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Is SMSF software really that important?

Feb 7, 2022, 09:24 AM
ByGarry Johnston
National Manager – Software Sales

Garry Johnston
As consumers, we’re innately aware of the add-ons, trimmings, and accompaniments that we’re offered on a daily basis. From, “Would you like fries with that?” to the genuinely genius business model of Apple whereby they exercise unapparelled control over its multi-channel platform – is it just me, or does each new product require a new style of charger?

Upselling is everywhere and the finical services industry, SMSFs specifically, isn’t immune to the frills that naturally come with commerce.

So, welcome to the first installment as I take a deep dive to uncover if SMSF software is just another line on a P&L statement.

As someone who has been in the SMSF space for the better part of two decades, I have seen the manifestations of many versions of software solutions. From archaic excel spreadsheets and manual processing to the current landscape of artificial intelligence and uber-smart software.

I started out by processing boxes of bank statements and manually completing annual returns by physically flipping through work papers. The challenges of which included double handling, errors, wasted time, and general frustration at such an “old school” process. I would often think, surely we can do this better. I still remember the words of my manager at the time, “Garry, this is character building and a great way to understand a business.”

On the flip side, I’ve had the exposure of rolling out and migrating a cutting-edge SMSF solution for a leading mid-sized accounting firm.

It’s no secret that SMSFs can be a minefield, even for accountants. This is exacerbated when a firm fails to supply the dedicated and adequate resources required to navigate the complexities of SMSF compliance.

Often taking on SMSF work is a bolt onto an existing client structure - it doesn’t derive as much revenue as core business units and is layered with underlying complexity. So, yes – there can be little profit to derive from the SMSF side of a business unless you are well equipped and resourced to handle it.

Having seen so many industry changes over the years, it sometimes feels like we’re pivoting every other week. We need only look at the back end of last year to see two major changes that will have a dramatic impact on SMSF businesses. Both the Director Identification and SuperStream regulations have had major impacts on our industry. So I get it if SMSF is hard, ever-changing, and less than lucrative, why would I dedicate more resources to a loss leader?

For those who choose to suitably gear up and arm themselves with the right tools to venture down the road of SMSFs, the payoff can be exponential.

Embrace the change. If things stood still, would trustees need you? Assess your SMSF business and turn it into a crucial and efficiently run division. Ensure you’re not only equipped to be agile but flexible enough to change when the legislative winds blow to capitalise on the SMSF fees that are yours for the taking.

Spoiler alert, I believe SMSF software should be your first defence in your arsenal when dealing with SMSF work. Here are some of the advantages it can bring.


Most dedicated SMSF software solutions come jam-packed with features, add-ons, and modules. Gone are the days you have 5 different programs running. A quality SMSF software can handle all of this and operates as your “one-stop-shop” for SMSF administration requirements.

Benefit – Having a centralised source of truth should improve productivity, efficiency, and profit.


SMSF software is smart and uses artificial intelligence, data feeds, built-in compliance checks, and easy-to-use wizards and workflows. All staff with some training will be able to pick up and process an SMSF from beginning to end, no matter the level of experience.

 Benefit – Whilst it is true there is an initial amount of time to train, the benefits will be almost instant. The implementation of SMSF software means greater efficiency and ultimately greater profits.

Streamline Processes

It’s no secret that accountants love processes – it’s what we live for. Having SMSF software at your disposal allows you to streamline processes, cutting down unnecessary data entry, reconciliation, and those dreaded amendments that affect your bottom line.

Benefit – Streamlining processes allows you to tailor processes to your current practice. Once up and running, you will be a lot more productive and efficient. This gives you time back to chase other revenue sources or to attract new business via scalability.


Personally, the biggest areas I hear sceptics question is the disruption to the business operations and price. “I don’t want to change my business model for fear of damaging my slim profit margins!” and “It all takes too long, and I can’t afford to have tools down for any period.

While these are all extremely valid reasons, they are short-sighted. Aligning yourself with any of the big software players will future-proof your business. Providers go the whole nine yards to ensure their products cater to change.

Back in 2017, when we moved to the Total Super balance regime, being aligned with an SMSF provider made the journey so much easier. It took the angst out of the process and allowed us to focus on client concerns and get them up to speed.

So, whilst SMSF software might feel like another added extra, I’m confident that it not only pays for itself but will significantly improve your bottom line.

Next up, I will take a look under the hood of our new software SuperMate.

These are just a few of the reasons I believe that a specialist SMSF software is an absolute must in 2022. I’ve got more related myths to debunk over the coming months as we will walk through a range of topics relating to your SMSF business operations.

I would love to hear any feedback or comments; you can reach me at

Or you can learn more about our specialist SMSF Software, SuperMate, here:

Until next time.

Want more free SMSF knowledge? 

For fortnightly insights, follow our podcast SMSF Adventures with SuperConcepts hosted by Jessica Griffith as she speaks to some of the greatest minds in the industry, to deliver the information that matters.

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