Planning reviews are an important part of the financial planning process. Regular reviews help ensure clients stay on track to meet their goals. Reviews also provide advisors the chance to reconnect with clients as you work together through the planning process.
A majority of advisors conduct plan reviews at least annually according to the FPA’s Research & Practice Institute’s study 2015 Trends in Financial Planning. The survey reported only a third of advisors charge a separate fee for creating initial plans and even less charge a separate fee for plan updates. While the time required to complete plan updates is typically a fraction of the thirteen hour average spent creating initial plans, the total time investment can be significant considering the frequency of reviews.
Taking steps to simplify the planning review and update process can pay off quickly. Advisors planning with Silver Online can leverage the customer access feature to streamline plan updates. The customer access portal allows clients to review plan data and optionally make changes to update the planning information.
Steps to use Silver Online’s Customer Access for Planning Reviews and Updates:
1. Make a copy of the plan to be updated.
After selecting a client from the main client list, the the client’s plans will be listed. Click the (copy) button next to the plan to create a copy for the client. Enter a distinguishable title for plan, such as “2016 Plan Update – Customer Access”.
2. Setup customer access to the copied plan.
Customer Access is available from the left side menu after opening a client. Select the newly copied plan for customer access. Enable customers to make changes to the plan data. This allows your client to review and update the information.
Under Report Options, do not enable reports. This will allow you to review the updated plan information and discuss the changes with the client. You can enable reports after you have completed changes and made final changes to the plan update. See the Customer Access User Guide for more detailed instructions.
3. Review changes the client made to the data.
Open the client’s copy of the plan after the client has completed updating their planning information. Move through the data sections to review the information and determine what the client has changed.
4. Finalize the updated plan.
After you have reviewed and discussed changes to the planning information made by the client, you can move forward to finalizing the updated plan. You may choose to rename the plan used for customer access or make a copy the plan and continue with any required changes. After you have updated the plan and it is ready for the client to review, you can share it with your clients using customer access by selecting the finalized plan and enabling the option to allow clients to view the reports.