Planning software providing "unprecedented" disclosure

Client service level-based processes will be just as significant as the introduction of Approved Product List (APL) functionality several years back, according to Investment Trends analyst Ian Webster.

Investment Trends has released its 2012 Financial Planning Software Report, which found some smaller developers and platform providers still have a “wait and see” approach to the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms.

Leading applications such as Xplan, Coin and AdviserNETgain have implemented client service level agreement-based processes providing the data for fee disclosure statement production and best interests test compliance.

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“This approach extends an unprecedented level of application monitoring and disclosure to every part of planners’ daily planning activities,” Webster said.

“The introduction of client service package based planning is likely to be as significant a change to planners’ activities as the introduction of APL functionality several years ago,” he said.

The report has shown IRESS’ Xplan has once again come out on top in terms of adviser satisfaction, due to its aggressive development program throughout 2012 and international expansion.

“Xplan is the first planning application to support client engagement using social media platforms and services into their Adviser Desktop,” the report said.

Another significant development in the financial planning software sector over the last 12 months was Rubic’s acquisition of Coin, which will see the launch of two new planning applications – one to be developed from the Coin Office 4 base, while Macquarie Adviser Services will develop Macquarie Visor for its independent financial adviser market.

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