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Should paraplanners spend time as administrators?

6 September 2018

Over half of paraplanners (54%) believe those working in the profession should spend time working as a financial planning administrator first, according to a survey by Professional Paraplanner.

However, just under a quarter (24%) of respondents did not think it was a requirement, while a further 22% answered ‘not necessarily’.

Of the majority of paraplanners who felt it was beneficial to gain experience as a financial planning administrator first, many felt it would help build relevant skills and provide a better understanding of what the role entails.

“I think this would help build core skills. I worked as an administrator then progressed to writing more complex reports alongside exams and I think it would have been more difficult without this,” said one respondent.

Others noted that working as a financial planning administrator first is particularly useful for those entering the industry with no knowledge.

One paraplanner commented: “The role of administrator is often overlooked. Professional paraplanners who have not come from this background often do not understand the time involved with this role and the way in which they write their reports can make a massive difference with regards to this.”

Another responded: “I wouldn’t have the knowledge, expertise or experience I have today if I hadn’t started from the bottom and worked my way up. I think that experience in all areas and departments is key for a good paraplanner.”

However, other paraplanners pointed out that while it may provide a good grounding, the role of paraplanner did not require experience of working as an administrator first.

One responded: “Although it can benefit from a practical point of view within a firm, it may also narrow a paraplanner’s experience and thought process to think outside the box.”

Another commented: “I think it is a useful way of understanding the process from the bottom up but not essential to paraplanning.”

This sentiment was echoed by a further respondent: “Not necessarily, but it may help. So many firms work in different ways a and see a paraplanner in different ways.”

However, one respondent warned that requiring experience of financial administration could have a negative impact on the industry at a time when it’s trying to attract fresh blood.

They responded: “That attitude is lazy and formulaic. For an industry that needs more paraplanners that narrow-minded attitude of attracting new staff to the industry is laughable.”

 

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