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SA’s Public Trustee upgrades to electronic document generation

Public TrusteeGOSA-PT-TICK

Founded in 1881, South Australia’s Public Trustee provides professional services, along with quality care and advice to almost one-in-ten South Australians.

The majority of Public Trustee customers are vulnerable and unable to manage their own financial affairs. Public Trustee has a long-standing reputation for trust and reliability; currently managing the financial affairs of 3,900 South Australians and approximately 700 deceased estates each year.

Public Trustee’s service range extends well beyond Wills, trustee and executor services to include: personal estate services; investment services; taxation; real estate; public education; and Enduring Powers of Attorney.

Public Trustee fosters innovation and workplace improvement through their dedicated Innovation Action Group (IAG). The IAG is tasked with identifying, recommending and championing innovation projects.

They look for ways to improve workplace performance and job satisfaction by implementing change or technology that removes repetition and process impediments and ultimately improves productivity and customer service.

The group is reformed with different contributing staff members over time to foster engagement and creativity.

Public Trustee’s 2015 IAG had a list of 10 potential innovation projects that could deliver efficiencies within the branch; five projects were implemented.


Public Trustee was still using a time consuming, error prone, manual paper-based form process for the collection of personal estate details.

Producing documents to facilitate the verification of an estate’s assets and liabilities, as well as internal administration documents was a highly manual process.

The IAG highlighted the high level of repetitive data entry and reliance on hard copy forms for some core business processes as an area for improvement through innovation.

Electronic Document Generator for Estates (EDGE) was proposed to improve these old, manual and repetitive processes by capturing all information relating to an estate and producing documents based on existing templates.

SRA Solution

SRA proposed a solution based on a proven software framework that supports modern application architecture, as well as user-controlled data extraction and reporting.

The system provides a simple reporting solution within applications, which was then extended to deliver those reports via an MS Word template to produce the required forms and letters.

After a formal procurement process, Public Trustee engaged SRA to develop and implement EDGE.

Public Trusted wanted to upgrade to an electronic document generation system to improve efficiency and reliability of their data.

SRA’s solution has provided the Public Trustee with a system that has a single data entry point, has eliminated timely data duplications and allows strict version control.

SRA designed and developed EDGE as a web-based application, using the Microsoft .Net Framework and Microsoft’s ASP.NET MVC framework, which would provide Public Trustee staff with the ability to enter extensive details on a deceased person’s estate including:

  • Individual assets
  • Liabilities
  • Associated beneficiaries
  • Marital status
  • Employment detailsUsers can then use the document generation module that takes a pre-defined Word template and populates it with all required estate data for an estate or beneficiary. Users are also able to view and amend the text of letters before they are printed.
  • EDGE has the capacity to interface to a data source that holds the details of existing Public Trustee customers.
  • EDGE is flexible enough to allow users to amend the forms that capture information and the templates used to produce the letters.
  • EDGE includes an administration function that allows Public Trustee to upload all their required templates (approximately 200) and create the required data queries for each template.

EDGE performs validation of a reference number before details can be retrieved. Once retrieved, additional information not already stored within the data source, can be added into a separate database.

Multiple documents can be generated using information from the data source as well as the additional information captured within the new application.

When generated, documents are saved to a configured SharePoint repository, with a history of all documents generated for that estate also included.

EDGE has already delivered significant efficiency gains to Public Trustee through the automation of numerous manual processes. A Return on Investment is expected to be achieved within 12 months.

The Bottom Line
Project type Electronic Document Generation System
Timeframe 3 months
Features Automated data entry

Automated document generation

Location South Australia
Benefits Single data entry point

Electronic Storage of forms and letters

Document version control