As the calendar flips to August, things tend to slow down in the advisory business, making it a great time to take stock of where you are as a firm with your technology.
We have enjoyed an exciting sports season across the pond this summer, with Chris Froome sipping champagne on the Champs Elysee after his fourth Tour de France win, Jordan Spieth hoisting the Claret Jug as one of the youngest British Open golf champions at age 24, and the ageless one, Roger Federer, winning his eighth Wimbledon title, it’s time to get back to work before fall arrives with its inevitable busy-ness.
Where to start on your summertime technology refresh journey? According to a number of operational and technology experts, an overall assessment of your existing technology stack, combined with a process review, can be an ideal way to identify opportunities for improvement.
According to Matt Sonnen, founder and CEO of PFI Advisors, a leading operational and technology consulting firm to the RIA industry, advisors often struggle in three main areas:
1.) Firms have “too little technology,” where staff is forced to manually process work that can be automated, which prevents the business from being scalable.
2.) Firms are stuck with the “wrong use of technology,” meaning that the business has purchased the right systems but integration is weak, leading to inefficiencies or the current technology infrastructure can no longer support the size of the firm.
3.) Firms have “too much technology,” resulting in an over-complicated infrastructure caused by too many duplicative systems.
Based on Sonnen’s previous experience as COO of Luminous Capital, a multi-billion dollar RIA he helped launch as one of the industry’s largest breakaways, he has developed a detailed checklist for firms to use in evaluating where they are on the above scale with their various systems.
For example, when reviewing your portfolio accounting and reporting system, key areas for improvement can be found in making sure that the platform you are using can reconcile data automatically, instead of having someone in your office manually do this often error-prone and time-intensive task.