Point to point efficiency – what can we do better?
By Garry Johnston (pictured), National Manager Software Sales at SuperConcepts
With 2022 well and truly in the rear-view mirror, it’s a great time for pause and reflection over what has happened in the past year and what might be instore for the months ahead – what can we do better?
2022 felt like a heavy fog after the previous years of lockdowns, RAT tests, daily press conferences and social distancing. We kind of stumbled our way through the year until it ultimately petered out over a very quiet Christmas period. I, for one, am looking forward to a return to the new-normal in 2023!
The overarching theme as we enter the new year is the rising cost of living. It has become difficult to keep up with the increasing prices of every day items like bread, milk and fuel, alongside the impeding pressure on mortgages caused by record-breaking interest rates.
I am, however, routinely reminded by my wife that I need to change my perspective and think, what can we do better?
This also rings true for our professional lives so, as we motor towards February and May lodgment deadlines, take stock of your current systems and processes. Are you getting everything you want out of your SMSF software?
Here are a few key points that can help you audit your current platform and see, “what you can do better?”
Are you overpaying for your SMSF software? Could you be achieving the same, if not better, with a more affordable provider?
It’s critical to assess your firm’s cost-to-serve to ensure you are turning a profit for the SMSF and portfolio services you provide. It could be a silent loss leader!
Meanwhile, your clients driven by cost are likely running a similar pricing assessment to ensure they’re paying a competitive price.
This is an area I would highly recommend analysing. Gone are the days of routinely raising prices by CPI or a standardised percentage without clients raising questions. Understanding your fees and profitability on a per client basis gives you scope to make it better.
A prior employer once told me, if you aren’t changing you are giving your competition a free hit.
Efficiency is intrinsically linked to cost. “If I am efficient then I can factor in cost increases in software,” – right? For the most part I would say that is true, for example if Software A is $100 but it takes me double the time than Software B which is priced at $150, then there is no need to change.
The question, however, becomes relevant when software B increases its prices to a point where it no longer becomes feasible, say $200 or $250. Have the efficiencies and features of the software increased in conjunction with the price rise?
I understand, it’s not always this clear cut but as a business I encourage you to continuously monitor cost versus efficiency and look to see where improvements can be made. The solution might be as simple as minor process tweaks, staffing, third party intermediaries or even the software itself. All options should be on the table and I suggest that this is reviewed at least annually.
At our core, we as SMSF professionals and accountants, are in the business of customer service so we need to ensure we are efficient enough to handle their demands.
Data Feed and Automation
I have been driving the hype train of automation forever. It makes things so much easier, drives good practice, efficiency and also promotes critical thinking. It minimizes manual processing (work that kept me in a job as a graduate) and uncovers new revenue sources so you can progress as a proactive, client lead business.
Use data feeds religiously to, not only ensure your clients data is the most up to date but, get the most out of your SMSF software fees and use it to its full potential. Drive better efficiencies through data feeds and perhaps update your annual process to include a data feed review.
Can’t get a certain data feed? Ensure your software has an intuitive bank statement reader that can automatically extract transaction details.
We’re forecasting a rise in open banking this year which is an important development in the automation of SMSFs and our team are excited to share some big announcements on this in the coming months.
So, what next?
If you’re taking stock this new year and want to set your firm up for success in 2023, congratulations. This is the first step in ensuring you’re doing better this year.
The results of your internal audit should tell you whether you’re paying a competitive price, are creating greater efficiencies and are maximizing the use of automation available.
SuperMate is an SMSF and portfolio management software that is revolutionizing point to point efficiency. It’s fast. And I am not talking run-of-the-mill fast… it’s lightning fast.
So, in the game of getting things done quickly and efficiently, SuperMate helps you proactively service your clients. See SuperMate in action here.
It continues to evolve with new features added regularly.