by Eoin McDonnell, Head of Technology Delivery and Architecture
Over the last three years, we have reached a tipping point for online services that allows clients to automatically collate multiple financial accounts in a single location and provide a visual depiction of their overall cash flow.
The popularity of these solutions is a direct result of them being highly-automated, with their modern and responsive design and smooth user experience. As a result - the transition from personalised ‘DIY’ excel budgeting spreadsheets to digital solutions has become the natural next step for the majority of tech-savvy consumers – who prefer everything they need on one device.
For a modern and digitally-focused financial advice firm these solutions can help you further understand and assist your clients with their own budgeting and cash flow issues.
We understand that advisers are busy – which is why we have completed a high-level comparison of what we have determined to be the four leading Australian cash flow management solutions which cater for the financial adviser market.
These platforms differ along some key metrics (such as connectivity, the user experience, and the focus on cash flow versus additional features) and the detail of the reports you can generate. The compared solutions adhere to key design principles that we advocate, which include being cloud-based, highly engaging, offering transparent pricing, and the presence of an efficient user experience.
So – how do you choose a platform?
Firstly, you need to understand your firm’s needs and your client’s needs.
Secondly, ensure that the price and features fit within your business model. Take advantage of the free trials that all of these providers offer and test them out before committing to a solution.
Finally, ensure these solutions add value to your client’s experience, and find out if they use free services such as Pocketbook or ASIC’s TrackMySpend. If so, ensure there are compelling advantages before bringing them into a new platform.
We were really impressed with Moneysoft, and it has received many positive comments from our community of advisers such as, “superb reporting and budgeting options, a focus on cash flow reconciliation, and no fixed monthly fee!”
Unfortunately, none of the solutions compared offer the ‘silver bullet’ of a fully integrated XPLAN solution, although Moneysoft have been the most ambitious within this space. We are working closely with vendors to find an integrated solution and we’re currently working with Moneysoft to secure favourable pricing for the Centrepoint community – so expect an announcement very soon!