This guide has been created to help BGL Simple Fund 360 clients become more productive by transitioning towards Zero Touch bank transaction processing.
What Is Zero Touch?
Zero Touch processing involves investing time into eliminating traditional hands-on manual processing. Simply pick up an SMSF at year end and have all bank transactions automatically coded and reconciled to a verified bank balance.
In Simple Fund 360, an automatically coded transaction is indicated by a green tick. 100% green ticks for all bank transactions is the goal of Zero Touch.
The productivity gains from Zero Touch processing stem from the more visible elimination of manual data entry, but also from eliminating time previously spent chasing missing bank statements and mistyped data entry.
The less visible productivity gains are generated from having current up to date data which results in more efficient allocation of tasks and improved decision making for your professional staff as compliance aspects can be isolated and dealt with rapidly rather than waiting for data to trickle in from the clients.
So here are some practical tips on how to move towards Zero Touch bank transaction processing.
1. Adopt an engineer’s mindset, can the task at hand be automated?
To really understand Simple Fund 360 automation, you need to change your mindset and let Simple Fund 360 do the work for you.
A key objective of Simple Fund 360 is to reduce the amount of user input and user-created transaction rules. We do this through the use of many external verified data sources. Verified data sources include bank balances from the Banks, Corporate Actions from the ASX, SuperStream data from Australia Post and Share feeds from the Brokers.
Before you even begin to enter a manual bank transaction in Simple Fund 360, you should be looking at how you can set up a Bank Feed. Bank Feeds are critical as Simple Fund 360 has algorithms and system rules automatically built-in for most of the common transaction types found in your typical SMSF. Put simply, if you don’t use Bank Feeds you will never achieve the Zero Touch bank transaction processing that many of your peers are achieving.
There is a myriad of Bank Feed options in Simple Fund 360, including BGL’s own daily Bank Data Service, MYOB Banklink or Xero Bank Feed Integration. If you are unable to organise an automated Bank Feed, demand from your client a CSV export of current year transactions as part of your new end of year checklist.
2. Eliminate those annoying bank transfers
Don’t just automate the main SMSF bank account, rather add automated Bank Feeds for all accounts. One of Simple Fund 360’s hidden features is an intelligent algorithm that searches through all your bank accounts daily and tries to match any inter-bank transfers. This is a huge time saver for those clients that love to transfer money regularly in and then back out of those high interest accounts.
Best of all, with the BGL Bank Data Service you pay the same amount per annum regardless of how many Bank Feeds you set up, so you would be crazy not to take advantage of this feature!
3. Automate share trades using the BGL Share Data Pack or use Wraps and Platform Feeds
Following the same theme, connect your fund to your client’s Broker, using BGL’s Share Data Pack or a Wrap or Platform connection. Not only do you eliminate the tedious process of re-coding buys and sells, you also gain numerous other value-ads in the process.
The first gain from connecting your broker is your client and your advisors can now have a more current picture of the complete portfolio, improving investment and retirement decisions.
The second value add is all your dividends and corporate actions will be automatically coded for you in the background by Simple Fund 360’s intelligent algorithms.
In the unlikely event the BGL Share Data Pack does not support your particular Broker, you can always load Broker CSV Buy/Sells. But if you do this, make sure you load the Broker CSV file before you create rules for transactions or load a Bank file manually.
4. Simple Fund 360 has intelligence built-in with suggested transactions
From the day you purchase Simple Fund 360 and set up a Bank Feed, Simple Fund 360 gets straight to work by making suggestions for some common types of transactions such as ASIC fees, accounting/ audit fees and bank charges.
We call these ‘system rules’ which BGL continually update. Therefore before you start creating your own transaction rules, go to the Smart Matching screen and review any suggested matched transactions.
5. Process your corporate actions before you create manual transaction rules or manually code any bank transactions
The Corporate Actions screen is designed to identify any Bank Entries automatically based on Cash Data.
So before you create your own transaction matching rules for a return of capital, share purchase plan or rights issue, you are better to process the Corporate Actions first. When you click Process for these corporate actions, Simple Fund 360 will then diligently review any uncoded transactions in your Bank Feed and match the cash portion of the corporate action to the relevant bank entry.
6. Let Simple Fund 360 do the work for you!
Simple Fund 360 will allocate ASX listed dividends automatically for any unmatched bank transactions. It will also populate the Franked and Unfranked amounts. Let Simple Fund 360 do this for you – do not create rules for dividends. Ideally, you should be using Share Data Pack for Zero Touch (hands-off) processing so your Buys and Sells are up-to-date.
If you are unable to automate the trades, you can input a manual Buy/Sell into 360. However, pay attention to input the correct settlement date for the Buys and Sells.
This is because on posting of the Buy/Sell transaction, Simple Fund 360 will go looking through the fund's uncoded bank transactions to find any dividends and automatically code them and input the franked amount for you. We call this process “triggers” and as far as we are aware, no other software can achieve this level of automation.
Over time these intelligent “triggers” will assist you with removing the more mundane tasks while adding small but continual productivity gains for your firm over your less automated competitors.
7. Eliminate manual input of Employer Contributions while adding value to your entire SMSF compliance process
With the advent of SuperStream it is now possible to eliminate manual coding of Employer Contributions. Once a fund is registered with the BGL Australia Post SuperStream Service all the contribution data is delivered to Simple Fund 360 on a daily basis.
An automated algorithm then diligently goes through the daily bank transactions 365 days a year for all your funds and matches the amount and type of contribution.
SuperStream is bundled in with the base price of Simple Fund 360 so there is no extra charge. Furthermore, you now have an external verified reference source for your employer contributions, being Australia Post. Handy for both your Accounting and Audit work paper preparation.
8. Create manual rules for the remaining transactions
Once you have utilised Tips 1 to 7 you can now begin to create your own Matching Rules. Transaction Matching Rules are an important step in moving towards Zero Touch processing. They are however limited in use as they rely on consistent narration descriptions to be input by the banks, institutions and/or your clients.
When first starting with 360 automation things can get confusing as you add more matching rules. So Tip 8 is to always give your matching rules highly detailed titles.
Eg. “RACV$928.50HouseIns” for a repeating payment of $928.50 to supplier RACV, coded to Rental Property Insurance.
Your objective should be to avoid having to click into a matching rule to see how it allocates a transaction.
9. When creating a transaction matching rule know when to use “contains”
Use the match option “contains” instead of “equals” of a particular “value” to set the scope as wide as possible. That way the bank feed will still work if a phrase in the Payee field turns up in the Description field.
10. When creating a transaction matching rule know when to use “equals”
Apply an ‘equals’ rule matching the amount for regular contribution deposits. This way you will know when the amount changes (Eg. when a Members Salary is updated). This is also useful for multiple direct debits from the same employer which must be coded to different member accounts.
11. When creating a transaction matching rule utilise Multiple Conditions at Step 3
Use multiple conditions to identify more common transactions. Eg. Contains “IOOF” and contains “Insurance” often works better than contains “IOOF Insurance” because the feed may only use a shortened version and also may appear in a different order.
12. Use the condition at Step 2. Apply import rule to Bank account(s)’:
For specific bank rules, apply them to a specific bank account to reduce incorrect matches.
For example, if a Municipal Council Rates 1 transaction is in bank account 60400/WBC1 you can code it to “Rates Rental Property Account 1”; if a Municipal Council Rates 2 transaction is in bank 60400/WBC2 code to “Rates Rental Property Account 2”.
Use rules on certain bank accounts to allocate bank interest to the right account. For broad-based bank rules, apply the rule to all bank accounts so if the client changes banks or uses a different account the rule will still apply.