Digital advice technology: helping advisors become more efficient and effective

March 16, 2017 by Brandin Arndt

An advisor looking at a desktop computer screen with data and analytics, which is making his workflow more efficient

About the author

Brandin Arndt

Business development representative

Brandin assists the sales team in the development and expansion of the Advicent enterprise market. He is passionate about sharing the value Advicent brings to companies throughout the financial industry.

In the world of an advisor, time is money. This is why an advisor’s workflow is an underrated and unappreciated aspect of their success in financial services. Too often, advisors are stuck behind their desk for hours completing data entry and building financial plans when they could be spending time prospecting and building their book of business.

Prospecting and time management is especially important to advisors early in their career when they may not have many clients and need to grow their business. Even successful advisors who have built a large book of business, however, can find it hard to manage their time properly.

Now some might say, “Running a practice by the seat of my pants keeps it exciting.” Poor time management might not be as detrimental to an advisor just starting out; as the business grows, however, there is a greater risk that tasks start to slip through the cracks.

Your clients expect the same high quality service whether you are managing $5 million in assets or $50 million. So how can you leverage financial technology (FinTech) to become more efficient and effective? The answer: digital advice.

The simple digital advice workflow

When creating a financial plan, the traditional advisor workflow consists of four steps that can take hours to complete. With the proper financial planning software, however, you can create a plan in 15 minutes or less. Below is the digital advice workflow, as well as the ways technology has evolved to help advisors efficiently complete each step of the process.

1. Capture data

This can be the most monotonous and time-consuming steps in the financial planning process. New FinTech innovations have placed most of the data entry process in the hands of the client. Fact-finding tools allow clients to fill out their own information before ever meeting with the advisor, which imports directly into the financial plan allowing the advisor to skip most of the data entry process all together.

2. Needs analysis

Regulatory changes in the financial industry have forced advisors to put far more emphasis on the needs analysis portion of financial planning. Comprehensive financial planning is now more important than ever, and advisors can choose between doing a simple goal-based financial plan or an in-depth cash flow plan depending on their client. Digital advice technology has made the needs analysis step more collaborative and transparent. In turn, clients can now be confident that their advisor is truly acting in their best interest.

3. Product recommendation

Visually, there is nothing quite like digital advice technology. With the click of a button, advisors can demonstrate shortfalls and goal progress, making it simple to show clients what changes they need to make to help them reach their financial goals. From simple budgeting to insurance recommendations, an advisor can confidently show clients how their recommendations will affect their financial life decades into the future.

4. Plan completion

Advisors can now exchange all of the documents necessary to complete a plan with clients electronically. You no longer have to set up a meeting with your client to get them to approve your plan. Digital signature and secure digital document vaults allow clients to sign documents electronically and send them back to the advisor quickly.

As the financial industry continues to evolve, it is vital that advisors innovate alongside FinTech. Digital advice technology enables advisors to save money, spur business growth, and enhance compliance strategies in 2017. It is imperative for advisors to embrace these industry changes and the innovative technology available to improve financial advisor efficiency, effectiveness, and impact.

Download our whitepaper and learn more about the connection between digital advice and increasing revenue.