Superannuation provider Australian Superannuation Administrators Limited (ASA) has made the manual administration of its 500 funds automatic by implementing a custom-built software solution.
The Sydney-based company commissioned the design of its Web-based Self-fund Integrated Superannuation System (SISS) to automate Self-Managed Super Funds (SMSFs) and reduce the paperwork burden on staff.
The SISS exports SMSF customer and investment transaction details, held in a centralized database, over to accounting software.
This replaces the need for manual administration methods in which paper copies of investment and bank accounts are manually entered into different systems, prior to the preparation of annual SMSF accounts.
ASA CEO, Grant Augustin, said custom-building the solution was an inexpensive way to ease the administrative burden on the company.
"One of the problems facing SMSF administrators is that when you get to the 200-300 mark the amount of paperwork required to administer the funds starts to put a strain on the company," Augustin said.
"The beauty of the system is it can be can scaled up or down, so it can be used by someone who has five funds right through to 5000.
"SISS gives us great scalability by automating the process of collecting information and uploading it to accounting software."
ASA employed software vendor InterSystems and application designer Schumacher Partners to create the custom solution when it could not find an adequate off-the-shelf solution.
It was developed in six months using ASA's concept of an automated administration system and InterSystem's CACHE object database and development environment.
Augustin said ASA will market the SISS to other large and small SMSF administrators including financial planners and accountants.
"About 90 percent of self-managed super accountants administer nine or fewer funds, [and] while pricing is not yet finalized, the benefits of our service will far outweigh the cost which will cover all data feeds," he said.
"SMSF administrators can reduce the cost of administration and spend more time on value-added services such as financial strategy or technical advice."
The number and average holdings of SMSFs have grown dramatically in recent years, with over 300,000 Australian funds holding over $200 billion in assets for over 600,000 members.
As the numbers have increased, so have administration and compliance requirements.
The automated SMSF administration solution is an online information system designed specifically to assist administrators in reducing costs and scaling their businesses, while reducing compliance risk for their customers.
ASA was formed through the recent merger of Self Fund Pty Ltd and Priority Super and will increase its listed funds from 500 to about 1000 over the next 12 months through further acquisitions.
Schumacher Partners focuses on business process management and advising its customers on their information systems and how to implement new technology.