Cashflow planning software provider CashCalc has signed to the Origo Integration Hub to provide a more seamless service to adviser firms, including forthcoming access to real-time valuations. Fiona Bond spoke to founder Ray Adams about the move.
Ray Adams, founder of CashCalc, said the decision to use the Origo Integration Hub will allow it to connect with a host of different providers simultaneously, creating an easier, more seamless system for users.
The Hub brings together a cross-section of platforms, providers, back-office and software companies, enabling companies to connect to one another through a central hub rather than having to integrate on an individual, point-to-point basis. It offers a number of services, including transfer tracking, valuations, account opening and transaction history, with further services in the pipeline the Fintech says.
Adams said: “Ten years ago, a software provider would have told an adviser to enter their data once then sought to be a one-stop-shop and carry out every single other task for them. However, that requires being the very best at everything from back-office systems through attitude to risk assessment, to cashflow modelling.
“The weakness in that model for today’s market is that it is impossible to excel at absolutely everything. Rather than be protective of clients and seek to ring-fence them, the focus should be upon offering clients the best possible service and solutions and that means moving to a business model of greater collaboration and integration.”
Origo describes integration as “fundamental” in the advice market, paving the way for quicker, more cost effective and secure communications and data. The moto for its Integration Hub is, “connect once deploy to many” whereby instead of having multiple integration points, each with their own costs and risks, you just have one.
According to Adams, a model of integration will also force software providers to continually evolve and innovate to keep pace with competitors, which will be positive for advisers, clients and the wider advice industry.
He said: “As software providers, we should be interacting with each other to find out what the client wants and providing them with the options that best suit their needs. You want a client to stay with you because they like you and feel you provide the best possible service, not because they are tied into a contract.”
Adams explained that advisers will be able to carry out client review fact-finds much more efficiently, with the data being fed through to the hub electronically to access the relevant client data. This enables more accurate projections and makes annual cashflow reviews quicker and more efficient process.
He said: “The client fills out all the hard facts and because CashCalc has that information, we are able to feed it through to the Origo Hub which can then provide up-to-date valuations. Offering advisers this capability will drive efficiencies.”
On average, 2,000 client-filled electronic fact finds are submitted every month through CashCalc. For Adams, this equates to a vast amount of time saved for advisers.
He noted: “Advisers would usually set aside one or two hours to go through a fact find with clients, so by doing this electronically we are saving them a great deal of time. Of course, they will need to meet or speak with their clients to assess the ‘softer’ facts but in assisting them through the initial stages, we are making the process more efficient and importantly, driving down fees for clients.”
With the partnership in its very early stages, Adams said CashCalc is seeking to build an integration which will enable it to use both Origo’s current capabilities and any future capabilities it introduces.
He said: “Origo is continuing to develop links with providers, platforms and practice management systems, so we would like to be in a position that would allow us to access new features and continue to improve the service we provide to our users.”
Adams said feedback from its users will also prove invaluable in ensuring CashCalc is meeting the evolving needs of the market.
He explained: “We have a group of technology-savvy beta testers who are happy to carry out a trial and provide us with their feedback, but you inevitably find once you go live, other users have a different approach to how they use the software and may have different experiences.
“It is important to us that we take on board all of their feedback and ideas, as it provides us with a solid understanding of the features they truly want from the software and what we should be looking at next.”