Business risk expert, Cecilia Farrow, says advisers need to make sure that when they incorporate technology into their business operations, it is delivering on what their business needs most.
Previously an adviser for ten years specialising in business risk, Farrow is the Founder/Managing Director of Triplejump Group Holdings Limited.
Farrow is also on the Board of Financial Advice New Zealand and provides extensive training to advisers on business risk.
She has observed through working with adviser businesses, either in a mentoring capacity or with Triplejump’s technology, that most advisers don’t appear to know how technology can best fit into their business operations and what technology can do for their business.
“Most [advisers] don’t have a clear strategy in mind about how they are going to deploy technology in their businesses to help them achieve their business objectives.”
She explained there are many ways technology can fit into an advice business, such as automating advice engagement workflows or automating risk analysis and document generation.
Advisers should have a clear business requirements document before looking at technology platforms, she added, as this will help them rank the platform’s capabilities according to the biggest priorities of their business.
“Otherwise everything looks great, but you don’t know what’s missing if you haven’t done your business requirements first,” she said, also noting the business drivers that make technology a vital component of a business strategy.
“If technology is working well within a business then it’s going to make that business far more scalable.”
“It’s going to make it more profitable because it’s more efficient and effective; it’s going to de-risk the business because it’s much easier to be compliant,” she added.
“One of the key things that most people would expect that technology is going to do, is to make it much easier for them to comply and to do that efficiently and cost-effectively to free them up to focus on the business growth strategy.”
She also noted a reliance on paper-based systems within advice businesses, finding advisers continue to use Excel spreadsheets and Word documents, not just for their advice process but also for client management.
“It’s often a paper-based workflow with a whole series of checklists and it’s very manual,” said Farrow, while double-handling of data runs the risk of increasing error rates and also impacts on scaleability.
“Almost every other day I talk to an adviser business that is still manually inputing information into Word documents that they’ve taken from a consultation process and do not have technology as a mechanism for capturing data and putting into a statement of advice or a risk plan,” she said.
“If I want to bring more advisers into my business and I have a manual process around how I deliver advice, then it’s harder for me to train those advisers to follow that advice process and to make sure we’re all doing the same thing and delivering the same customer experience.”
Farrow said her company is experiencing strong growth in the enquiry level about Triplejump’s cloud based platform and is conducting demo’s daily to adviser businesses wanting to understand how Triplejump can assist them.
Click here to contact Cecilia Farrow.