Do you remember 2018? It feels like a long time ago – at least for us. And a lot has happened since then! Property prices have surged. The Gold Coast held the commonwealth games (remember that?). And our supermarkets removed plastics bags, put them back… and then removed them again. But most importantly, it’s been a big couple of years here at Rockend with over 35(!) new Strata Master features released.
With so many new features coming out, we thought it would be worth rounding up the big ones so you can make sure you and your team are on top of them all and making the most out of your software. Check them out below.
P.S. To make the most of this list, we recommend checking off those you’re using as you go through. Any left unticked? Distribute them among the team to work out how they can be embedded into your everyday processes.
1. We launched the Communications Wizard for faster, smarter communications
You can easily send bulk email and SMS messages to owners, tenants, residents, agents and committees for single or multiple corporations, with duplicate removal and the ability to preview email contacts prior to sending.
There’s also the option to email your contacts directly from the corporation screen using the quick-launch button – taking you straight to the Bulk Email Wizard with the plan pre-loaded.
2. And then kept enhancing it…
You’ll need fewer clicks to get the information you need, as the preview screen now displays the plan number, unit number and lot number, along with any additional contacts.
Your bulk email workflow has been streamlined, with two new levy and notice contact groups available for selection in the preview screen.
3. There are new mail merge fields
It’s so much easier to create bulk communications using all the new mail merge fields. You can do things like streamline your settlement payments by adding the BPAY Biller Code and DEFT Reference Number to status certificate templates as merge fields. Or add meeting details and owners via the Meetings Mail Merge, making communicating upcoming meetings that much easier. Tenant and resident email addresses are available as merge fields in the Owners/Lots Mail Merge, allowing emails to be sent directly to your tenants and residents, helping to improve transparency and communications right across your portfolio
4. There are new Owner & Committee Portals
With more functionality, an easier to use interface and more opportunities for branding, the new portals save time and improve the level of service you’re able to provide your customers. For full details check out the dedicated portals release notes, or head to the knowledgebase for instructions on getting them set up.
5. Bing Mailroom is more intuitive
Bing Mailroom takes away the pain of printing and sending things like levy notices to your customers. Just print straight to Bing’s Easypost Printer and they will handle printing, collation, and sending for you. There’s been a few updates that improve this service:
- Mailing pages will now group correctly when Interim Reports are collated using Bing Mailroom.
- To help identify levy notices and AGM reports printed via Bing Mailroom, they will now generate with meaningful filenames.
- Several levy notices slips will also display higher quality images when printing via Bing Mailroom.
Levies and Invoicing
6. Invoice and levy management is faster and more flexible
When issuing single or multiple miscellaneous owner invoices from the accounting menu, an option is now available to save the invoices to file rather than having to manually save each invoice.
Printed levy notices and miscellaneous owner invoices display the original issue date and the reprinted date. Previously, if you reprinted a levy notice or owner invoice, the due date would be overwritten by the date your reprinted it. Now it is clear to owners when it was originally invoiced, so your owners can’t argue the due date.
When entering a single Miscellaneous Owner Invoice, a new option is available to add the date due so the invoice can be future or back dated.
When raising a single miscellaneous owner invoice for an owner’s corporation that is registered for GST, an option is now available to override the automatically calculated GST amount, removing the need for you to create multiple charts of accounts.
7. You can customise your Levy Wizard text
Highlight text, change the font, and change the font colour to ensure important information stands out and your levy notices match your branding.
8. You can remove cheque as a payment option
A lot of people no longer wish to accept cheque payments – this is the 21st century after all. You can now toggle the cheque payment option on some levy notice slips.
9. You can get paid faster by adding your bank details to levy notices
Your company bank details can now be displayed on some notices, making it easier for your customers to pay their levies directly into your bank account.
10. There are operator alerts to reduce error
A prompt has been added to alert the operator when an invoice or levy is entered with a due date of more than 12 months in the future, helping reduce user errors that might result in you having to cancel and repost levies.
11. Owners can vote online with Strata Master Online Voting
Increase meeting participation by allowing them to vote from their PC or mobile before the start of any meeting.
12. Searching for an owner is much faster
New options in the Owner Selector screen allow searching for an owner by email address or mobile phone number.
13. Investment management has been simplified
Two additional fields and a new reminder have been added for bank account configurations to help you keep track of investment maturity and interest rates.
14. Payment allocation is more flexible
You can now change the default receipt allocation order, giving you more flexibility in how you allocate payments at Association Type level – particularly useful in regions where the current Stata Master defaults do not meet your requirements.
15. Bankwest has been integrated
Bankwest can now be configured as a bank, allowing you to enable the BPAY and direct entry payment methods, instead of just cash and cheque. You can also switch to the Bankwest levy slip, which unlike generic slips, give you the option to include due date, amount due and your bank details on the slip so that your owners can easily see when, where, and how much to pay.
16. Bulk BPAY has been added for NAB Connect
If you use one NAB Connect you can now save time when paying creditors that accept BPAY. Checkout the Knowledgebase article to learn how to set up BPAY.
17. Debt recovery reporting is faster
You can quickly create a full report of all arrears when issuing stage 2 or 3 debt recovery to your owners.
18. It’s easier to show your value to your customers
You can now create a delegated functions report, which summarise the main functions of a strata manager at plan level, bringing many reports into one. This is a quick and easy way to highlight the work you do and value you provide for your customers.
19. Go paperless with more ‘save to file’ options for reports
- When issuing single or multiple Miscellaneous owner Invoices
- When generating Annual Notices of Levies from the Levy Wizard
- When generating Invoice Management Fees from the Accounting menu, an option is now available to save to file without printing
20. You can maintain owner privacy on the Strata Roll
A new option is available on the Corporation screen to exclude email addresses from the Strata Roll, which is important for owners who do not want their email addresses shared.
21. You can more easily distinguish between owner and proxy votes
When using pre-meeting online voting via the owner & committee member portals, the Voting Register generated from the Meeting Wizard now indicates when a proxy voted on behalf of the registered owner, allowing you to easily distinguish between an owner or proxy vote.
22. Current tenancies are easier to see
When searching for residents in the lots tab of Quick Reports, the tenancy lease term, commencement and terminated dates are now available so you know which are current.
23. Interim reports are more flexible
When configuring reports in the Interim Report configuration screen, an option is now available to change the order of the reports in the list.
24. There’s increased transparency when using the portals
More reports are available (financial group reports and meeting attendance registers), new fields have been added to the existing reports to bring them in line with the options in Strata Master, and several parameters have been added to these reports, so they are more comprehensive.
Document management through File Smart
25. We’ve simplified the processing of part paying an invoice (multiple invoice dissections) in File Smart Workflow
You can flag an invoice that has multiple dissections from the File Smart workflow or the File Smart Creditor Invoices (FSCI) screen in Strata Master, edit or save it on the FSCI screen, and then hit process.
26. It’s easy to see archived invoices in Strata Master without navigating to File Smart
Links have been added to invoices, so they open straight from Strata Master.
File Smart approved invoices linked to work orders also show a link to the invoice on the Quick Reports R&M tab and the Creditor Invoices Tabs in Strata Master.
And finally, outstanding invoices processed in the File Smart creditor invoices screen now display a button that links to the invoice in File Smart.
27. You can search via invoice number in File Smart
A big time saver - you’ll be able to search for invoices by invoice number (useful after you have just entered it into the Invoice tab in File Smart Workflow).
28. You can quickly see how your notices were sent
Delivery methods are now displayed in the notes section of File Smart for Debt Recovery notices and Annual Notices of Levies.
29. NSW changes
A number of changes have been made to ensure compliance with the Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 and the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016 for agencies based in NSW.
30. Sub metered invoices for WA
There’s now an option to include sub-meter invoices in the quorum calculation, which is required in WA.
31. Estimated Commission
Estimated Commission Amount can be recorded on the insurance policy screen.
32. New Zealand GST
New Zealand database GST reports include cents and all references to ATO will be displayed as IRD on the GST Report
33. VCAT Details
For corporations in the state of VIC, the VCAT details are included on miscellaneous owner invoices when printed from the accounting menu or reprinting from the levy journal screen.
34. NSW Arrears Notice
An option is now available for agencies based in NSW to include an Arrears Notice in Stage 3 of Debt Recovery.
35. User Voice
We introduced User Voice to make it easy for you to have your say on what gets developed in Strata Master. You can make suggestions and view and vote on others. The suggestions with the most votes will be our highest priority. And best of all, when you make, vote, or comment on a suggestion, the product owners will keep you up to date on development progress, and let you know when it is released!
In the past 3 Versions of Strata Master we have released 59 items from User Voice with a total of 228 votes. Here’s the top 3 features released based on votes:
- The ability to search for invoice numbers in File Smart
- More reporting options for the Owner Portal
- The ability to automatically tick ‘Print bank details’ on insurance claims
And, in Version 11 or higher the User Voice forum can now be accessed directly from the Help Menu in Strata Master, making leaving feedback even easier!
Phew. That was a lot. Congrats on making it to the end! If you’re using all these features, then you and your team are a lot more productive than you were 24 months ago. Cheers to that!
Not using Strata Master? Book a demo now and see how it can make light work of strata management.