James Priday, CEO of P1 Investments
Did you know advisers who embrace technology generate 54% more revenue than those who don’t?
It’s an eyebrow-raising figure. But when you actually think about it, is it really all that surprising?
Digital solutions offer a wide range of efficiencies to advisers that allow them to focus much more of their time on advice rather than admin. It’s hardly a shock then that those who are fully adopting technology would reap the financial benefits.
And that’s before we even get into the ways technology can help them to navigate a world of unprecedented regulatory scrutiny.
This simply isn’t something advice firms can afford to miss out on.
But while this may be true, the reality is also that to benefit fully from technology, they must ensure it is integrated in the most strategic, informed way possible.
How exactly, then, is technology helping advice firms to deliver better outcomes?
There’s a number of offerings available today: platforms, client portals, back-office systems, planning and cashflow tools, to name but a few. But while their specific uses may vary wildly, these offerings are united by the common goal of making life easier for advisers and their clients.
The issue is the dominant offerings in the advisory space today are saddled with massive legacy data and system issues that make them both inefficient and expensive for advisers. They don’t deliver on the promises they make.
This is where Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) can be a game-changer. By enabling advisers to easily integrate the applications and systems they are already using, the complexities of client account management and advice implementation can be streamlined.
This improves efficiency by reducing paraplanning and time spent on administration, while boosting accuracy by removing human error.
All told, the net impact of these factors is an ability to service more clients at a lower cost – a recipe for maximised scalability and profitability.
That’s the financial benefit. But there’s also the fact that technology is helping advice firms to comply with increasingly stringent regulatory obligations.
Consumer duty serves as an example. By harnessing the power of automation and systems integration, advice firms can easily meet its requirement for proof of good client outcomes and client understanding.
It should be noted that technology isn’t some kind of miracle cure.
All the advantages listed above may be there for the taking, but they also require some front-loaded effort by advice firms themselves.
Indeed, if they want to use technology to its full potential, advisers must ensure it is properly integrated and meets their specific needs. They must also, of course, ensure their staff know how to use it.
If they don’t, they risk wasting resources and missing out on the potential benefits.
So, what measures can advice firms take to make sure this doesn’t end up being the case?
They can document their current technology stack to ensure they know exactly what they already have and what they still need. They can process map their business to see exactly where technology can fit in and how it can integrate with other systems. And they can repeatedly train their staff in the use of new technology to ensure it becomes embedded in the operational practices of the business.
All in all, technology can offer advisers and advice firms both more money and more time. To maximise the potential, however, firms must ensure they are realistic, proactive, and flexible when it comes to its implementation. They must also choose the right providers to work with.