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Financial Planning
Advisers laud Xplan software

Xplan has emerged as the leading financial planning software among financial advisers, a new Investment Trends survey finds.

Iress' Xplan took out the nod for its comprehensive functionality, compliance technology and ability to support for advice firms of all sizes, according to the 2020 Advice Technology Benchmark Report.

Morningstar's AdviserLogic won the best digital advice process, while Advice Intelligence was recognised for its goals-based advice application.

In other categories, IOOF's Wealth Central is the best new advice tech application; Astute Wheel won the best client discovery application; and Xeppo was awarded the best business management application.

Investment Trends ranked advice tech providers across four main areas: strategic advice, financial advice, advice on platforms and advice with products.

The inaugural report also revealed foreign firms gaining dominance over the Australian advice tech industry. The acquisition of AdviserLogic, Midwinter and Coin are most recent examples.

"Local advice tech developers are focused on lifting practice efficiency and anticipating future changes to advice delivery models, but over the horizon, there is emerging competition from integrated applications like Salesforce-based Wealth Connect and Intelliflo Intelligent Office from the UK, a trend that is set to grow," Investment Trends analyst Ian Webster said.

"Now more than ever, advice firms have access to an array of globally available, low-cost digital services to manage their client relationships and augment their advice production applications."

Increasing regulatory obligations such as best interests duties are prompting advisers to shift away from a product selection or replacement mindset towards a more client-centric view, focused on client discovery, strategic goal-based advice and cashflow modelling.

"The regulator's expectations that the 'client voice' be explicitly present in advice documents has prompted advice tech providers to invest significantly in developing the client discovery process," he said.

Read more: Investment TrendsXplanAdvisersAdviserLogicAdvice IntelligenceAdvice Technology Benchmark ReportCoinIan WebsterIntelliflo Intelligent OfficeIOOFIressMidwinterWealth CentralXeppo