Financial advisers are swamped in paperwork and it’s just going to get worse. Last year, adviser Natalie Wright told Twitter that she’d filled out no less than 23 paper forms in just one day. In the same Twitter thread, adviser Paul Stocks said: “It certainly feels like there’s more paperwork now than ever … That’s despite demands from advisers and clients for less!”

Stocks is right. With added pressure on institutions to comply with new regulation – MiFID II and the GDPR, there’s a potential tidal wave of paperwork headed towards advisers and we think it’s going to hit right at the end of this fiscal year.

For advisers who want to grab a life raft and get the hell out of dodge, they should be looking at automation tools. Disclaimer: Advicefront provides these tools, but we also know they’re no threat to advisers – they’re a lifeline. Why? Because as repetitive tasks bite, such as fact-finds or risk profiling, advisers’ time will be spent slaving over printers rather than focusing on what they do best – talking to clients. Automation facilitates the practice of good advice-giving – and neatly sidesteps the kind of burnout you’d get after filling out 23 forms in a day.

Is trust holding us back?

We hear stories like Natalie’s every week. It can take some advisers over a week to onboard a client, yet using our Onboard tool, we’ve done it in 45 minutes. And, if paper is still important, you can print out the bits you need but, crucially, you aren’t waiting for that paperwork in the post.

If automation is a no brainer, then why isn’t everyone on board already? We get it – paper is comforting; we’re challenging millennia of emotion attached to print. Most of that emotion is tied up in trust – we trust a thing we can hold, a thing we can file. However, the minute that becomes unsustainable – for example, when you need to recall a document while on the move – your job gets harder.

Commitment phobia

Legacy systems have a problem too. It will understandably be hard for some advisers to bring on board new software. However, integration with software gets better all the time. It’s 2019, you shouldn’t have to sign up to use only one tool – a tool you might need days to be trained to use – you should be free to combine different tools in one platform.

The use of those tools should be intuitive, whereby you learn as you go, where the software guides you seamlessly through a task, from your phone, your laptop or your iPad. That principle doesn’t just apply to you – but your clients too – they’ll be accessing just the same platform.

Flexibility with automation is key too. What if you sign up to a tool that gives you tonnes of functions you aren’t going to need? That’s not clever at all. The good news is you don’t need to, if you’re looking to buy in more tools, ask about the ability to switch on and off parts off the platform – that is possible too.

Automation isn’t a thing to be feared – filling out 23 forms in a day is. Choose life!

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