We spy with our little eye… big things coming in 2022

Acis, current as of: 16 December 2021.

It’s certainly been another challenging and eventful year. Now as we sprint towards the finish line for 2021, we’ve asked three of our resident experts to take a peak into the spyglass and share their predictions and perspectives for 2022.

Martin Kerrigan – Acis Board Member and CEO, Snelleman Tom

Matt Neibling – CEO and Acis Co-Founder

Mick Nielsen – Acis Client Relationship Director

Nothing beats the human touch

This year we’ve seen the industry hit an inflection point where professional advisors are more aware than ever of the value of personal service and expertise. They understand the risk that automated providers pose to their firms, and let’s face it, we’re all pining human contact after such long periods in lockdown and WFH.

The flight to quality looks set to continue in 2022. With industry aggregation and declining service levels creating real pain and risk for firms, industry awareness about the importance of human expertise is only on the increase. Acis has always operated a highly personal and responsive service model with every document produced and scrutinised by our customer support and in-house legal teams.

Simplicity and certainty are the new black

Simplicity is very much the word to watch for 2022.

All the change and aggregation in our industry, coupled with the pressures created by the pandemic, has generated unnecessary complexity and confusion for firms. We see this being pared back in the coming year.

Professional advisers want less:

  1. Hot air from document providers putting non-lawyers at risk with low-to-no-service offerings and a “one size fits all” approach.
  2. Instability – advisers want to know who is supplying services and they want to know a person is at the other end of the phone to help with enquiries. Firms are tackling staff instability, among other things, and can’t afford to manage uncertainty in other parts of their businesses.

Advisers tell us they are looking for legal and technical services that simplify processes, including standardising provisions of family trust and SMSF deeds to ensure they’re uniform across firms. The goal is to reduce administrative overheads and the risk of firms making assumptions in regards to highly-variable deed content.

We’ve seen a real surge in firms adopting SuperDepot, our cloud-based SMSF deed management service that has been operating for more than 15 years. It’s a constant in an ever-changing landscape which provides visibility over the content of SMSFs’ governing rules and one set of rules to review. Life should be easier and simpler, not harder and more complex!

Tech that talks

Acis has invested significantly through 2021 – more than any other year – in our tech architecture and integrations.

We know that clients want enhancements in time-saving integrations across platforms and this will continue to improve. While tech will never replace humans, sophisticated platforms should deliver a simple, single point of access to data they can find and use easily. This enhanced connectivity needs to be of a type that drives real efficiencies, rather than just claiming to do so.

While big firms already have access to the treasure troves of data contained in their clients’ records, there is an evolving opportunity to improve the ability of medium and smaller firms to access data that will improve their decision-making and services to end clients.

Changes afoot in the regulatory landscape

The introduction of Director IDs by the Commonwealth Business Registry Service will certainly present an additional administrative burden for our clients, and for Acis as an ASIC Digital Service Provider. We are standing by, ready to start collecting and lodging all new Director IDs as soon as ASIC makes this functionality available.

Digital document signing has been a hot topic of conversation amongst many of our clients this year. We hope to see better resolved legislation regarding this process in the coming year to address jurisdictional confusion. This should lead to digital signing being more widely accepted which will deliver a host of practical benefits to our clients. In the meantime, we welcomed FuseSign to the Acis family as a preferred partner this year to manage digital document signing where we believe it works.

We asked our experts what was at the top of their Christmas lists

Martin wants to let the grinch loose when it comes to “useless paperwork and processes”. He wants to see resources freed up so firms can focus on helping clients build their businesses.

Meanwhile….back in Santa’s workshop…..Matt’s got his fingers crossed for some shiny new golf clubs, while Mick is hoping this year that Santa will finally bring him a new cricket bat to help him get the ball off the square. It seems his Under 15s model has now well and truly had its day.

We wish all our clients, partners and suppliers a happy and safe end to 2021, and a prosperous 2022 with very rosy horizons.