Nick Eatock, Executive chairman of Intelliflo, highlights how making the right decisions about technology can deliver benefits not only for the financial planning business but also in enhancing the client experience too
There has been a rapid digital transformation in the financial services industry since the inception of the internet. It has fundamentally altered the way in which we work, communicate and consume, and it has also fundamentally altered our expectations of the services that we interact with. Financial advice is no different.
But how can financial advice firms take advantage of the technology that has opened up to them and how can they use it to improve their day-to-day functionality? Utilising the right business management software can underpin a firm’s technology adoption. Efficiency is one of the main drivers of this. By utilising the right software, partners and providers in the advice process, firms can realise significant time savings.
Systems That Talk To Each Other
Linking previously disparate systems, giving firms the ability to re-purpose data and access a single source of truth, is what business management software solutions are bringing to the advice process. In Intelligent Office, we have embraced a best of breed philosophy on our open architecture to grant firms access to a pool of over 450 partners and providers and growing. This means that client data can be entered into Intelligent Office once, then re-used with multiple partners, ensuring accuracy and reducing the risk of error.
Furthermore, income matching, valuation requests, suitability reports and key client documentation can all be automated. This helps to provide a seamless and consistent client service in-line with business objectives. It also saves advisers, paraplanners and administrators time in having to manually complete such tasks, freeing them to focus on adding value to the advice business.
Boosting Clients’ Experience
This is in line with what we expect from modern services as consumers. An efficient advice process means happier clients and more of them. Technology is making financial advice more accessible via online channels and portals.
Indeed, there has been a real growth in the number of client portals available to financial advice firms. We launched ours, the Personal Finance Portal in 2015 and it is now used, daily, by over half of our customer base. Their clients are regularly interacting with the portal to view their portfolio information, with advice firms seeing a 58% rise in client engagement via their website. This is what a lot of clients have come to expect.
Supporting Regulatory Requirements
This is also helping advice firms to meet regulatory challenges laid out by GDPR, MiFID II and the forthcoming Senior Managers and Certification Regime. There is a real regulatory onus on data accuracy and the maintenance thereof that business management software is helping advice firms to achieve. If accurate data is entered into the system in the first instance, it is a real value add to any business to be able to rely on and use that data with your partners and providers. It can bring all of your systems together around one data source.
A Bespoke System
Business management software has become central to the majority of advice businesses and how it is used is up to each firm. Intelligent Office remains an independent solution in order that our userbase can build a bespoke system, giving them the system that they need, not just the system and tools that they are given. This means that an advice firm can build a bespoke solution based upon their business management software, to drive efficiency, realise time savings and meet modern day client expectations. Business management software is the technology that advice firms should be using every day to underpin their processes and help to deliver the increasingly high standard of service which clients have come to value and expect.
For more information visit www.intelliflo.com
About Nick Eatock
Nick founded Intelliflo in 2004, pioneering the use of web-based technology to support the end-to-end needs of financial advice businesses.
Having worked for 29 years in IT and 18 years in Financial Services, Nick brings an extremely comprehensive blend of experience and knowledge to Intelliflo which has ensured that the business has remained at the forefront of technological and business innovation in the sector.