Shaun Green and Adrian Patty from Advice Revolution tell us about how technology can be a key solution to the advice industry’s most pressing challenges – and the good news is, you don’t have to be a digital expert to reap its benefits.
From challenge to opportunity
The digitisation of advice is often listed as one of the biggest challenges facing advisers today. But used strategically, technology can be a powerful solution to help you meet the rapidly-changing advice landscape.
Directors Shaun Green and Adrian Patty founded their business Advice Revolution on this premise. By providing a series of integrated data capture and client engagement services to advice practices, they’re using technology to redefine the adviser and client relationship – and solve a range of challenges along the way.
“We wanted to standardise the delivery, from the client experience and compliance point of view, and give advisers flexibility in how they engage their clients,” Green says. “But we also wanted to make sure that it was something practices could pick up and adopt – without forcing significant change on their existing technologies stack or their business.”
Beating cost challenges
One of the first and most pressing challenges advisers face is the rising cost of advice delivery. As Green points out, because advice is a service business, much of its costs are generated by covering the advisers’ time and staffing.
“Technology can create massive efficiency in how the advice process is managed – and how information is transitioned between team members,” Green explains. “Process management technology solutions, like the one that Advice Revolutions offers, are designed to reduce adviser time. This is the area where the greatest cost and efficiency savings can be found.”
Many advice businesses will lose an income stream when grandfathered commissions are switched off in 20211. Green notes that it is likely to happen much sooner than this date, as super fund trustees are obliged to move ahead of that timeline.
In preparation, many advice businesses are looking to save on costs and find new sources of income. They’re using technology to standardise their back office, freeing up time to serve more clients or offer more services to existing clients.
Digitising processes can also be a way of protecting your practice’s knowledge capital.
Green explains, “If you can’t create consistency in back office processes, you’re really dependent on individuals within the business who know those processes. If they leave, the business can be quite exposed.”
Of course, back office processes are only half of the equation. Green says the Advice Revolution platform focuses on creating complete and standardised inputs at the advice stage of the process. This helps to avoid a back office bottle-neck that can restrict practice growth.
“The completeness and the standardisation of the handover of information really opens up the ability for outsourcing to work much more effectively for practices,” Green says.
A lot of effort’s being put in at the moment to retrospectively review advice. But if you’re capturing digital data points in real time, these can be checked and the risk mitigated. – Shaun Green, Advice Revolution
Mitigating risk and building engagement
As legislation from the Royal Commission passes and ASIC increases its focus on existing legislation, meeting compliance duties has never been more important. In response, some advice businesses are using highly accurate digital recordkeeping as an accurate and time-saving way to check – and prove – they’re meeting clients’ best interests.
“By digitising all the data points in advice, you can start to check the hot spots,” Green says. “Our platform has a dashboard that says traffic-wise whether you’ve covered everything you need. An adviser just needs to look at it and see: ‘Oh, that one’s red – I haven’t done that yet.’”
Forward-thinking practices are making the most of highly interactive, visual digital tools to communicate their value proposition with clients. The ease of engagement that such tools provide are creating strong advocates among their clients, which is essential for attracting new business through referrals.
Change your mindset – change your outcomes
Despite the obvious benefits of digitisation, some practices are holding back – perhaps concerned about the time and investment involved or viewing it as a future necessity. Others have a different mindset and are keen to embrace digital solutions to meet their most pressing business issues right now.
Adrian Patty suggests that advisers focus on their current business challenges and then look at how technology can be used to meet them.
“Is it more important to have a pretty SOA or to reduce the time you spend on client administration, so you can see more clients to maintain your revenue?” he asks.
Patty explains that by addressing current pain points, technology can allow advisers to do the things they enjoy most about their role – like making a difference to their clients’ lives.
“Technology can bring enjoyment back to the role that’s been lost because of all the change,” Patty says. “It’s pretty much the key dial that’s going to move things in a better direction for advisers.”
Where to go for help
If you’d like more information about how you can integrate digital tools into your business, talk to your local Business Development team. You can also book a virtual demonstration of the Advice Revolution platform by visiting www.advicerevolution.com.au.
1 Money Management, Will the end to grandfathered commissions impact the remuneration regime of planners?, February 2019.
Adviser use only
The information, opinions, and commentary contained in this document have been sourced from Advice Revolution Pty Ltd ABN 13 623 443 443. Advice Revolution has given Colonial First State its permission to reproduce its information, opinions, and commentary contained in this document. Colonial First State is not affiliated with any of the third-party providers listed in this article and does not endorse the use of any of the mentioned tools or products. Please consider the privacy, security and any other relevant risks that may apply from the use of these tools. Colonial First State Investments Limited ABN 98 002 348 352, AFSL 232468 (Colonial First State) is the issuer of super, pension and investment products. This is based on the understanding of current regulatory requirements and laws as at May 2020. While all care has been taken in the preparation of this document (using sources believed to be reliable and accurate), to the maximum extent permitted by law, no person including Colonial First State or any member of the Commonwealth Bank Group of companies, accepts responsibility for any loss suffered by any person arising from reliance on this information. This information is for the adviser only and should not be handed on to any investor. This information should only be treated as educational and not taken as any form of advice including but not limited to financial, business, or marketing. Seek professional advice when necessary. It does not take into account any person’s individual objectives, financial situation or needs. You should read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and Financial Services Guide (FSG) before making any recommendations to a client. Clients should read the PDS and FSG before making an investment decision and consider talking to a financial adviser. The PDS and FSG can be obtained from colonialfirststate.com.au or by calling 13 18 36.