By Garry Johnston
National Manager, Software Sales
Last year I wrote a piece around the phenomenon that we had been seeing in the accounting space over the last couple of years. Simply put, the lack of quality accountants meant employers had to get creative when it came to processing and completing their clients' work.
Buzzwords like accountants’ shortage, the great resignation, and people generally asking where all the accountants had gone become cannon fodder for those conversations taking place at the water cooler, or maybe those were zoom meetings.
Fast forward a year, and has anything really changed? Well, the answer is likely no. Employers still need help finding qualified accounting staff, and there is still a real crux around getting the clients' work done on time and ultimately adhering to those looming tax deadlines.
A lot of my answers last year centered on offshoring, which was prevalent inside the SMSF space for a number of years and the rise of artificial intelligence. These are still valid and provide a lot of practitioners the ability to actually get some of the work done and even get a little bit of sleep.
I still have the same views on this, but the ultimate idea here is that eventually, these jobs will become automated - like bank tellers. Obviously, it won't happen right away, so what should we do during this period?
Those who know me well can tell that I am a very driven results-orientated person; it bleeds into all facets of life, whether that be work, social sport or just home life in general. I am competitive, and for any problems that arise, I like to find solutions to how we can ultimately help others with similar issues.
So how do we fix this problem? It’s a great question, and my answer is probably a little bit of everything.
- First, ensure you are examining your clients at least annually; if you aren’t using dedicated SMSF software, stop reading this and go and sign up.
- This means a basic health check on the fund, ensuring that data feeds, transaction rules and data efficiencies are established and working.
- In my most recent article, I spoke about the need to undertake a cost analysis of your processes, feeds, and software to ensure you are still getting bang for your buck.
- This should deal with about 90% of the transactions that you will see in a given year; there might be odd exceptions to this rule; at the end of the day, there will be some exceptions reporting that you will need to do that might be clearing up contributions and pensions, or getting more information around new investments etc.
This all sounds pretty straightforward, right? So what happens when the proverbial stuff hits the fan, and you don't have staff to complete the work? As an ex-accountant and a software guy, my first thought is contract work or outsourcing.
But why not get your software provider to do this work for you? Wait, what, your software can do this?
One of the unique parts of our business here at SuperConcepts is that we are not just a software company or just an administrator, or just a provider of technical resources. We actually cover the entire gamut of the SMSF sector, so if you are using our flagship SMSF software Supermate and are struggling with lodgment deadlines, why not ask how our experienced administrators can help you complete the work in your own iteration of the software, it's really easy and can save your clients' real money.
If you would like to know more, why not reach out to me? I would love to have a chat and see if we can work with your business.
My colleague Sarah Pressler is running a webinar on the 9th of February dissecting this phenomenon in greater detail; it should be a great session; make sure you register using this link. Sarah will have some unique thoughts on this and come at the problem in a different light.
Lastly, if you are in Melbourne for the annual SMSFA event, come to say hello and have a chat, myself and Sarah will be at booth 26.
Until next time!