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Client Reports: How Less Can Be More

Condensed client report software look to fill the gap between financial planning tomes and no planning at all.

Bill Winterberg, 05/10/2012

To deliver thorough financial plans to clients, financial advisors may be compelled to deliver lengthy reports illustrating how a variety of circumstances, assumptions, and projections can affect the outcome of client goals. While these reports serve as the primary deliverable in the planning process, clients may become paralyzed by the enormity of large plan documents and their endless recommendations.

In addition, most advisors create plans independently after gathering client goal information in discovery meetings, as opposed to engaging clients in an iterative process with immediate feedback. Advisor Software Inc. (ASI) is tackling the issue of mind-numbing plan documents and lack of client collaboration with a new tool that creates simplified client deliverables and helps set expectations of attainable financial goals.

ASI Evolution
Based in Walnut Creek, Calif., ASI has offered a variety of tools and solutions to the financial services industry since 1995. The company's products power several of the back-end features available to advisors through investment custodian websites.

"We work with what we call enterprises, and that's large organizations such as Schwab [Advisor Services], TD Ameritrade [Institutional], Franklin Investments, Russell Investments, and so forth that private-label our services," said Neal Ringquist, president and COO of ASI. "We've had 80,000 advisors use our apps and probably not many of them know that they are using Advisor Software apps."

To diversify its enterprise market relationships, ASI recently completed an integration of the ASI Portfolio Rebalancing Solution® with Grendel CRM (See One Capable CRM Flying Under Most Advisors' Radar).

According to Ringquist, the company continues to expand its visibility by offering technology products directly to financial advisors. One of those products for advisors is goalgamiPro, a financial diagnostic tool that generates a compact client report referred to as the Household Balance Sheet.

GoalgamiPro is an entirely Web-based application advisors use to create two single-page client reports titled, "Can I Afford My Goals?" and "What Is My Plan?"

After logging in to goalgamiPro, advisors can browse a list of all of the client households configured in the program. To the left of the household list is a folder tree that can be used to organize households using an advisor-defined folder hierarchy.

Bill Winterberg, CFP, is a technology and operations consultant to independent financial advisors. His comments on technology have been featured in a variety of financial industry publications. You can view more information about Bill and see his schedule of upcoming speaking engagements at his Web site, FPPad.com. The author is a freelance contributor to MorningstarAdvisor.com. The views expressed in this article may or may not reflect the views of Morningstar.

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