Rob & Katrina Blomfield, Walcha, NSW

Katrina and Rob Blomfield live in the Walcha area, near Armidale NSW, where they’ve been running a fine wool, lamb and cattle property for the past 40 years. They are currently transitioning to retirement and are in the process of handing the property over to their two sons.

Katrina and Rob have been working with Practical Systems since the company was founded in 1992. They initially used Cashbook to help manage their own accounting as well as the self-managed super fund (SMSF) they shared with their sons. When their sons both got married, Katrina and Rob split the fund to enable their sons and their partners to have their own separate SMSFs. Katrina still manages each of the SMSFs.

Like many people who opt for an SMSF, Katrina and Rob originally set up their own fund because they wanted more control over their superannuation. “Our SMSF has been vital to the strategy of accumulating off-farm assets as part of our family succession planning, and having more control over how we manage it has given us a real sense of ownership over our financial future as a family.”

Katrina manages all investments herself; “I don’t use a fund manager. I make decisions about where to invest based on my own research. Cashbook had an investment register attached within the platform which none of the other solutions I looked at offered at the time. It kept track of all the dividends and interest earned. It just kept tabs of everything really. It’s been really useful for running our own SMSF.”

When Practical Systems Super was introduced with a range of services specifically developed to give more control to trustees, Katrina and Rob began using it for their SMSF.

Katrina believes being the owner of all the data relating to your SMSF is crucial, and one of the key benefits of Practical Systems Super; “When we changed accountants, all our financial records stayed with that accountant. I wasn’t able to get that data back as it was on a different software system. Data ownership is really important. They’re your records, but people aren’t often thinking about what it means to own their own data. I wouldn’t want that to happen to our superannuation.”

“Practical Systems Super keeps all the information attached to our fund together in one place. The audits, the pension payments, it’s just a one-stop shop for people managing their own SMSF. We’re all busy. We’re all time poor. If you’ve got something that’s a one-stop shop and that’s easy to use, well, what else do you want?”

** Katrina Blomfield is a Director at Practical Systems Limited.