Why Automated Workflows Have a Role in the Investment Industry
Financial advisors have always faced strong competitive pressures. New regulations are a continuing fact of life, and market forces have been putting the squeeze on fees in recent years. Therefore, the financial advisor who wants to succeed and scale up simply must run lean and run strong.
Automated workflows are the key to consistency in any industry, and in finance, consistency is perhaps more critical than in other industries due to the large amount of trust clients place in their advisors. At the same time, financial advice must be strongly personalized. If a client could get the same advice using a one-size-fits-all online tool, they’ll opt for the tool over the potentially pricey advisor.
Fortunately, the right workflow software can keep today’s financial advisor in compliance with regulations and streamline repetitive processes while laying down audit trails and ensuring that no critical steps are missed, so that advisors remain in compliance with all applicable regulations.
The Importance of Regulation Compliance Cannot Be Overemphasized
Larger financial advisory firms have to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission, while smaller ones register with state securities authorities. Anti-fraud provisions, disclosure obligations, and recordkeeping requirements must all be followed to the letter to avoid costly and potentially devastating violations.
At the same time, financial advisors must be prepared to be audited, either as a routine matter, or as a response to potential irregularities. Assuming they are intimately familiar with their state’s compliance program, and have documented processes consistently and in sufficient detail, audits can go much more smoothly and cause the minimum amount of disruption to daily operations.
Uses for Automated Workflows in Finance
Automated workflows can be designed to automatically create audit trails so that recordkeeping is easier and more accurate. When workflows are designed so that they cannot advance until all required provisions of the current step in a process are met, there is far less chance of carelessness.
But that’s not the only way automated workflows can serve financial advisory businesses. Like any other business, a financial advisory firm must take care of things like onboarding new employees, managing offices, and making sure IT equipment is in proper working order at all times.
Automated Workflows Don’t Remove “The Human Touch”
The concept of automation may be objectionable to some financial advisors, who think of automation as “taking over for” humans. Applied strategically, however, automation takes over repetitive tasks that are critical to get right, so that the advisors themselves can focus on building strong relationships with clients and bringing in new clients. In other words, the tools designed to introduce automation can be the same tools that allow personalization where it really counts: in relationships with those who use your highly specialized services.
Take Care of Back-Office Tasks So You Can Focus on the Customer
When you use workflow software to take care of back-office, compliance, recordkeeping, and other repetitive tasks, your business becomes more efficient, error rates fall, and you’re never at a loss when you need to put your hands on a critical document for your own reference, for a customer, or for an auditor. It may seem ironic that adding automation to highly personalized businesses like financial advising can result in better, more personalized services, but that’s exactly what happens with the right workflow software and automated workflows.
PerfectForms is workflow software that puts the power to create customized automated forms and workflows into your hands. You can identify which office workflows are in direst need of automation, and address them first, to get the biggest up-front return. Moreover, you can automate more business tasks as you gain experience and see the benefits of previous automation efforts, allowing more of the day-to-day, mundane tasks to occur with minimal human intervention so that you and your team can offer truly superior service to your clients. You can actually try PerfectForms for free by signing up for a trial. See what it’s like to put automation to work for your financial advisory business today!