Otivo launches SOA audit tool

quality of advice review SOAs financial advice fintech otivo

18 June 2024
| By Laura Dew |
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Otivo has launched a compliance tool for financial advisers to publish and audit their statements of advice (SOAs).

This compliance tool allows advisers, as well as superannuation fund trustees, banks and insurers, to quickly audit files to improve efficiency and accuracy.

It has the ability to reduce the time spent on compliance checks while maintaining high standards and satisfying best interest duty as well as reducing costs, providing flexibility. The system can be integrated into an adviser’s existing systems or operated as a standalone service. 

Otivo chief executive and founder, Paul Feeney, said: “Otivo can tackle the high costs of financial advice by using technology to boost efficiency without sacrificing quality. Since day one, we’ve stayed true to our mission of using tech to provide personal financial advice that can work alongside face-to-face advice services if needed. 

“We don’t see ourselves as an alternative to traditional advice. Instead, Otivo is a versatile service that can complement existing services, offering scaleable and accessible financial advice to Australians who need it most.”

In April, the firm appointed Joanna Lawson as head of product strategy who will work with Otivo specifically around proposals in the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) for superannuation funds to give advice to members.

In its second formal response to the QAR in December, the government proposed an alternative where SOAs will be replaced by an advice record that provides information in plain English.

The removal of the SOA had been a recommendation made by Michelle Levy in her final QAR as it was her impression that a one-size-fits-all document was unsuitable. The government agreed with this but opened consultation on what the new “fit for purpose” advice document could look like.

Minister for Financial Services, Stephen Jones, said: “The record must be clear, concise and effective, and actually helps the client make an informed decision about the advice they have received. 

“And it must address the following matters:  

•    The subject matter. 
•    The advice – such as product recommendations and strategies. 
•    The reasons for the advice – such as the information about the client that the adviser considered.
•    The cost of advice to the client and any benefits received by the adviser.”
 

 

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