Technology is putting time back into the advice process

By Nick Eatock, Executive Chairman, Intelliflo Ltd
Find me on: 04-Sep-2018 10:43:04

What would you do with more time? It is a very personal question, but something everyone will have an opinion on. More time on the golf course, more time with the family, more time spent on your business; more time is something we could all use.

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Creating more time in your working life opens up opportunities for financial advice firms. Technology has been at the forefront of transforming how we work, with correspondence sent in an instant, remote logins making travel a viable working opportunity and new avenues of reaching out to clients and prospects.

The majority of firms utilise a back office system to keep all of their client information in order. By storing data on one system, it makes the data easily accessible, which is a huge upgrade on the old filing system, which was prone to misinformation, poor handwriting and mishandling. No one would expect their financial adviser to be working in such a way now.

The back office system has also undergone something of a transformation, now playing a more prominent role in the way that advice firms operate. Our Intelligent Office software, for example, is increasingly being used by our firms to underpin their entire advice process.

It is no longer just about providing a client relationship management platform. Intelligent Office integrates with over 450 providers and is making access to key client information even more straightforward and useful.

Take automatic valuations and income matching processes. We can see via use of the system that not every firm is making use of this functionality, which is a means of pulling through automatic valuations for a client’s portfolio directly from the product provider. We calculate that each time one of these has to be conducted manually, it takes an employee of the advice firm 10 minutes to complete. Of course, times will vary, but it means someone has to get in touch with the provider, provide the client’s details, receive the information and manually input it against the client’s record in Intelligent Office.

In the past year, some 77 years’ worth of peoples’ time has been spent on this, something that can be done at the click of a button or set up to automatically pull through. The time savings in the client servicing process are obvious. Furthermore, with our Document Designer functionality, firms can use the information against the client record in Intelligent Office to automatically generate and submit documents such as portfolio reports to clients. There is no need to manually write each report and each letter which is sent to a client.

Equally, automated income matching enables users to log, monitor and reconcile fees, retainers and commissions at the click of a button. This saves the time of people having to perform this function manually and ensures that consistent processes are in place across the firm.

All of this saves advisers, administrators, compliance and finance staff a lot of time, whilst ensuring consistency and accuracy across the board.

Our recently launched eAdviser Index delves further into the results this is achieving for firms. What we have discovered, though, is that those firms taking advantage of the technology to save time are servicing more clients than their peers. The revenue we see booked per adviser increases exponentially with the adoption of technology and the driver of this, simply, is time.

So, what would you do with more time? It’s a viable question in the working day of the advice firms which we work with. Some are using it to grow their business and service more clients, others are using it to put more time into their personal lives. That’s the thing, it’s your time you give back to yourself, so do with it what you please.