Advisers are allocating more of their annual budgets to fund technology solutions, with about three-quarters of advisers planning to spend and invest more in advice and financial planning technologies over the next 12 months.
That is a key finding of a new report from Netwealth, showing that 69% of advisers plan to spend more on operations processes and workflow technologies and 79% are also looking to invest more in tools to aid client engagement.
Reasons listed for why advisers are considering adopting greater technological capabilities include improving business efficiency (86%), improving business compliance (58%) and improving business profitability (54%).
Despite the expectation of greater efficiencies afforded through technology, the inaugural AdviceTech Research Report identifies certain back office technologies have had low adoption rates with some showing no indication they will become mainstream. These include scaled advice tools, online self-service tools to capture client (or prospect) information, transcription software, and robo-investment technologies.
However, there is a clear suggestion that managed accounts will continue their rise, with 35% of advisers already using them, 22% intending to in next 18 months, and a further 27% considering them.
The study also shows that 37% of advisers believe technology has the ability to improve consumer perceptions of advice. Netwealth joint managing director Matt Heine said technology can be used to improve the provision of advice.
"This report allows advisers to compare and assess their technology usage to peers, and to drive their business plans and strategy. We believe this analysis and the findings are vital for advisers and the ongoing success of the AdviceTech industry," Heine said.
Digital signature and virtual meeting tools look set to be the most popular in the coming months, with 52% of practices planning to increase usage of digital signature tools by 2019 and 58% considering implementing online meeting tools by 2019.
"In the advice industry, technology is a tool which can be used to change perceptions of the industry, to challenge customer expectations and to set a more consistent customer experience," Heine said.