There is one element of a suitability report that often can make or break it, says Grant Callaghan, our Paraplanning Techspert.
We all know what has to go in a suitability report, and the eternal struggle has always been between keeping them as short and concise as possible and making sure you cover everything you need to cover. The way a report looks, appeals to the client and reads is something that I don’t think is covered anywhere near enough.
It’s easy to put together a report filled with text mixed in with a couple of simple tables. This is probably alright when dealing with half a dozen or so pages but if we’re going to be issuing much more content, we owe it to the clients who read these to step up the experience for them.
It’s not as hard as you might think to improve the way your reports look. You don’t even need a specific designer’s eye to do it either. There are lots of little tips and tricks available to use in Word and it is worth exploring what you can actually achieve while using the humble little table feature. It’s not an obvious design feature (except to help you organise data) but can be manipulated to structure content in a way you want it to appear.
When you would use it
The biggest stumbling block, at least in my experience, of trying to organise content, data or lists in a document away from the standard default is the level of skill you need to develop and the issues you find when you change something later and it throws everything out.
Read more in our Professional Paraplanner article here.