One planner who has observed and adapted to this march of technology is Marlene Outrim FCSI Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Wealth Manager and managing director of Cardiff-based UNIQ Family Wealth.
Ms Outrim looked at this in-depth in an exclusive article in the latest issue of Financial Planning Today.
Here she explains how Financial Planners can make technology work for them.
I’m no techie but I know technology is advancing at breakneck speed.
These days computers fit in our pockets, businesses live in the cloud and we can meet face to face without leaving the office.
But technology is a tool – it should work for us, not the other way around.
I’ve always embraced anything that makes things quicker, smarter and better for us and our clients.
When I first set up in the ‘90s, people still used MS-DOS.
I tried lots of different back office setups and while some fell by the wayside, others discharged their duties with honour, like Prestwood Cashflow software (which I still use today).
As time went on, we moved to a paperless model, mostly to stop paying for filing space.
At the time we used Watermark, but things move on and these days you can just use a scanner or there are smartphone apps that do almost as good a job.
By 2013 when I set up UNIQ Family Wealth things had moved on dramatically.
I wanted to embrace the aspects of technology that would make the business run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.
A clean sheet of paper – albeit a digital one.
These days we run the whole business on Microsoft 365 and we use the tasking system for workload planning.
Everything is cloud based, which gives us physical space to move and peace of mind.
We also use Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), which means we’ve been able to add lines for our remote office and use the phones on our mobiles at no extra cost.
We spent a long time finding the right back office system and settled on FinPlan.
It hasn’t been without its teething problems but it’s quick, gives us access to great data, puts workflows
in place for every member of the team and we can be sure every step of the process is being
It has a client portal and we can send and log emails and texts automatically for things like appointment reminders.
We can handle fees and commission reconciliation more quickly and it also gathers the reporting
information we need for Gabriel.
The other big accounting development is Xero.
It gives access to all the financial statements and figures I need within seconds.
Again, it comes down to the key question you should always ask yourself with any new technology, does it make things better?
It’s not just about the office. Technology has revolutionised the way we portray ourselves and we’ve reaped the benefits of digital marketing through my daughter, Laura Janes, our marketing director and head of marketing agency Uniquity.
We rebuilt our website and redefined our marketing strategy three years ago, going from no online leads to two a week.
From there, we brought in email sign-ups, slick, professional newsletters through Mailchimp and social scheduling through Buffer.
The list goes on and as we’ve expanded we’ve worked closely with QuicksmartIT, our IT partner.
Technology doesn’t just change the dynamic within a business, it changes the dynamic between businesses – processes become faster and better internally and between you and your partners.