The study showed that average client numbers had risen to 149, with one in five expecting significant growth to continue throughout 2018.
But the soaring number of clients meant that 40% of users said they spent less than 20% of their time with clients, while it was found that clients most valued the contact time they had with Financial Planners and advisers.
Nucleus surveys its users every year in its ‘census’, which it says is designed “to both engage with its users and ensure the platform is delivering what its clients need.”
The census posed a series of questions about advisers’ businesses, clients and their views on the industry.
As client numbers increased the survey found that the average values available to invest were also rising.
The proportion of clients with more than £500,000 to invest had doubled since 2017’s census.
The increased numbers were found to be “forcing firms to ensure their service proposition is geared up to match the pace of growth of their business, particularly in a period where some firms are increasing ongoing fees and client expectations are ever rising.”
Close to three quarters (74%) of respondents said their clients had at least a “moderate expectation” of digital engagement with their investments.
Barry Neilson, chief customer officer at Nucleus, said: “The growth adviser firms are currently seeing bodes really well for the future.
“Not only are client numbers and assets going up, but many have recognised the need to engage with them digitally, something that will appeal to future generations as wealth is passed down.
“Advisers must realise though that they cannot get complacent, especially as capacity issues begin creeping in.
“Clients have big expectations for the quality of service they receive so the proposition must reflect this.
“Many will consider integrating technology into their businesses more, while others will look to outsource functions so they can focus more on Financial Planning.”
He added: “Our goal is to create and maintain long-term relationships with our advisers, allowing as much of the burden to be lifted as possible.
“Research like this allows advisers to assess their own businesses and compare against other Nucleus users, meaning they can take on the challenges that the market currently presents and offer an even better service to their clients at a period where time is valued.”