Automation disrupting comprehensive advice

The automation of the compliance process is beginning to disrupt the comprehensive financial advice model, with the number of scaled advice statements of advice (SOA) outdoing the number of comprehensive SOAs for the first time in 2016, according to Investment Trends.

The ‘2016 Planning Software Benchmarking Report’, which is a study of comprehensive planning applications used by Australia’s financial planners, found digital advice development was disrupting the comprehensive advice model that used advice generation applications to support advice processes.

The report said the next generation planning applications would be launched by both established and budding fintech developers. Developers were responding to client demand for more innovative and efficient advice processes by developing automation for strategic advice, most facets of investment advice, self-managed superannuation fund (SMSF) advice and all aspects of super intra-fund advice.

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Investment Trends analyst, Ian Webster said: “Automation will disrupt the comprehensive advice model and replace it with a package of single issue advice services distributed in time, more suited to providing advice services to a broader market”.

IRESS’ XPLAN was the leading financial planning application for the 10th year in a row in 2016, recording the biggest lead in functionality over other comprehensive planning applications in the 12 years of the benchmarking report. XPLAN became the first planning application to support native digital document signing.

Developers looked at improving usability, risk product comparison, opt-in processing at scale, and platform integration in 2016.
“Australian comprehensive planning applications have their origin in the first generation of fintech developers,” Webster said
“They are now mature planning business applications that generate almost all of the regulated advice delivered to Australians.”

Decimal was the leading intra-fund advice application while AdviserNETgain was the top ranked hybrid application.

While comprehensive planning practices used one of the six applications covered in the report for advice generation, new wealth advisory and millennial practices looked to customer relationship management (CRM) and workflow systems, onboarding applications, personal cashflow and fintech engagement tools to use with advice generation applications.

Meanwhile, around 20 per cent of practices actively engaged with outbound and inbound client marketing by using social media advertising services and eBooks.


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