Member Update - full news - November 2018
It's fair to say that it's been a very big month, hence the delay in getting this month's member newsletter to you...
First of all, we are very proud of our recent achievement in winning the Training & Education Provider of the year award, at the SMSF & Accounting Awards (Vic). We see the delivery of our training as pivotal to the ongoing success of our members and broader community.
We are already planning for an even bigger calendar of SMSF training in 2019.
Unlicensed Accountant letters
It has been a long process, however we are now ready to release our unlicensed letters for use in beta. Initially, we are offering our members the opportunity to assist us with this testing and provide feedback on the workflows, integrations etc. You can see in the screenshot below how to create these unlicensed letters:
- On a step-by-step basis using the order forms;
- Create a workflow to go through each of the steps per client; or
- Access the word document templates (allowing you to use the letters not currently finalised with forms and integrations)
If you are interested in being a beta tester over the coming weeks, please send us a request at email@example.com and use Beta Tester in the subject line.
BGL & Class integrations into order forms
Unfortunately this work has taken a back seat due to the rebuild of the document generation server. However, we are extremely close to finalising this project bringing both the BGL & Class integrations to the front of the existing order forms. Many of you may have seen recently on the 'Pension Commencement' form the new fields at the top of the form that identifies the connectivity with your SMSF software - as indicated in the screenshot below:
From within the form it will recognise whether you are connected to your SMSF software (green circle) or alternatively you can integrate by clicking on the 'connect' button. Once connected, you can start ordering, using the API to access fund, member and other information (e.g. pension) where the end point is available with BGL or Class.
Initially, this will be for the existing suite of documents that we have integrations currently available for on the platform, however the plugin will now allow us to roll out the integrations much more easily across all the available documents (and future additions).
Improvements to the Document Platform
We are in the process of upgrading the navigation of our document platform with search functionality for easier usability. We will be migrating to a table list, allowing you full search functionality to quickly find the document that you wish to order. No longer will the page have a light-box 'pop-up' with the fund information and videos explaining the order - as you can see in the screenshot below, the list will show:
- each available document;
- a category of the subscription that the document is available within;
- the current PAYG price for those who wish to purchase (where not available within an active subscription);
- an 'Order Now' button to start a single document order (subscription or PAYG); and
- 'Start Now' to create a workflow of multiple document orders (e.g. workflows for new SMSF, including company, new SMSF, DBNs, investment strategy, etc.)
Importantly, where you want to know more information about the document including how-to videos, sample docs, FAQs, etc you will be able to click on the document name and go to a specific document page, which will open in a new tab on the smarter smsf website:
We expect these new pages to be available by mid December.
Improvements to the Learning platform
We've started updating our training area with a couple of new features to better visually represent the available webinars and courses, along with the ability to take notes whilst you are learning. Watch the screen-cast to understand how these new features operate: WATCH HOW TO LEARN THE SMARTER WAY
Work in Progress
There are a range of other projects currently in progress or scheduled for work in the coming months. These include:
- Enhancements to the workflow tool - this will be used for the unlicensed letters and also used for implementation of jobs where multiple form entries are required (e.g. New SMSF with corporate trustee, or death of a member);
- Update to CPD certificate process - bringing our CPD certificate generation back into our document platform. There will be no change to the current process and access to the CPD register for completed training;
- Upgrade to ABN registration process - with the revised API from Australian Business Registry (ABR). This will allow you to automatically populate the ABN/TFN application for a fund establishment, company and unit trust;
- Various enhancements to the ordering process - with both the BGL & Class APIs, including:
- Company incorporation (incl. special purpose) where ASIC notification completed from within CAS360;
- One-click setup within Simple Fund 360 from a new SMSF order (once API updated by BGL);
- Push updated DBN order information into Class;
We will also be looking to add further document population with some of the regularly used ATO forms including TBAR, change of details, contribution reserving and more.
The following documents have recently been added on the website:
- Commutation of Market Linked Pension (as legacy template only)
- Commencement of Market Linked Pension (as legacy template only)
- Return of NCC amounts
- Reversionary options for pensions - we are making amendments to the reversionary options of a new and existing income stream to incorporate a level of reversion that provides for a percentage (i.e. 100%) or dollar amount ($), along with amounts up to a surviving members transfer balance cap. The decisions around the level of reversion will be subject to the level of certainty of flexibility required by the member and beneficiary. In addition to updating these changes in the pension commencement documents, we will also be incorporating these options into the add/remove reversionary beneficiary should you wish to make changes to an existing pension without commutation and repurchase being required.
- Unit Trust Deed - this will also include a 13.22C Deed (and constitution) that will deal with 50%/50% unit holdings that provide dispute resolution processes to ensure that no particular party would 'control' the arrangement for the purposes of Part 8 of the SISA.
- Pension Deed of Affirmation and Confirmation - insufficient or missing pension documentation appears as a common occurrence and the recent Qld case of Naurmon further highlights the importance of this documentation in the context of dealing with the member's death benefit. We have now drafted this new Pension Deed and will look to add online for use in the coming weeks. The purpose of this Deed is to formally state or restate the terms and conditions of the pension based upon the knowledge and understanding of trustee(s) and member.
- Other documents - we have a range of additional templates looking to be added onto the platform over the coming months including Downsizer contributions, Agency Agreement (for related party builders), Deed of Debt Forgiveness, and more...
If you have any other suggestions for future documents, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or request through a ticket online.
Training & Events
Webinars recently added
For Learn members to access:
- Changing Face of SMSF (October)
- Understanding the role of a Fund Member's Guardian
- Insights into the Future of SMSF
Next Webinar (Save the date)
Changing Face of SMSF - Thursday, 13 December at 12pm AEDST