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