With an objective to automate as much of the SMSF administration process as possible, Class won’t shy away from the additional and complex functionalities requested by accountants.
“For example, we automate as many general ledger postings as we can and continue to grow the number of direct-connect data feeds available on Class,” chief executive Kevin Bungard says.
“We want to enable accountants to provide fantastic service to their clients by giving them access to up-to-date information – something they haven’t had in the past.
“From an administrator point of view, it’s all about delivering efficiencies which allow them to turn SMSFs into a profit and growth centre for their business.”
This year, the business strategy has focused on streamlining a number of areas that continue to be challenges for accountants and administrators.
“In the past, we’ve automated things like corporate actions and international investments,” Bungard says.
“This year we’ve been focusing on improving our customers’ interaction with their clients by delivering client view, client messaging and document management.
“Another area we’ve been focusing on is supporting the audit process. Attaining ASAE 3402 assurance for our data feeds system will help auditors to reduce the effort involved in SMSF audit preparation.”
He highlights one of the key components of the business is its implementations team, which deals with the transition of funds to Class and delivers a 90-day implementation program to ensure customers get the maximum benefit from the software.
“For us, it’s not just a matter of signing up a new client and leaving them to their own devices,” he explains.
“We understand that Class brings a big change to their business, particularly as they move from manual to automated cloud processes, and we need to support our clients through that change process to achieve the right end result.”
Furthermore, now the industry has moved past the early adoption stage for SMSF software, firms hold a different set of drivers.
“They’re more cautious and want to look more closely and critically at prospective solutions, with lots of questions about security, breadth and quality of data feeds, integration with other solutions, et cetera,” Bungard says.
“So rather than accepting a solution because it’s new and innovative, they want to really understand the business case, which is great for us as we’re so focused on efficiency: explaining the value we deliver to administrators is part and parcel of what we do.”
The group practises continuous improvement, essential in a business that’s been growing as quickly as Class.
It experienced a record second half for the 2016 financial year, bolstered by the continued acceleration of practices moving to the cloud.
“We’re lucky to have a fantastic team of people who can rise to the challenge and readily adapt to change, which for us is just a fact of life.
Internally we also run annual Change Champion awards, to recognise staff for their individual efforts to drive and deliver innovation and change within the organisation,” Bungard says.
Commenting on the award win, he says he believes it demonstrates strong recognition from the industry.
“And it’s also great validation for the team that all their hard work is resonating with the market and we’re getting it right,” he says.
“Winning the award definitely comes down to a combination of things – having a well-developed product, a great team of people, and being able to really embrace the opportunity cloud technology brings, to make a difference in the industry.”
Class has a team of over 70 people, ranging from software developers to the operations and support staff that keep all its systems and data feeds running smoothly.