Changing accounting climate driving growth in trusts

May 4, 2021

Self-managed super funds (SMSFs) have long played a pivotal role in the business models of key accounting firms. However, changes in superannuation policy around contribution caps and the introduction of the transfer balance cap have motivated accountants and advisers to provide investors with the next best alternative for tax effective wealth management.

Even before now, trusts have for a long time been considered as the vehicle of choice for running a business, owning property, to include in an estate plan, and or to accumulate wealth outside super. The industry is now seeing the rise of a dual investment approach, incorporating a trust alongside an SMSF.

Trusts can offer many benefits, including flexibility, asset protection and tax management opportunities. However, just like SMSFs, they are complex and hard to navigate without professional advice.
Through cloud-based technologies like Class Trust, you can now automate and streamline your trust administration process.

First to the cloud
“Class Trust has not only shown the shift in cloud-based technology, but it is transforming the wealth accounting industry, leaving a multitude of manual spreadsheets in its dust – it’s the first of its kind and first to the cloud in Australia, “ said Gopi Sundaralingam, Senior Product Manager for Class Trust.

“Arduous administrative tasks are a pain point for accounting firms, with gruelling manual data input, lack of consistency and significant room for human error.”

“Most importantly, it gets accountants thinking how well they’re managing their trusts right now and how they could be managing trusts. Coming onto Class, they now have one platform to do it all and one source of truth for their investments and all the accounting/tax reports to do the administration side of trust.”

Demand for strategic advice
COVID-19 and the changing landscape has shown that clients are now seeking out practitioners who offer a proactive and engaged relationship, rather than a functional and reactive approach to accounting tasks. The ongoing shift to cloud-based technologies has resulted in many traditional compliance services now being automated.

“There’s no solution out there solving these pain points and addressing this growing demand. Our solution automates all your processes, reduces errors and you can now have the confidence of accurate and timely data to help you make well informed decisions,” said Gopi.

Solution based on customer research
Cloud-based technologies like Class Trust can automate routine trust administrative tasks and free up accountants and advisers, giving them more time to interact with clients and focus on more meaningful activities.

“After in-depth research, we learnt that there was a lack of technology support for investment trust. Our customers were using multiple spreadsheets to calculate income and capital gains, to keep track of the asset register, to complete the tax accounting reconciliation and so much more,” said Gopi.

Single source of truth
So, what are the benefits of automated, cloud-based technologies?
“One of the key pain points we hear from customers is the lack of consistency in obtaining the required information,” said Gopi.

“If you’re tracking investments or managed funds, I’ll go into each of the platforms to get the figures and if I’m tracking shares, I’ll go into the ASX and check each individually then I’ll have to load into an excel loader. That process in itself is error-prone, takes too long and is not automated.” said Gopi.

Solutions like Class Trust can rapidly drive business efficiencies by standardising disjointed manual administrative processes. Access to up to date data allows accountants and advisers to make time-critical decisions and be proactive in providing strategic advice for clients.

Road ahead for Class Trust
“I think Class Trust is going to be a game-changer for the industry. There’s no product out there that manages investment trusts end-to-end. With Class Trust as the first solution in the Australian market, you can have confidence in our ability to deliver you a truly genuine trust accounting solution,” Gopi said.
“The feedback from customers in only our first six months has been tremendously positive – they see that it’s doing more than what they even expected. We already have over 3,000 trusts and more than 200 accounting firms using Class Trust.”

In the future, Class will continue to lead in wealth accounting technology, by breaking down new barriers for customers with solutions that solve their changing pain points. Class Trust is a step-forward in our innovations in creating a holistic view on the growing industry demands and will provide useful and actionable insights for both the future of accountants, advisers and their customers.

“Crystal ball thinking, my dream for the future of Class Trust is being able to work with the ATO and government bodies to help build up compliance on trust and be the forefront product for the future. And we’re already starting to do that, we aim to be the leaders in this space to drive value-add opportunities for our customers and being the benchmark on how to efficiently manage trusts. We want to continue to automate and innovate to make more of our customers’ lives easier – I’m a firm believer that it doesn’t need to be complicated,” said Gopi.

Class Trust can rapidly drive business efficiencies (pilot customers are seeing as much as 50% WIP reduction in the first year). Is your accounting firm spending hours manually administering trust funds?

Start your journey now into automated trust accounting and administration with the industry’s first solution. Schedule an obligation-free demo:

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Latest Resources

Class welcomes SMSF flexibility announced in Budget 2021

May 13, 2021
The Budget 2021 includes a number of positive measures specific to the wealth accounting sector that are to be welcomed, but the industry needs ongoing evolution through government, according to Class Limited CEO, Andrew Russell.

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