SOA delivery time set to decrease: report


By Krystine Lumanta

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A decrease in the time it took to produce a statement of advice (SOA) was set to continue as software providers worked on improving the process for advisers, according to the latest Investment Trends report.

The “May 2013 Planner Technology Report” found software providers had shaved considerable time off the SOA process per client, making it more efficient for advisers.

Investment Trends senior analyst Recep Peker said software providers had been quite responsive to what advisers were requesting of their planning software when it came to SOAs.

“When you look at the average amount of time it takes for planners to do things, the most benefits have been around calculations, modelling and projections,” Peker told financialobserver.

“In 2006, they said that area took 2.3 hours on average to do the SOA, but now it takes 1.8 hours per client to do in 2013.

“Overall, the time to produce the average SOA has gone from seven hours and 26 minutes back in 2006 to less than six-and-a-half hours now and it doesn’t look like this will slow down.”

Another aspect of the SOA process that has reduced in time is editing and personalising documents.

Advisers previously indicated they spent more than two hours on it, Peker said.

“Now they can do this in an hour-and-a-half so they’ve been able to become quite a bit faster in that area as well,” he said.

“That’s thanks to the enhancements technology providers have been doing and it’s also come at a time where planners are focusing on higher-value clients.”

He said over the past 10 years, planning software providers had been able to improve planner satisfaction in every area that the report measured.

Areas of significant improvement in the 2013 report included helping investment selection, tax planning and the fact-finding process.

In addition, the report highlighted the ease of use and useability as the main area of improvement for planning software.

The report found planner satisfaction with their most-used software reached a five-year high, despite only increasing slightly from 2012.

Compared to last year, Australia’s planning software providers increased adviser satisfaction the most with constructing portfolios, capturing fact-find information, helping select investments and producing client review reports, Peker said.

This was a reflection of the extensive development work undertaken in those areas in the past 18 months, he said.

In addition, IRESS’s Xplan was named by the report as having the highest percentage of primary relationships among software users, taking 51 per cent of the market, compared to 39 per cent in 2012.

This followed the migration of VisiPlan and MLC’s AdviserCentral users to Xplan.

Rubik’s Coin software held a steady 25 per cent of relationships, midwinter held 7 per cent and AdviserNetgain finished with 4 per cent, down from 5 per cent in 2012.

The study was based on a survey of 1141 financial planners and concluded in May.

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