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CRM app top among innovative advisory firms

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Customer relationship management software is the most widely used software among top-performing financial advisory firms, according to new research.

So reports ByAllAccounts, which released these finding in “2013 Adviser Technology Study: Driving Efficiency, Profitability and Growth.” Produced in collaboration with InvestmentNews research, the survey examines the technology trends among top-performing advisors.

The study reveals that nearly all (99 percent) of “innovative advisory firms”—those that produce superior financial results than all others — have adopted customer relationship management (CRM) software. This compares with just over 8 in 10 (81 percent) of other financial practices.

The difference in adoption rates extends also to a host of other software applications. Among them:

Financial planning (96 percent of innovators vs. 70 percent of other practices)

Account aggregation (89 percent vs. 42 percent)

Document management (86 percent vs. 55 percent)

Portfolio management (84 percent vs. 61 percent)

Portfolio re-balancing (65 percent vs. 28 percent); and

Compliance (51 percent vs. 24 percent)

“With their software investments, innovators are consistently committed to nearly every primary category of software solutions to build their overall technology platform,” the report states. “Not only is the overall use of technology in each software category greater than that of all other firms, but innovators are using several of these product types at substantially higher rates.”

The report observes that while innovative practices use more technology than all other firms, they did not (in relative terms) invest more money in technology: Both innovators and other practices allocated three percent of firm revenue to technology outlays.

The largest share of an innovator’s technology expenses go to software, a proportion consistent with the amount earmarked to technology within all firms:

Average 2013 expected technology allocations among innovators


$9,750 (53%)


$4,044 (22%)

Consulting or outsourcing

$4,000 (22%)


$668 (4%)