The COVID-19 pandemic prompted a wave of change for the financial services sector, namely accelerating the industry’s ongoing shift to digital. Firms are showing they’re willing to invest in technology that improves practice management efficiency and overall workflow. Nearly three-quarters of advisors surveyed by leading financial industry publisher Arizent said their firms were investing in technology to support the digital workforce. Further, July research published by InvestmentNews found that firms spent 3.7% of revenue on technology, an increase from 2018.
But with more resources behind this technological shift, the question remains: are RIAs investing in the right kind of technology?
One area that’s ripe for technological intervention is billing and compensation. It’s a familiar story for RIA firms: typical billing and compensation activities are time consuming and costly, often requiring a dedicated team member and absorbing days of their time each month. Data from a 2019 survey by Kitces Research of how advisors spend their time showed an average time-spend of 4.2 hours per week on administrative tasks like these.
How AdvisorBOB Can Help
AdvisorBOB (Book of Business) is one of Great Valley Advisor’s core proprietary technology offerings and it offers a complete billing and compensation solution for RIAs. It allows firms to track commissions and expenses in real time and gives advisors immediate access to their personalized portal. It saves time and money, promotes efficiency across the firm and boosts transparency with advisors – factors of increased importance as RIAs adjust to the “new normal.”
Since its launch in 2017, AdvisorBOB has processed and paid out over $85 million in override advisory fees. In that time, users have come to rely on several core features. Here are the top four features that our RIA clients love:
- Administrative view with live stats – As soon as users log in, the AdvisorBOB dashboard delivers quick insights into the full practice, including live stats on how the team is progressing toward production goals for the month.
- Complete payout transparency – The AdvisorBOB dashboard includes an in-depth look at payout figures, the sum of adjusted payouts and the sum of net payouts for a designated pay cycle, as well as the net sum difference between the current cycle and previous quarters.
- Customized reports – AdvisorBOB’s reporting feature provides the option of preparing customized and comprehensive reports on a variety of plan, commission and fee aspects. Examples include: quick analysis of commissions for designated pay cycles, line-items and adjustments by pay cycle, advisor fees by representative identification, account class or vendor, profitability of financial plans, net payout and levelized direct deposit for each advisor.
- Detailed financial plans overviews – Within the advisor portal, advisors have a complete view of their plans and clients, allowing them full visibility into how clients are billed (one-time fee or recurring charges). Advisors are given a historic and forward-looking view on all billing aspects, including whether plans are currently active and what is due to be paid in the future. They can set up payment preferences directly in the dashboard with check, credit card and ACH transfer options.
The Bottom Line
As RIAs embrace a move toward a more digital practice, they should be looking for tech solutions that actually solve their practice management challenges and not just a blanketed, one-size-fits-all solution. AdvisorBOB is a single-source technology solution for advisors, providing an in-depth, easy-to-navigate, transparent and — most importantly — a customizable view into their revenue streams. It was designed to streamline an important, yet time-consuming aspect of the advisor’s business and allow more time for the advisor to focus on working with clients.
AdvisorBOB is not affiliated with or endorsed by LPL Financial or Great Valley Advisor Group.