Xplan still most favoured among planners


By Leanne Abbas

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Xplan was named the leading financial planning application for the 10th consecutive year in 2016, reflecting the ability of Australian fintechs to evolve their digital offerings into mature advice software programmes used by practices, according to an Investment Trends report.

The research firm’s study, ‘2016 Planning Software Benchmarking Report’, looked at how planners and licensees were engaging with advice software providers and analysed the key functionality of each software application.

The report revealed that AdviserNETgain was the top ranked hybrid application for the year, while Decimal was named the leading intra-fund advice application.

Xplan also won the research firm’s 2016 innovation award in recognition of its launch of a native digital document signing functionality.

Investment Trends analyst Ian Webster said financial planning software offerings were the first generation of fintech developers which had grown into generating almost all of the regulated advice provided to Australians, with IRESS’s innovative ability having earned it the top spot.

“IRESS continues to lead the Australian comprehensive planning application development community with an active program of enhancements, refinements and new functionality,” he said.

The study also found developers were configuring their applications to accommodate for different advice markets including licenced accountants and superannuation funds, adding installation, training and data services to software functionality.

Furthermore, the report noted new advisory practices were increasingly integrating their advice generation applications with other technologies including client relationship management and workflow systems, on-boarding applications and personal cash-flow tools.

“Integrated services and data are becoming important to planners developing new client service value propositions,” Webster said.

“This is providing opportunities for a new generation of wealth fintech developers to provide services that complement comprehensive planning applications.”

Webster said automation of compliance was likely to be the next big trend advisers were looking for to boost practice efficiency.

“Automation will disrupt the comprehensive advice model and replace it with a package of single issue advice services distributed in time, more suited to providing advice services to a broader market,” he said.

Additionally, the report showed advice practices were increasingly adopting digital and social media channels, with about a third of practices supporting client login functionality, video content and social media platforms.

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