Cashflow modelling: why the best software keeps it simple
When discussing cashflow modelling, probably the most common objection we hear from financial planners is that it’s too complicated. It takes too long to work out how to use it. It requires too much information. And it adds hours to the advice process.
Choose the right office software, and the opposite will prove to be the case. Here’s what you should expect from the top solutions.
Smart but simple interface
The very best technology enhances the advice process. It gives you the time to focus on building client relationships and developing new ones. That’s why a cashflow modelling tool should be designed to be user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to integrate into your processes.
Comprehensive tools don’t have to be complicated bits of kit. There is a fine line between too much information and not enough.
Choose a tool that only asks you to enter the information once, avoiding duplication. Inputs and outputs should be displayed logically so that they can easily be interrogated.
This has the effect of transforming client understanding and process transparency, bringing surefire benefits compared to using a series of narrower, stand-alone tools.
And, from a compliance perspective, the advantages of a comprehensive approach on a single system are obvious.
TIP: Ask a friend!
If you’re not the most technologically minded person in the world, perhaps ask a colleague to help set it up for you? Most systems are intuitive, and typically only take a few minutes to learn.
Single point of data entry
It doesn’t have to take half a day to input client data and build a financial model. Choose cashflow modelling software that is easy to use, intuitive, and quick to get information into.
A straightforward, single point of data entry means you only have to input client details once. You can then simply update the data as your clients’ circumstances change.
In fact, entering client data can be one of the quickest parts of the entire process.
Tools such as intelliflo planning have clear and concise input screens with a focus on inputting information once.
For example, rental income is linked to a rental property. You don’t have to add the property in one screen and the rental income in another and link the two. The ease by which you can input data means you will spend less time on admin and more time on delivering extraordinary financial planning.
In addition, most cashflow modelling tools are intelligent and can scale to match whatever level of detail you need to include in a plan. As your clients’ needs develop, you can continue to build on what you started.
TIP: Quality in = Quality out
Of course, the process lives or dies by the accuracy of the input. If the wrong data is entered, it’s unlikely you’ll get the result at the end. It doesn’t mean you’ll waste hours inputting the data; it just means that you need to be careful when you do.
Visuals that simplify and clarify
Cashflow modelling tools often sell themselves with claims about how many flexible graph options and explanatory tables they can produce. This sometimes terrifies financial advisers. It suggests that cashflow modelling is complex and daunting to present to a client, whilst in fact the opposite is normally true.
The market-leading modelling tools are designed to provide infographics that simply explain concepts and advice. It’s often easier to show a client an outcome using a graph than it is to try and explain it.
In addition to simple, straightforward charts, concise data tables should also be available for further reconciliation.
The best cashflow modelling tools, such as intelliflo planning, will provide you with two valuable, exportable reports:
One with a compliance focus
One designed specifically to be client-facing
Reports are produced in Word so it is painless to incorporate them into your own documents.
Modelling tools create, compare, and illustrate unlimited scenarios using flexible graph options. They allow you to plan effectively for all clients, at every level.
TIP: Trust goes both ways
Your clients need to be honest with you. If they provide accurate data and are prepared to speak honestly to you (and meet regularly), you will get accurate and valuable outputs.
Many financial planners believe that true integration doesn’t exist. They find it takes more time to correct information pulled across from another system than it would if they just enter the data from scratch themselves.
However, this is not always the case. As an example, intelliflo planning’s integration with intelliflo office is slick, easy, and seamless, and there’s no additional cost for integration. Accurate data in intelliflo office ensures accurate data in intelliflo planning, speeding up the time it takes to build a cashflow plan for clients.
Cashflow modelling doesn’t have to be complicated.