Is your data quality stunting your advisory firm’s growth?

By Nicola Reynolds
16-Oct-2019 09:28:31


How you handle and process client data can make or break your firm. Get it right and you can improve your fact finding efficiency, streamline your advice process and improve the overall productivity of your firm.

Get it wrong and you run the risk of falling foul of the FCA and Information Commissioner’s Office. But even if you are meeting the minimum regulatory requirements, inefficient handling of data can still have a massive impact on your business.

Some estimates put the cost of bad quality data as high as 30% of a firm’s revenue. But for financial advisers the cost could be higher. After all, you handle a lot of sensitive information, ranging from health to financial data. So keeping this information up to date and secure is obviously highly important.

But unfortunately not all IFAs are using back office technology that is fit for purpose.

So in what ways does data quality impact the advice process and the efficiency of your business?

Accurate data gives a complete view of the client

An accurate fact find has has always been the foundation of appropriate advice. Being able to access and analyse this information in one place helps financial advice firms to get the most from the data they hold.

And with advances in analytical software it’s never been easier to use this data to offer them the most appropriate advice.

Whether you are using a client’s health and financial data to match them with the most appropriate protection product or giving investment advice based on their risk profile, accurate data means a happy client and a happy regulator.

Quality data ensures smoother business processes

Accurate data makes a huge difference to how your firm operates. For example, if your data is reliable you can automate advice processes such as income matching and valuations. In the long term this hugely improves efficiency, saving staff hours and reducing costs.

And if you’re using the right back office software, you only need to enter the data once as it will be shared across all of the tools that you use via third party integrations.

Consistent and accurate data processes drives efficiency

Establishing a consistent method of data capture and storage means that processes can be implemented once and repeated across the business.

In turn, management reports can be produced instantly, key client documentation such as suitability and portfolio reports can be written and distributed automatically - without the need for re-keying data via your back office software.

Secure data reduces regulatory concerns

Knowing your client’s data is accurately documented and secure, makes the process of handing access over to the regulator a lot less stressful. Internal compliance checks are also simplified if the data follows a consistent gathering and formatting process, which again will save your firm precious man hours.

Service more clients

Ultimately increased efficiency, and confidence in your firm’s data, means onboarding and servicing new clients in simplified. And more clients mean more revenue.

In summary

From smoother internal and external processes, to the creation of a more efficient business, data is the backbone of any financial services company.

The combination of good quality data and innovative technology means firms are able to stream line and optimise the advice process.

With the ability to repurpose data and provide accurate and timely information to clients, IFAs are able to demonstrate significant value to clients. But those that are reliant on legacy systems, that are no longer fit for purpose, run the risk of losing out to competitors or incurring the wrath of regulators.

To find out how your firm could improve the way it utilises clients’ data take a look at our eAdviser Index. The Index highlights how this software has helped IFAs all over the country improve the accuracy of their data which has had a significant impact on their efficiency and revenue.


data quality