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The Wrap

How to choose financial planning software for your firm

In recent times, many financial planning software solutions have come onto the market. With so many CRMs, client portals and digital fact finds now available, the choice can seem overwhelming.

But it need not be. Here are some tips on how to find the right financial planning software for your firm.

What is your problem

Before you start, it is important to make a list of your biggest pain points.

In our experience, the biggest challenges most financial planners face are:

(1) The time involved in delivering advice.

(2) The time involved in capturing and updating client information.

(3) The stress and risk of managing compliance.

Once you have defined the problem, you can then find the solution and be more focussed in your search.

All in one or plug and play

The ‘plug and play’ approach brings together a combination of products to manage various functions in running a financial planning firm.

For example, using one provider’s CRM, another provider’s modelling software and other providers for fact finding and a client portal.

As software has become more open, it has become easier to integrate data between various applications.

However, it is our view that this approach has its limits. There are inherent complexities in managing a financial planning firm and generating high quality advice efficiently.

It is important to strike the right balance.

The ‘all in one’ approach

The all-in-one approach involves a core practice management system together with research modelling and advice generation in a single system.

An ‘all-in-one system’ has the following advantages:

First, the cost of using many solutions can add up – far more than what most firms are willing to spend.

Secondly, it is easier to manage data if it is held in a single system.

It is our view that the core functions of CRM and advice generation should, as a general rule, be managed through one system.

That ‘core system’ should centralise the collection of data from all relevant sources, including investment platforms and research houses and arrange it systematically.

This will ensure that reliable and accurate data is held in one system which can then streamline the process of generating the advice.

Other applications can be introduced to compliment the core system (for example, external document repositories and e-mail marketing software). But these are more peripheral and designed to enhance, rather than dilute, the core system.

The Plutosoft solution 

Plutosoft helps to make firms more efficient by providing a comprehensive system to manage the advice process.

The system handles all the various facets involved in providing advice; from data collection to on-boarding, strategy modelling, product research, SoA and report automation.

According to the FPA’s own research, the average SoA takes 26 hours on average to produce. Much of that time is spent on non-value adding tasks, duplication and double data entry.

It provides one powerful eco-system to manage your firm. Find our more about the applications we integrate with here.