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Intra-day reporting unknown to trustees

As software companies compete with each other to drive the quality and timeliness of online reporting, SMSF trustees have accepted annual reporting as the benchmark.

However, Bravura Solutions portfolio solutions principal consultant David Barrett said it was vital up-to-date reporting became a standard feature of SMSFs.

“Why is it that because I have an SMSF, I have to sacrifice up-to-date reporting?” Barrett told selfmanagedsuper.

“At the moment, people just seem to accept that’s what happens when you have an SMSF.

“If I’m going to move from retail or industry super to start my own SMSF, I just have to accept getting a set of reports once a year that are already six months out of date.”

The issue of improved SMSF reporting had not yet been recognised by trustees, but not because they did not care or lacked interested, he said.

“SMSFs are more engaged than people in industry funds, but it seems to be that they have been told that’s [how reporting works],” he said.

“I don’t think it’s going to take long [for them to realise it’s something they want], particularly as the retail and industry funds do everything they can to compete with the SMSFs and we see them reacting now on price, direct investment and replicate the experience of an SMSF.”

He said the demand for up-to-date online reporting would emerge from newer SMSF trustees.

“Those people who have had a self-managed fund for 10 or 15 years have got to a point where they’re comfortable with the level of reporting and don’t have greater expectations,” he said.

“The idea of online reporting is not really something they’re used to or excited about.

“But people who are in their 30s and just starting to move into SMSFs are going to have the higher expectations when it comes to reporting and will say if they start an SMSF, they’ll be able to have all the best reporting.”

Demand for day-to-day reporting was also coming from SMSF administrators, he said.

“In my experience, when you talk to administrators about timely reporting, they love the fact that they can provide their clients with timely reporting on their portfolio, which is a point of difference for them,” he said.

“But from their internal processes point of view, it’s the fact that they can quickly and easily track people’s contributions relative to their caps and track people’s pension drawdowns relative to their minimums and maximums online.

“A lot of the systems people are using just can’t do that.”

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