Class has continued to expand its service offering with the launch of a trust accounting and administration product that will integrate with its SMSF tools and offer similar functionality and processes.
The new product – Class Trust – will automate many parts of the trust administration process, use data feeds from financial institutions to simplify and reduce errors in the gathering of information related to the trust and provide automated tax accounting reconciliation.
Class chief executive Andrew Russell said the Class Trust software was similar to that used in Class Super and Class Portfolio, and the three products will be integrated with each other and will use the document management functions available in its recent acquisitions, NowInfinity and Smartcorp.
The pricing for Class Trust will also mirror that of Class Super at $282 per trust per annum with volume discounts applied where more than 100 trusts are administered by the platform, Russell told selfmanagedsuper.
This price, however, would be reduced to around $200 a trust until June 2021 as part of an introductory offer for any trusts that are loaded onto the platform by 31 December.
Russell said there were 530,000 investment trusts in Australia, making them the second largest investment vehicle after superannuation, and this figure was expected to grow as contribution caps restricted the amount of wealth that could be added to a super fund each year.
He said the development of Class Trust came in response to many accountants and advisers struggling to gather information and then reconcile capital gains and income inside the trust.
“We found the major competitor to any product we developed was Excel, which is still used as the primary trust administration tool, but it cannot deal with repetition and complexity,” he said.
“Our SMSF platform drives compliance at the back end and the software will be similar in the trust product and so clients will be familiar with it. There will be some differences, but the processes will be similar and we expect the time and cost savings will echo those seen in our SMSF product.”
He said the trust product was part of Class’s three-year Reimagination strategy and the launch of Class Trust “is a natural extension of our product suite for our customers”.
“As we have seen through our in-depth customer research, managing trusts is complex and while we have used the components of the Class engine, our Trust product has been designed and built to address the specific challenges we know exist for professionals that administer trusts,” he said.
“Our work with customers and partners through our pilot phase, in addition to our strategic acquisitions in the legal documentation space this year, have enabled us to create this dedicated trust accounting solution.”