SMSF accountants favour online data access

16-Jan-2014

By Kate Kachor

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Online access to self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) data is set to spike, with close to 50 per cent of SMSF accountants interested in offering clients and advisers a web-based solution, according to an industry report.

The “OneVue/Investment Trends 2013 SMSF Accountant Report” found one in five or 19 per cent of SMSF accountants offered their clients and advisers the option to access, review and action client data online.

A breakdown of that figure found 11 per cent of SMSF accountants provided online access to both clients and advisers, while 8 per cent only provided the option to clients.

However, the number providing both adviser and client access to online data was set to significantly increase, with 47 per cent of SMSF accountants saying they would be interested in offering the solution in the coming years, the report said.

In the next 12 months, 23 per cent of SMSF accountants said they would be interested in using an online solution, it said.

This figure is expected to further increase, with 16 per cent of SMSF accountants indicating they would be interested in using an online solution between now and 2016.

Eight per cent said they would be interested in an online solution after 2016.

Meanwhile, 34 per cent said they would not be interested in using the solution.

“The report revealed that the perceived benefits of offering an online solution include greater administration efficiencies, accessibility and improved client interaction, as well as more timely information,” OneVue head of strategy, sales and service David Storm said.

“For those not interested in providing such a solution, the main reasons were assurance of data security, cost and lack of client demand, however, one in four said they would reconsider if they were assured data was secure.”

As the $532 billion SMSF industry continued to expand, so did the importance of online solutions, Storm said.

“Investors are becoming more demanding. They want real-time solutions. They want figures updated all the time,” he said.

“One of the big pushes we’ve seen in the SMSF sector has certainly been around cloud-based computing solutions, particularly when it comes to administration efficiencies, greater accessibility and providing more timely information.

“Everyone catering to the SMSF industry right now is trying to stay ahead of the pack in terms of the provision of online technology solutions, with some of the larger institutions spending millions of dollars to update legacy systems so they can in effect catch up to those leading innovation.”

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