January 6, 2014

How I’m Using Acrobat Pro to Become More Efficient

Happy New Year! It's hard to believe that another year is upon us already! With 2013 in the rear view mirror, and our 2014 budgets and goals established, it's time to get back to work. Ironically, as an independent advisor, I found myself working a good bit during the Christmas holidays. I have little doubt that some of you know exactly what I mean. I'm not complaining because I love what I do! Therefore, I don't really consider it work. But I digress. 

In this post, I will elaborate on a project I've undertaken which is proving to be quite a bit more work than originally expected. Though it may be labor intensive, tedious and time-consuming, when it's finally complete, the benefits will far outweigh the sacrifice. It all revolves around the PDF writable forms with Adobe Acrobat Pro. 

I suspect many of you have considered going paperless at one time or another. I've had the same thought in the past. Though it sounds good, I think going completely paperless may be more illusion than reality. That said, this particular project is a step in that direction. The project involves converting my 23-page quantitative financial planning questionnaire from a Word document to a writeable PDF. Actually, I have two primary financial planning questionnaires. The first is for gathering quantitative data (i.e., facts and figures). The other is for qualitative data (i.e., goals and dreams). Together, they provide the majority of the information I need to create a client’s customized plan. 

I also have several supporting schedules depending on the client’s specific situation. For example, if the client has had prior marriages, they would need to complete Schedule M. Schedule B is for the client who owns a business or multiple businesses. Another schedule covers rental real estate, another is for executive benefits, etc. I also have one which serves as a funeral directive. Each form will eventually be converted to a writeable PDF. 

Each year, when I update the client’s financial plan, I will take their questionnaire, highlight the information I need updated and send it to them to fill in the needed information. Using a writeable PDF will make things much more seamless and efficient. This tool is turning out to be a great addition! 

We'll talk more about the data gathering process in future posts. 

Until then, thanks for reading and have a great week!

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