addition to updates across various documents including pensions (added death benefit pensions), trust deed amendments, work test exemption and much more…
- We redesigned our subscription packages, moving from an unlimited pricing model into bundles that suit the size of your business. With packages starting at 25 docs p.a, providing a cost-effective way for your firm to have a subscription that suits the size of your practice.
- We’ve built an online document calculator to help you to work out the number of documents you are likely to use with your SMSF clients each year to assist in calculating your return on investment in your own business.
- We also introduced a ‘free’ membership subscription, enabling you to order 1 x free document each month from a limited document list to try out our documents and see for yourself the great value we provide.
- We implemented key integrations enhancements within the platform, including the push to Simple Fund 360 (one-click) for new fund orders. And the ability to generate a constitution where you’ve registered a company with ASIC via CAS 360.
- We’re on track to deliver an Automated Deed Update Service (ADUS) in the first half of 2020 … It’s unlike anything available in the market place today, so we look forward to sharing its release in the new year and will be integrated into your BGL and Class platforms.
- Following on from our Future of SMSF Report launched in November 2018, we continued on with this work in early 2019, creating and releasing the ‘five stages of an SMSF business’ This also included building an online self-assessment tool to help practices understand what stage their SMSF business is at and the focus areas within their practice. This included working with Class to develop a fantastic eBook, ‘Endangered Practitioner vs. Industry Leader – which type are you?‘ which was a huge success, along with presenting workshops at the SMSF Association National Conference and Class Connect conferences.
- We had over 1,750 people attend CPD training, both online and face-to-face during 2019 (so far). Our largest webinars, being the ‘Top 9 things to know in 2019’ and our ‘Investment strategy’ webinar in Sept 2019 following the ATO’s letter to 17,700 trustees.
- We had a successful series of SMSF Day events in April 2019 around Australia with over 120 attendees. This also culminated in bringing the day into an online course which was released in May 2019. We look forward to running these events again in late March/early April 2020.
- The frenetic activity around trust deed updates has certainly slowed during 2019, however we have seen an increase across other key documents including pension commencements and the SMSF investment strategy. With over 2,400 documents generated (and still counting) in 2019, there has been in excess of 500 pension documents generated and since the release of our updated investment strategy document in September, it has been generated over 200 times. We also know that approx. 15 key documents are aligned to 80% of all orders generated across the year.
- In addition to our own events, Aaron Dunn presented at the SMSF Association National Conference, Class Connect, FPA Congress, and IPA National Congress, and MC’ed the recent SMSF Summit events just to name a few.
It’s been an epic year and we are truly thankful for all the amazing support by the team, for the belief in us from our fantastic members and for those that have supported us at our events, purchased documents or simply subscribed to get insights from us each and every month.
We’re looking forward to what 2020 brings, both in the SMSF sector and for Smarter SMSF. May your journey be an exciting one too!