Mazars Financial Planning Limited (Mazars) went live with Intelligent Office (iO) in January 2017. This coincided with its biggest month ever business-wise, and followed a four-month implementation that went “really smoothly” according to Compliance Director and Head of Back Office Operations, Carolyn O’Brien and Programme Manager, Helen Clark. Carolyn and Helen share their thoughts on the drivers for the change of system - and their experience of implementing iO.
Mazars is an IFA within a large accountancy practice, focusing on high net worth business. Mazars has tripled in size over the last six years and now has almost 2000 staff, of which almost 100 are employed in the Mazars Financial Planning and Mazars Employee Benefits practices, including 22 advisers and more than 60 support staff. Although a small part of a large organisation, Mazars Financial Planning is one of the growth areas, operating from a centralised back office in Milton Keynes.
Mazars had an aggressive growth plan for the next five years and needed to be confident that the systems in place can support this growth effectively. “For us as a business it’s as much about the future as what’s happening now,” says Carolyn. “It’s about expansion, so we needed something that would last and could cope with our growth.” Mazars had been an IRESS Adviser Office (AO) user since 1996. AO was a stable application but Mazars was not confident that it had the flexibility to support its planned growth on the financial planning side. This, coupled with IRESS’s plans to stop future investment in AO and move all customers across to XPLAN, meant it made sense to review the marketplace to see what else was available.
iO has a report writing function and a good training and competency area. Effectively, we have almost everythingin a single package.
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