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Technology > Investment Platforms

4 Things Your Financial Planning Software Should Do

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What You Need to Know

  • Your planning software should have exceptional functionality that supports the focus areas of your practice.
  • It's important to choose software that integrates fully.
  • Before you buy, ask about training and how to contact the support team.

Over the last 10 years, there has been a significant increase in software available to financial advisors. Whether you’re looking for a tool to help you with a specific facet of your practice or a general client relationship management system, several tech options are available. With so many choices, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

As you review which technology is right for your practice, keep in mind that good financial planning software does four important things. 

1. It helps you provide specific services that add value to your ideal client.

Advisors who narrow their practices to serve a specific client base experience stronger growth and greater long-term profitability than those who do not. If you’ve identified your ideal client, you’ve likely also identified the services you provide that go above and beyond for them.

The planning software you choose should have exceptional functionality that supports those services. For example, if tax is a key focus area for your practice, you would want a planning software that has a high level of tax-related functionality and illustrations that help you identify specific value to your client. 

2. It demonstrates the value of your services.

Some advisors are worried about being replaced by technology, but the right financial planning software can actually highlight the value you add. Software can help you identify areas where smart financial strategies can help your clients and tricky situations that may throw them off course. Graphics displayed in the software can help clients see how you helped them take advantage of an opportunity or avoid a rough situation. 

Good technology can help you “wow” clients and increase referrals. You want to find software that quantifies and visually highlights the value of the services you provide.

3. It fully integrates.

Many financial planning tools claim to integrate with the other software in your tech stack, but it’s important to look at how well they integrate. Good financial planning software integrates fully, so when you update the assumptions for a client, the software computes and displays the changes across all aspects of the strategy and updates the results. 

This may seem like a given, but all too frequently, integrations share data between software products, but don’t share assumptions, which can lead to client outputs that are at best hard to reconcile and at worst, contradictory. 

4. It offers support.

The best software in the world isn’t the best for you if you don’t know how to use it. Most tech tools have an onboarding process and a way to contact customer support, but we all know that some customer support teams are better than others. Before you add a new tool to your tech stack, ask about training and how to contact the support team. 

Ideally, contact the support team during a trial period to get a feel for the level of support you will receive over the course of the relationship. You want to make sure that customer support is a priority and that you won’t become just another number. That way, when you do need help, you won’t have to send an email and wait two days for a response when your meeting with your client is in three hours.

Remember, good software can and should make financial planning easier. While every software won’t work for every advisor, one of the best ways to see if a tool will work for you is by reading reviews from other financial planners and by testing the software out for yourself. Many software companies offer free trials. Take the time to sift through the different tech options and find the right software for your financial planning practice.

Joe Elsasser is the founder and president of Covisum, a financial technology company focused on creating software that improves lives through better financial decisions. Covisum helps financial advisors serving mass-affluent clients in or near retirement and powers some of the nation’s largest financial planning institutions.


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