The reluctance to use and switch to data feed automation for SMSFs has been cited as an ongoing issue for trustees, however, it is more concerning for the older generation of clients.
“The unwillingness is around the clients themselves passing the data on, which is quite interesting since a lot of them use internet banking, but then when it comes to having extra data passed onto their accountants automatically, they are a little hesitant about that process,” SuperConcepts software services manager Maureen Mowatt told selfmanagedsuper.
“We’ve found it’s the older generation who are realising all their data is being sent off to people.
“And they’re used to the old way, which we call ‘shoe box’ processing with all their receipts, paperwork and data that they take to their accountant, so they’re happy with that because that’s the way it’s always been.
“It’s definitely more demographic, but when accountants start having a conversation with their clients, they usually win them over [once they are reassured about the security]; there is so much data out there and it’s really about trying to make it easier for everybody to collect it and use it for meaningful purposes.”
Mowatt said there was no pushback for using data feeds from the SMSF auditors’ and accountants’ perspective, with the only major concern around ensuring the imported data could not be adjusted or tinkered with.
“We are reliant on the feeds and data we’re getting from the banks and brokers, so if there’s an error, it’s on their end,” she noted.
“Part of the checks and balances of having different data sources means that you do get to see if there are errors coming through, such as a stray transaction on a bank account, which the auditor or accountant has nothing to match it up to.”
Mowatt presented alongside SuperConcepts software trainer Dee Thomson last week at the Accountants’ Technology Showcase Australia 2017 Conference in Sydney.
“Data feed automation is the holy grail, but why doesn’t everyone use it?” Thomson said at the event.
“People talk about data feeds and how you need them, but what’s important is how you interact with the data – there are a lot of feeds available – but from a practical perspective, do you really need all of them or just the ones that provide you with meaningful data?”
Thomson also acknowledged most accountants would always have an element of manual data entry for SMSF clients.
“There will always be clients who are resistant to data feeds and are uncomfortable with the internet and therefore may not ever be convinced to use automation,” she noted.
“So we’ve improved our functionality to help you directly load transactions manually from spreadsheet files, alongside your automated feeds and transactions.”