Top 10 things that should be in your tech stack

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By AdviceBridge

Running your own advice firm means juggling a lot of different priorities. One of those priorities is to make sure your systems and technology are working for you, efficiently and effectively, enabling you to provide great results for your clients. 

Deciding which systems to invest in can be a difficult choice. A survey by Arizent found that only 38% of advisers are confident in the systems and technology they chose to invest in over the past year. 

If you’re wondering where you should be allocating your funds to get the best for your firm, read on to find out the top 10 things that should be in your tech stack. 

1. Client onboarding 

Client onboarding can be one of the lengthiest parts of the process of financial planning for clients. 

Research by the lang cat has found that letters of authority – often a significant aspect of onboarding new clients – can sometimes take up to six months to complete. Other than providers being woefully slow, the main reason behind the delays was an outdated method for obtaining signatures.

An efficient and smooth process for client onboarding is vital for establishing a good relationship with your clients but also in helping your team to deliver a great service in a timely manner. That’s why it’s at the top of the list of things that you should prioritise in your technology budget. 

AdviceBridge can help to shorten the onboarding sequence by around 70%, making it much easier and more enjoyable for both you and the client. 

By speeding up this process, you can help your team’s sanity and job satisfaction by enabling them to spend more time on the things that really matter: helping your clients to achieve their goals and design a life that they love. 

2. Practice management system 

A practice management system is a one-stop shop for keeping track of your client records, regulatory reporting, and accounting. 

Utilised correctly, practice management systems can be a big help for improving efficiency and keeping everything compliant.  However, they can also hold you back if they don’t provide decent data and require lots of manual intervention.

As a central piece of technology, it’s important to ensure that you are able to access and process the majority of tasks automatically. This can be achieved through utilising a good practice management system that allows this or one that adopts an open architecture approach by linking with other technology providers – effectively. 

AdviceBridge significantly enhances what can be achieved via a practice management system alone, easily integrating with existing software, automating many steps and processes, helping to reduce the number of touchpoints you have for each task as a result.

3. Risk profiling

Risk profiling can be undertaken in a number of ways, from verbal conversations through online questionnaires and software. Whichever route or combination you choose, it is important that this task is undertaken efficiently and clearly. 

Using an enhanced risk profiler can help you to identify where clients may have contradicted themselves or demonstrate their internal battle with their goals and their comfort zone. Using this style of risk profile can highlight clients’ confusion or misunderstanding of what and how risk may affect them.

Using AdviceBridge’s modular approach, any risk profiler can be integrated with your other technology providing an automated solution, removing manual tasks undertaken by the advice firm. 

Additionally, the solution can provide more meaningful and engaging information prior to completion of a risk profiler, making it less confusing and more understandable.

4. Financial planning tools

There are various types of financial planning tools available, whether for advisers or their clients. One area that sometimes gets overlooked are tools for clients and prospective clients. These are a great way to engage clients with their financial wellbeing. 

For prospective clients, they show the sort of areas that you will be able to help them with, generating qualified leads for you to nurture. Meanwhile, existing clients benefit from the quick and easy access tools, such as online calculators that complement the work they do with you. 

AdviceBridge has a range of online financial planning tools that you can use to help your clients understand what they need to consider and how to avoid common financial pitfalls. 

These include whether prospects are on track for retirement or assessment for those considering taking a lump sum payment from their pension. Given personal taxation is a highly complex area, the tax optimiser can help in ways such as reviewing additional pension contributions, illustrating allowances and clarifying any child benefits that the client may be entitled to. 

5. Cashflow forecasting

Systems and technology aren’t just about saving time or making admin easier. They can mean the difference between who you can and cannot serve. 

Cashflow forecasting software takes time to use, making it prohibitively expensive to access for certain categories of client or prospects. 

If this is the case for your firm, it may mean that it’s not economical for you to work with clients who have smaller budgets. 

AdviceBridge helps with this by automating the whole cashflow forecasting process, running scenarios without manual operation, making it more efficient and so affordable to help clients on smaller budgets. 

The platform provides the optimum solution through a single figure showing what clients can afford to spend now and in retirement on a monthly basis. 

6. Portfolio analysis and rebalancing

As investments grow, or clients’ circumstances develop, rebalancing becomes necessary to keep your client’s asset allocation in line with their objectives and risk profile. Even though it’s a very important part of keeping everything on track for your client to reach their goals, reviewing and rebalancing can be a time-consuming task. 

The AdviceBridge platform could help to simplify the review process because it is able to run multiple scenarios and thousands of simulations, taking into account various tax scenarios and risk parameters, before recommending the best structure across your client’s holdings. 

7. Product research

Understanding which products are suitable for your client is a fundamental part of your role, but how much time does it take to collate all that information? 

We’re sure you’ll agree that financial planning isn’t really about the products, so you would ideally like to keep the time you spend researching them to a minimum. 

The fundamental mission of AdviceBridge is to make financial products disappear, so that you can focus on helping your clients understand what they can spend now and in retirement. Because of this, the software has been designed to analyse the most suitable products from your Centralised Investment Proposition (CIP) and present all the information required for you to help your clients with this important piece of planning. 

8. Business replacement (switching) wrappers and platforms

The prospect of changing the platforms you use for your new or existing clients can be daunting. It might sound like a big undertaking that could disrupt your processes and create extra work. 

In reality, though, switching platforms is rarely as frightening as many advisers think it will be. In fact, sometimes not switching to a new platform can be the more costly mistake. 

Read more: The danger of doing nothing: Platform transitions are rarely as difficult as many advisers fear

If your clients are left on an outdated platform that no longer serves their needs, you could face regulatory challenges as PROD rules state that you must actively work to meet individual needs. 

AdviceBridge is designed to integrate with your existing systems so that switching can be simple and easy. It automates the repetitive admin tasks that slow you down in offering advice to clients. 

9. Suitability report generation

Report generation by its nature requires a lot of repetitive admin tasks including collecting data, re-keying information, copying and pasting, all to produce the report. 

This takes time away from the more high-value tasks, such as consulting with your clients and dispensing helpful advice, not to mention building a relationship of mutual trust. 

AdviceBridge helps with this by automating the processes, removing templates and re-keying, pulling all the information required and automatically updating the financial plan. This not only saves time for you, but also makes the process of report generation much faster for your clients. 

10. Digital relationship management 

A good client portal is essential for keeping in touch with your client and maintaining up-to-date records. 

Without investing in this area of your practice, it’s much more difficult to help your clients to engage with their financial future, and this can scupper their plans and goals. 

The AdviceBridge app enables clients to update and access their information 24/7 and alerts you instantly to any scenarios or adaptions they may be reviewing. By keeping your client’s needs and interests at the forefront of your systems, you can help them to clearly understand their financial situation today and in retirement. 

Get in touch

If you want to find out how AdviceBridge can benefit your business and your clients, please get in touch. Email or call us on 020 3925 3850. You can also book a demo of the software at a time to suit you.