Should my firm implement a PFM software OR manually collect and enter asset and liability values?
Many wealth advisory firms are asking this question. Let’s start with the basics and then answer your question.
What is a PFM?
A Personal Financial Management software (PFM) captures clients’ asset & liability accounts, such as 401(k), mortgage, checking accounts, into an online net worth statement. Some PFMs also capture spending and saving data and create an income and expense chart and mock up a future budget.
How does the PFM capture my clients’ account values? I am not the advisor of record.
The client enters their log-in credentials to each of their accounts into the secure PFM software. The PFM validates the connection and the values automatically flow into the PFM. If you have the PFM integrated with your financial planning software, the values flow right into the financial plan.
It sounds like a lot of work for my clients and staff- is it worth it?
It is statistically faster to call your client and ask them to update their login and password to an account than to
- Ask your client to log into their account online
- Print the latest statement
- Mail or email the statement to you
- Have your staff manually enter the value into the planning software
It is statistically faster for your client to log in and review their finances 24/7 rather than your client:
- Calling you to ask for a net worth statement or status of their finances
- You asking your client to log into their account online and print the latest statement
- Asking your client to then mail or email the statement to you
- Have your staff manually enter the values into the planning software
- Have your staff produce the net worth statement and email or mail it to the client
Other benefits include:
Benefit: Saves trees. Frees up time. Your staff can stop contacting clients for statements and values. And your clients can stop logging into accounts, printing and mailing/emailing you statements.
Benefit: Reduces human errors. Frees up time. Your staff doesn’t waste time scanning statements, manually typing values into planning or net worth reporting software, or following up with clients to remind them to send in statements.
The ultimate benefit is that your client will feel your expertise is always available. They will enjoy instant access and the organized view of their financial health. Clients will experience the transparency of your services and access to their accounts, which builds trust. And your staff will do less data entry and more planning, which leads to more meaningful conversations with the clients, more referrals, and uncovering new assets to manage.
So where to you go from here? Click HERE to do a Boost Call to accelerate your decision on PFMs. Or purchase the DIY Directory of Tech Providers list of PFMs and tech tools to reduce the work and improve the client experience.
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