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Online simulator makes life easier for advisers

peter wheatland cfs smsf nzypde
By Keeli Cambourne
06 September 2023 — 2 minute read

An online services simulator is a must-have tool for advisers working with older or less tech-savvy clients, says a senior technical analyst.

Peter Wheatland, senior technical analyst for Colonial First State, said in a recent CFS FirstTech podcast that although the simulator is not a new tool, it is one that many advisers may not know exists.

“As advisers know, there’s a lot of useful information on the ATO portal of myGov, but they often can’t access this information directly,” he said.

“They need to tell their clients to access it, and it is common for advisers to be giving directions to their clients on how to use the myGov site to get the information they need.

“This process could be easy if the client is computer savvy, but if they are 60, 70, 80 years old, and maybe struggle with the computer, this can be a nightmare, particularly if you’re speaking with them over the phone and you can’t see what they’re looking at.”

And this is the scenario where the ATO online service simulator can help, he said.

The tool simulates what the ATO myGov portal looks like, and allows the adviser to explore, all the different areas on the portal while speaking to their client.

“It is not an adviser portal where the adviser can go in and see the member’s total superannuation balance, it just allows you to see a live simulation of what the client is actually seeing when they go on to their account,” he said.

“You are not actually seeing the client’s details but you can use it to provide a step-by-step guide or help you when providing directions to the client over your phone.

“For example, if you’re talking to them on the phone, and you can give instructions in real-time like ‘Click that button there, and now you’ll see a drop-down box with three different things, go to the third one of those, click that and now you’ll see a figure and I need to know that figure’.”

Mr Wheatland said the simulator is not a copy of the entire myGov website but just the ATO portal, which displays information such as tax, super, and employment information as well as a profile section.

“The most relevant section for advisers is going to be the superannuation section.”

“In that section they can find information on total super balance, transfer balance cap contribution information and it even includes carry forward concessional contributions, like how much the client may still have available, as well as non-concessional bring forward details.

“It means an adviser can go in there and guide their client to find their total superannuation balance, which will tell them all about whether they’re eligible or not for any other contributions, as well as information about what amount of unused, concessional contribution cap they’ve got available.”

Finding the online simulator, Mr Wheatland said, is as easy a Google search.

“If you just go to Google and search for the phrase ATO simulator, it’ll be the first result that comes up,” he said.

Online simulator makes life easier for advisers
peter wheatland cfs smsf nzypde
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