Speaking to SMSF Adviser, Class Super’s chief executive Kevin Bungard said about 20 per cent of the new clients that Class Super sees are still using general ledgers and Excel to administer funds, as opposed to technology designed for SMSF administration.
While these technologies may be simple to use at the outset, Mr Bungard said they can become complex in terms of workflow, updating systems and documentation.
“If you’re trying to do that on spreadsheets and Word documents it’s not going to work if you’re trying to do that on scale,” he said.
Using older technology Mr Bungard said could therefore be a barrier to the expansion of SMSF businesses.
“Traditionally the challenge in self-managed super has been getting scale because once you’re managing more than 100 SMSFs, the complexities of managing that can be quite daunting,” he said.
“Technology means you can have staff manage a greater number of funds and that means if it’s a business area you’re interested in you should be able to provide a better level of service to a larger number of clients.”
Mr Bungard said the firms using older systems tend to be the ones administering 10–20 SMSFs while the firms administering 100 funds or more have newer systems in place.
However, he said the firms servicing fewer SMSFs may not be applying the technology as SMSFs are not a large part of the business and therefore don’t want to make the investment.
“We tend to find that clients that are focused on growing the SMSF part of the business are investing in technology and are trying to deliver a higher level of service to those clients,” he said.