Digital suitability reports included in software beta launch
19 February 2019
Advicefront is launching a beta version of the next module of its software aimed at streamlining the advice process, which will include a digitally-enabled suitability report. The software provider is seeking paraplanner beta testers.
Advicefront founder and CEO José Supico (pictured) says the firm is looking to help advice firms blend digital with the human touch, providing one streamlined, efficient system through which adviser firm can undertake everything they need to serve the end client, and which, through an easy-to-use client experience, “can quickly convey the value of advice to clients”.
“Our aim is to make advice as efficient as possible and as scalable as possible. We’ll do this by having the same processes serve more clients in a better way, especially on the paraplanning side of things by delivering suitability reports and financial plans in a more streamlined process.
We’re giving paraplanners and advisers all the information and tools they need at their fingertips, including through integration with third-party software, in one easily accessed system – so they are not having to jump between items of software to see different pieces of information, making their lives as easy as possible. At the same time, we are giving the client all the information they need to understand and make relevant decisions on their financial plan.
“It’s about streamlining the advice process, with the efficiency gains and cost savings, allowing the financial planner, paraplanner and client to collaborate online and for adviser firms to provide a personal service to their clients.
“It’s also about understanding the emotional side of human nature and bringing in logic, so the client has peace of mind that their money is being looked after in the best way. We want to help them visualise their goals – presenting the financial plan and what it is looking to achieve as a story. It’s about storytelling and not presenting dry financial information.”
Supico says the system is agnostic as to which back-office provider, cashflow modeller or any other software is used (it is currently integrated with Voyant and Cashcalc for cashflow modelling, for example and Oxford Risk and Finametrica for risk profiling), the emphasis being on business efficiency and delivery of a better service to the client. “Integration and connectivity, is very important for us; APIs talking to each other.”
Streamlining the process, he added, can bring down the cost of providing the advice increasing profitability but also if required, offering advice to a wider market segment, helping to close the advice gap.
“We see this being a benefit not just to in-house paraplanners but also to the outsourced paraplanner, as they will be able to use one system across all their adviser clients.”
First module: Onboard
‘Onboard’, the firm’s first module went live in February, and has been designed to “take away the pain points when onboarding clients,” says Supico. The module provides the client with a link to a portal, through which all the onboarding processes, such as fact find, risk profiling and digital signatures for letters of authority, contracts and acceptance of terms and conditions can be undertaken. This, Supico says, “does away with the need to send emails, letters, make phone calls and for the client to go through page after page of questions which may not be relevant to them.
“Adviser firms can customise the fact find to suit the service they are providing. It makes it simple and easy for the client to sign up. It offers a dynamic experience for the client, so that they only have to complete the parts of the fact find that are relevant to them, for example if they have no dependents that element of the fact find is excluded.
Second module: Plan – including suitability report
The second module, which is about to be made available for beta testing, is ‘Plan’. This will offer goal-focussed financial planning, including a streamlined process for suitability report writing.
Supico says the suitability report was developed with input from outsourced paraplanning firm The TimeBank and initially will be focussed on clients who are in the accumulation phase of their financial planning journey.
“We took the language of the web to try to make it as accessible as possible. So it is very visual. It works on the 20/80 principle, focussing on the 20% of information that is most important to the client.
“The report is physically divided up into cards, which firms can use to present the information they want. There are tabs which then direct the client to relevant information and documents can be attached to the cards relating to that section, so for example, information on how the risk profiling system works, or compliance disclaimers.
“It will show the basic elements of a financial plan, and will be able to draw in data/charts from other software with which it is integrated, for example, from cashflow modelling tools. “Again, we are agnostic on which tools adviser firms use and we will integrate with any provider that wants to do so.”
The aim of Advicefront is to give the client a single view of their plan as well as allow them to interact with it online, Supico says. ”The report is interactive, so the adviser can leave comments on each card, as well as allow the client to, for example, propose new goals, or request a review of the plan.”
Changes made within Advicefront will update in the report, for example changes to costs, so it will always present a current picture for the client.
The report can be exported as a pdf if required or if a wet signature is preferred.
The third module, which Supico says is targeted for a Q2 launch for beta testing, will cover Execution. This will feature functionality such as straight through processing, opening accounts online, digital signature, electronic rebalancing and the ongoing review process. “We’ll also be adding features to help with client engagement and converting potential clients,” Supico says.
Advicefront has been invested in by platform technology provider FNZ, as well as prominent members of the financial planning community including Tina Weeks of Serenity Financial Planning, Jason Butler (formerly of Bloomsbury Wealth Management) and consultant Brett Davidson of FP Advance.
Paraplanners interested in beta testing the Plan module should get in touch with Advicefront by emailing: [email protected]
ATEB Consulting’s Steve Bailey looks at how the FCA’s view of suitability and what that means in practice for...
Paraplanners who have been furloughed and are concerned that their company will not have a job for them should...
The Supreme Court has ruled that a pension transfer made in ill health should not be subject to inheritance...