The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) has released a video toolkit to guide members in creating a video Statement of Advice (SOA) that it says will more efficiently service clients.
The Statement of Advice Project (SOAP) Box Set contained 14 videos designed to equip financial planners with the required tools to provide an SOA via video format, covering scenarios such as pre-retirement planning and life risk advice.
The SOAP Box Set was the result of an consultation process between FPA and its members, consumers, regulators, lawyers, compliance experts, and technology providers to work on a paperless SOA aimed at reducing compliance costs, increasing efficiency, while also delivering advice that clients can better understand.
The series featured discussions led by the FPA’s head of policy, strategy and innovation, Ben Marshan, and founder of The Cyber Collective Australia, Fraser Jack.
FPA chief executive, Sarah Abood, said she had seen first-hand the amount of work that went into an SOA.
“A lot of what drives up the cost of financial advice is the amount of background work, information investigation and time spent by the financial planner on what is required to be included in the SOA,” Abood said.
“Not only that, the SOA ends up becoming a document that clients find difficult to read and ends up clouding the actual advice being given to them. Any efforts made to make advice more efficient and usable by clients is a critical step forward for the profession.
“Through the SOAP Box Set, Ben and Fraser have put in an incredible amount of work towards making this a reality, and speaks to their tireless passion in making advice more accessible and affordable for clients.”
Marshan said the SOA requirements came during a time when paper was the only option available to planners. With video conferencing now a normal part of daily life, he hoped the series would showcase alternative avenues of providing a compliant SOA under the current legislation.
“We are still seeing financial planners put together paper-based SOAs that stretch between 80 to 100 pages long,” Marshan said.
“The idea behind the Statement of Advice Project is to push the boundaries of finding the most effective way of providing advice to clients while also keeping within ASIC’s regulations.”