Fears around cloud technology still lingering
Segments of the SMSF industry are still concerned about moving to the cloud as it will result in some fundamental changes to how they currently interact with clients, according to software veteran.
Speaking to SMSF Adviser, BGL managing director Ron Lesh said while cloud-based administration software will make it easier for SMSF practitioners to help clients manage their new reporting requirements, there is still some resistance amongst some SMSF firms to make the move to this technology.
“There are all sorts of different concerns that they have, I think one of the biggest problems that they have is that once you move to the cloud everything changes,” said Mr Lesh.
“It changes because suddenly the information is up-to-date, and if you release that information to your clients [then] your clients suddenly have data about things that happened in their fund yesterday, instead of 12 months ago. The client is likely to [react and] ring up and ask questions, and they might ask questions [that the practitioner] isn’t able to answer [or] they're not used to having to answer because they've never had to in the past.”
If the SMSF practitioner isn’t licensed under an AFSL, then it can be difficult for the firm if the client is asking about their investments, he said.
“[So] I think the big concern is really that it changes the way they do their SMSF work,” he said.
Mr Lesh added that there was a lot of opportunity from the collection of big data from cloud-based administration platforms as it enables SMSF practitioners to look at client data in a more useful way.
“Certainly the world is changing as we speak [in terms of how] reporting is done, the ability to get information more quickly and the way we’re processing things,” he said.
“In the long-term I expect that SMSF trustees and members will want better reporting and more regular reporting than they're getting.”
Miranda Brownlee is the deputy editor of SMSF Adviser, which is the leading source of news, strategy and educational content for professionals working in the SMSF sector.
Since joining the team in 2014, Miranda has been responsible for breaking some of the biggest superannuation stories in Australia, and has reported extensively on technical strategy and legislative updates. Miranda has also directed SMSF Adviser's print publication for several years.
Miranda also has broad business and financial services reporting experience, having written for titles including Investor Daily, ifa and Accountants Daily.