Old technology costing advice industry

The majority financial advice firms are still choosing to rely on Microsoft Excel as their primary source of administrative software despite a range of financial software products coming to market, YTML said.

According to the financial technology provider's anecdotal evidence, eight out of 10 practices are still using Microsoft Excel as a dependency in the advice process.

YTML co-founder and chief operating officer Piew Yap said this software gap is preventing advisers from taking advantage of the time and cost saving measures which updated and tailored technology solutions can provide.

"Excel makes it easy to build modelling tools and projections, but on the downside it is not secure and you have to manually send the spreadsheet out to other users," Yap said.

"Advisers' constant struggle to service clients while keeping fees low is almost always going to be a tradeoff for if they don't use good technology."

YTML principle Damien Murphy added that Excel, while useful, was doing little to assist advisers with their client engagement, noting: "It's not really a great image to present an excel spreadsheet to a client."

YTML are assisting advisers to convert their Excel-based systems into an online application that can automatically generate documents including statements of advice and graphs via their proprietary technology Highlighter.

One of the main barriers to taking up new technology, according to YTML director Terri Ho, is the reality that many software providers prefer to operate in silos - or "don't talk to each other". According to Ho, advisers are operating a number of different technology platforms to service client needs but are still having to manually enter details across all.

YTML chief executive Kevin Liao called on all technology providers to come together, collaborate and solve these operational frustrations.

"Collaboration starts with providers being receptive to the notion that we need to work together," Liao said.

"We then need to have an open dialogue and challenge ourselves on how we can leverage our respective complementary strengths to create solutions that make it operationally easier to deliver advice.

"There is such an opportunity right here, right now for this industry to take a huge step forward [and] I encourage all players, large and small, to look at the big picture and be part of that movement."

Read more: TechnologyExcelYTMLAdviserDamien MurphyFintechHighlighterKevin LiaoPiew YapTerri Ho
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