While there isn’t a lot SMSF practitioners can do with big data at the moment, Mr Bungard said it will allow a number of new services to enter the SMSF space.
“A lot of services are going to come along including the robo-advice type services, and other automated processes around things like compliance and audit and so forth – they are the things to be concerned about,” he said.
“[SMSF practitioners] should be worried about the things that are coming down the line like robo-advice, or what the ATO is doing with compliance.”
Mr Bungard said big data is underpinning a number of the changes occurring in the SMSF space.
“What the ATO is doing is only possible because of big data. They can effectively collect all the information they need and cross-reference it all, and validate that everything is within reasonable bounds, and therefore completely automate processes,” he said.
In addition to robo-advice, Mr Bungard said there could also be other developments out of big data around corporate actions.
“A lot of the work we do in the space uses a lot of the data available so you need to use big data in the background,” he said.
He also said the ATO is looking at using a program that utilises ‘natural systems’.
He explained that this will support the ATO’s move to remove the need for tax returns and reporting in general, where effectively they’re going to access the data directly from computer systems.
This data he said is the information accountants pull together in order to fill out a form.
“Obviously that’s a threat to an accountant who’s getting a good chunk of their business from doing that,” he said.