Many SMSF firms have jumped into IT and technology upgrades but have not considered how they will integrate with existing systems or are failing to use them to their full potential, says one business consultant.
9rok Consulting's managing director, Kim Payne, told SMSF Adviser that advisers and accountants often acquire technology piece by piece rather than as part of an overall strategy.
“They don’t integrate technology effectively across the business so what they end up with is a whole lot of different tools or different pieces of technology that don’t speak to each other,” said Ms Payne.
This is particularly a problem where the firm is mixing IT software and systems with paper-based documents or spreadsheets.
Many practitioners also do not take the time to learn how to use new technology to its full capacity, she added.
“I look at the common IT systems for accounting and financial planners and most practitioners only use it to about 10 per cent of its capability,” she said.
“The use of technology can be one of the most incredible tools from an efficiency point of view, but so many advisers are just not getting those efficiency gains, [even though] they’ve got the latest technology in place.”
Part of the problem is that SMSF practices do not establish a strategy for IT and technology, as they would with other aspects of the business such as how to attract new clients.
“What they need to think about is why do they need it, what is it going to do, how is it going to enhance productivity and what tasks staff are currently doing that it’s going to replace,” she said.