Class sets new SMSF growth milestone

Class has reported a record increase in the number of accounts administered on its software in the 2017 financial year, with the superannuation reforms driving accountants to move from legacy desktop software to cloud technology.

The SMSF software provider added a record 31,503 accounts in the 12 months to 30 June, passing a milestone 140,000 SMSFs during the June quarter 2017.

Class Super’s market share lifted to 24 per cent from 19 per cent at the beginning of last financial year.

In addition, accounting practices using Class experienced an average 12 per cent growth in SMSFs in the 12 months to 31 March 2017, compared with ATO data revealing the SMSF industry grew 3.9 per cent in the same period, which was a five-year low.

Class chief executive Kevin Bungard said the lower industry growth rate was partly due to the uncertainty caused by the six-month delay in legislating the super reforms, which were announced in the May 2016 federal budget.

“The SMSF industry is swamped with work at the moment, but once the changes are implemented, we expect to see businesses return to a focus on growth, with regtech (regulatory technology) companies like Class playing a key role in driving greater efficiency and effectiveness,” Bungard said today.

The business’s strong growth highlighted the success of the firm winning new business from accountants moving from legacy desktop software to the cloud, he said.

“The super reforms, especially the need for real-time reporting, are continuing to drive increased interest in system automation,” he said, adding Class Super users continued to win market share from their peers that used less effective systems.

“Accounting practices that have embraced cloud technology are winning share from those stuck in the past.”

In the June quarter, Class added 8208 accounts and also introduced additional features to help accountants and SMSF administrators manage the super reforms, including bulk commutation of pension accounts, capital gains tax relief reports and new data filters on the member console.

Bungard said that was a pleasing result in light of the ATO’s decision to defer the mid-May lodgement date for SMSF annual returns to the end of June.

That had delayed the loading of some portfolios as practices typically waited until tax lodgements were completed before transitioning to a new software solution, he added.

“That shift in timing, along with a great sales pipeline, positions us well for a strong September quarter,” he said.

Class Super continues to rate highest among accountants, after winning the 2017 Investment Trends highest overall client satisfaction award for SMSF software in May, for the third year in a row.

“We are thrilled that this independent survey shows that SMSF accountants rate Class more highly than any other SMSF software provider in terms of features, value and benefits,” Bungard said.

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