The past two years have dramatically changed the way we work, collaborate, and manage our time. Remote working and hybrid models have presented both solutions and challenges for businesses, especially in client services.
This shift, with us now working in silos, demands a review of all processes and workflows. A new year audit that, for many, is way overdue.
How do you know if it’s time to review your tech stack and streamline your processes? When you have a sneaky suspicion that something’s not quite right, operationally (and you can’t figure out what it is).
An Efficiency Audit reveals how you’re operating across every single discipline, department, activity, workflow, system, and software – and determines how it engages with each part – for the new and review client process.
Set your financial practice up for success
Antiquated manual systems absorb hundreds of hours, without practices even realising. It shows in a lack of time, overwhelm about regulatory requirements, and a lack of resources for future planning and problem-solving.
You might’ve noticed how long it takes to produce advice documents and general reports. You know it’s taking you longer than it should, but you have no benchmark to hold it up to or no definitive time-cost ratio to ensure your price is adequate.
Efficiency audits don’t discriminate
Most businesses can benefit from a focused energy audit at the start of every year. However, the financial services industry has a lot of moving parts to manage, particularly the constant regulatory changes that a practice must uphold.
Opex’s Efficiency Audit predominately deals with financial planning practices and multi-disciplined firms with accounting arms.
Because the audit explores how your practice is operating at a granular level, there needs to be a cross-section of staff present – from admin to paraplanners and advisors. We go through, shining a light on each singular task to answer: how long are we spending on it? And does this correlate adequately to how we’re pricing our services?
For example, just because John likes the data to come out a certain way, the team is spending up to four hours manually editing each advice document.
Once you put a dollar figure on this time, you can discern whether you’d like to continue running on this ad-hoc basis or standardising the entire system, with the right tech solution.
Through our Efficiency Audits, we’ve discovered practices spend one to three hours editing to get a completed review report finalised, which represents 78.5 weeks across the team. Imagine what you could do with that extra time?
When upgrading from a manual system to intelligent software solutions, training is the glue that locks the new system in place. We set up a schedule for the team to follow and uplift their skills within the software. It’s about setting up rules on how it all must operate, harmoniously. Identifying the ‘driver’ of this new system avoids complacency, ensuring the recommendations stick.
You can’t plan for what you don’t know
Expect to go all in for the Efficiency Audit for two weeks, end-to-end. While it can be completed faster, there’s a lot of moving parts to consider, so it’s best to plan for a two-week commitment.
Position your practice for success in 2022, by putting it through an Efficiency Audit. It’ll reveal hidden insights that’ll transform your processes, improve ROI, employee and client relationships. Empower your practice, in this ever-changing, complex world of financial services.
The financial industry has seen many iterations since Quenton Desira started his own practice in 2001. In the second half of 2021 alone, there have been six new legislative changes or new requirements introduced. Quenton explains further how Opex has assisted his practice.
We focus on high net-worth clients where we are involved in everything. It’s our job to protect our clients and be across everything, including matters that are not part of our mandate – that’s how you build trust and long-term relationships.
While fellow financial advisors are turning their backs on the industry because of growing complexity, we remain grounded and focussed on the future.
This is where Opex has become a pivotal part of Ostermeyer’s ethos to financial advising and client communication. Opex has played a key role in helping us to simplify our client reports. Our communication efforts are strategically simple because most reports are too complex. In our Annual Report, we aim to inform and empower our clients with information that answers their most important questions – their net worth, 12-month return, and the current position of their investments under our care.
We make it all about them, without the usual generic guff. Using Opex, we’re able to add important elements that will serve the client. For example, we noticed that some retirees were spending in excess of what they believed they would spend in retirement. For some, this meant if they continue spending like that they’d run out of money in say 10 years, not 30. So, we convey this in our report, instead of it just being about numbers and metrics.
When it comes to client communication, Opex’s templates have been extremely valuable and their staff are second to none. The yeah, we can do that spirit at Opex means things get done faster than other providers would take to even get back to us. We rarely have to follow-up and the outcome is always delivered.
Since the Banking Royal Commission, many advisors have now moved to their own licence and realised they need help. Even with the increased volume of advisors engaging Opex, we haven’t noticed any change in service or downtime. It’s pretty impressive.
There’s no one size fits all with financial advising but Opex’s systems have freed up more time and helped us stay on top of legislative requirements and change – and that’s priceless.
I don’t know what firms are doing without using professionals like Opex Consulting.