When it comes to documenting advice to clients, we know that time and resource can be issues. An adviser should be able to concentrate on their clients, but thanks to increased regulation, they may have found themselves with more administration in day to day business than actual advising.
There are options that can help. Which route is best entirely depends on individual firms – you don’t want to find a practice that does not fit in with your current processes. Have a look at the following options and consider which just might make your life easier:
- Using report writing software
- Creating and maintaining your own templates
- Outsourcing templates to another company
Obviously, you don’t have to choose just one – you could mix and match. Perhaps software would suit you, as all you need is standardisation with added quality control and improved compliance outcomes, which partial automation can really help with. Or maybe you want a more bespoke approach, where you have more control over your branding and tone of voice and have a complete fit with your internal processes and procedures. Or would you prefer to hand over the creation and maintenance of fully tailored templates to an outsourcing partner? All of these options come with advantages and disadvantages, which we’ll look at in a little more detail.
Saved by software
Using report software can certainly help you with efficiency and ensuring fewer errors, but doesn’t necessarily leave a lot of room for the more bespoke wording or branding – and may not give you the opportunity to write in your own words.
Keeping it in house
Creating your own template can take up a lot of your time initially (unless you have been given your templates by a network, or compliance consultancy) but can offer the opportunity to make it more uniquely yours and can be cost-effective. What you have to consider in creating and maintaining your own templates in house is the resources needed to ensure they are up to date and correct. Do you have the capability in house for design and brand? Do you have the correct software?
When it comes to outsourcing templates, there are definitely benefits to be had. You gain access to subject matter experts who will ensure that your documents are up to date and refreshed when required, you can have the ‘look’ of the report match your brand and other documentation so that the suite of literature looks seamless for the end client. Of course, you are then subject to navigating another company’s timescales and processes and the initial set up costs may be a factor.
Whichever route you decide to take, make sure that it works for your firm. It could be as simple as taking aspects of all the options and fitting them together like puzzle pieces. As long as the function and objectives are kept in mind, and the reports are adding value for the client, you will be set. Templates are definitely helpful for firms, it’s simply the process that has to be considered.