One of the best and worst things about working with me is that I’m a bit of a dreamer. Present me a problem and I will find the solution but I also prefer to delegate the actual work (ha! Don’t we all).
With the rise in compliance and costs to service the client, it’s getting harder for Advisers to successfully operate and being a part of the financial services industry, I feel a responsibility to address this to find some kind of solution.
It’s no secret that SOA’s can be one of the biggest costs in the advice process. Whether its outsourcing, software, salary or time, the SOA is quite a financial pain point for advisers and it only seems to be getting worse.
Now I may be biased, but I firmly believe that outsourcing is the best option in most cases for advisers who just want the SOA written. It’s a cost that varies depending on your workflow, you can get access to Paraplanners as qualified as you like to produce SOA’s to a standard of your choosing and you don’t need to worry about super, leave or training (to an extent).
However, one of the challenges with outsourcing is the restriction placed by larger licensees who do not allow for offshore work. Which is a discussion for another day.
This means that advisers can be restricted to onshore only outsourcing which is at a premium. Not great for those looking to save a buck.
One alternative is software to produce the SOA’s. We have had software available to us for decades but I’m still yet to see one that creates the SOA with little user input. There is an emergence of new platforms that work in conjunction with CRM’s which, from feedback I’ve received, seems to be in baby stages and not quite what is being promised. However, this may not be the story in a few years time.
The final alternative is for the Adviser to write the SOA themselves or have a salaried Paraplanner. Firstly, I think its important to stick to what you’re best at because no one is going to grow your client book for you while you attack that word doc.
Salaried Paraplanners are great, I was one for many years, but in my experience, unless you have a high volume of SOA’s, the Paraplanner tends to be completing admin tasks, in between SOA writing, making it a low ROI.
Now that I have unloaded all of my problems on the world, I better offer a solution right?
Well…. My idea is to completely rethink the SOA. Move from being a stagnant and stale PDF to something that’s engaging, easy to produce and compliant. This can be done and mark my words will be done. It’s just about opening up our minds and ironing out details.
The industry, in every facet is changing. The SOA needs to keep pace with what Advisers and Clients want and the only way of achieving that is by starting with a clean slate and building it with current research and technology.