By Scott Brewster
The financial planning environment is rapidly changing, with financial advisors needing to demonstrate agility at every corner to keep up with regulatory requirements and the evolving client relationship dynamic. But is your business evolving with the digital age?
If you are still juggling between paper documents and financial planning software, then it's high time you leveraged the unrivalled capability of Xplan to evolve into a paperless office. Here's why:
Saving the world sounds dramatic, but the truth is that natural resources are scarce, and the more paper we use, the more precious resources we waste. Did you know that it takes 10 litres of water to produce just one A4 sheet of paper? Why contribute to deforestation, uselessly waste gigajoules of water, and add to the world's greenhouse gas emissions when there is a sustainable digital alternative?
Precious resources don't solely exist in the natural world, but in the business world too. Time and money are arguably the most precious resources to a financial advisor. Going paperless is one of the best-proven solutions to not only save time and money but create time and money. Without the need to purchase bulky printers, binders, scanners, filing cabinets, and paper equipment, your business can redirect those hours and funds back into your business, your team, and your clients.
Advisers often strive to achieve the perfect balance between efficiency and compliance within their processes. The daily monotony of printing, binding, signing, scanning, uploading, filing, and shredding may seem par for the course in an advice practice; however, over time, these micro activities can amount to mega inefficiencies.
A financial planning software program as advanced as Xplan goes beyond offering merely trading software and instead provides a comprehensive document management system, client relationship management (CRM) operation, and has the ability to completely revolutionise your processes for maximum efficiency. Moreover, you do not need to compromise compliance — in fact, Xplan can help secure your compliance through its intelligent design.
The Digital Signature functionality takes away unnecessary printing, posting, and scanning. Instead, client signatures are captured instantaneously and allow clients to complete important signatures where and when it suits them, removing the wait time to get documents back before you can implement advice.
Client relationships are the cornerstone of success in every finance practice, regardless of whether it's a small business or a large company. With the rise of sustainable and ethical investing being driven by a social and cultural shift towards environmental sustainability, aligning your business with clients' core values has never been easier than when you choose to use digital documents instead of paper.
Offering a point of differentiation from your competitors can be the lynchpin in attracting new clients and is one of the unsung benefits of converting to a paperless office. By failing to demonstrate a sound level of corporate social responsibility, your continued use of paper documents could, in time, damage your reputation.
Moving to digital documents can prevent clients from fearing that their information is being stored in an unlocked cupboard, being left on communal company desks, or open to strangers when staff are working from home. More than this, a completely digital document management system such as Xplan helps for the continuity of service should your firm change hands or if you retire.
Where do you store your files? If you're a growing firm, you've probably found that keeping hard copies of your client files takes up a considerable amount of space.
If you're conscious of reducing costs, do away with the hard copies of client files! You'll gain back more office space which could make room for even more advisors in your firm!
A paperless work environment provides countless benefits in the financial services industry. Traditional financial products have largely been paperless for years, with retail banking and insurance companies using technology to help meet consumers' financial goals, and now the time for financial advisors to embrace a paperless office is upon us.
Many offices have realised the benefits of investing in their paperless future through using Xplan to its full potential. As one of the leading financial planning software programs, Xplan gives you access to more than just portfolio management and retirement planning modelling.
IRESS, the company that owns Xplan, utilises their IRESS Open framework to allow Xplan users to easily connect third-party applications or software to Xplan. This means that you have choice and flexibility over what software forms your technology ecosystem and can complement the already abundant capability and tools within the native Xplan software with other applications to streamline your business process and truly reach a paperless system.
The available integrations through IRESS are numerous and provide everything from advice, document management, client portals, back scanning, analysis, digital engagement, suitability reports, online fact finds, and more. The technological architecture that Xplan is built upon has revolutionised the financial planning software market space, forging Xplan's path as the superior financial planning software offering.
With less time dedicated to paper, advisers can invest more time in their businesses and with their clients, helping them better achieve their ideal retirement plan or investment objectives. This works at every stage in the advice process:
There is no need to transpose a handwritten Client Fact Find into Xplan — you can capture the information directly onto the platform.
Send your Terms of Engagement and Invoice via Xplan's Client Portal function.
Research is made easy through WealthSolver, Risk Researcher, and the Client Fact Find wizard.
Merge your Statement of Advice or Record of Advice directly from Xplan, edit and save to PDF to share with your clients via the portal.
Use digital signatures to capture your client's agreement to proceed and to provision any implementation paperwork.
Send your Ongoing Service Agreement, FDS and Opt-In documents digitally via Client Portal.
If you're ready to learn more about how to move closer to becoming a paperless office and reap the many benefits that come with that, get in touch with us today. At Umlaut Solutions, we offer Xplan consultancy services that help financial advisors in the UK optimise their use of the software. We'd love to show you how optimising Xplan can move you closer to success, efficiency, productivity, and sustainability.
By partnering with us, you can benefit from our extensive experience in managing Xplan sites and streamlining processes. Let us help you transform your practice into a paperless, efficient, and modern office that not only meets the demands of today's financial advisory landscape but also aligns with your clients' values and expectations.
As a financial advisor in the UK, you can benefit from our expertise in delivering tailored Xplan solutions to businesses like yours. Contact us at Umlaut Solutions to learn how we can help you optimize your processes and better connect with clients in today's ever-changing landscape.