While there have been significant advancements in technology to help clients achieve their financial goals, tracking progress toward a financial advisor’s own business goals is still largely a matter of pen and paper.
Advisors with a clear, documented business plan are 92% more productive than those without one, according to Laura Cheeley, director of practice management at RBC Wealth Management. Yet only one in five firms has such a plan.
RBC is offering advisors a new digital tool to help close this gap, says Cheeley. The program was piloted in September and is now rolling out to all of RBC’s 2,000 advisors. More than 150 firms have already adopted the technology, Cheeley says.
Like financial planning software for clients, RBC Business Compass provides a digital hub for advisors to set business goals and track progress based on metrics such as assets under management or number of households. Consultants who want to dig deeper can also use Business Compass to set a value statement or marketing goals.
âWe see it as a model for a counselor’s practice,â Cheeley says. âWhat does the company hope to accomplish and how is it going to achieve it? “
The tool helps create accountability among team members, she adds. Tasks related to specific goals can be assigned through Salesforce, and field managers can use Business Compass to see each firm’s progress and business strategies.
This kind of accountability can help turn an abstract business plan into real results, says Matt Granski, president of Miracle Mile Advisors, a Los Angeles-based RIA.
âThere is a big gap between writing a business plan and executing it,â Granski says in an email. âBusiness Compass seems to be the reality test that many advisors need. “
Most advisors prefer to spend time on clients or investments rather than on management tasks, but having a digital tool could help them run their business better, says David Geibel, president of Girard, the management division. of Univest Financial’s heritage.
âYou can draw similar parallels with doctors and lawyers practicing their profession in relation to running their business,â Geibel explains.
The tool was developed entirely in-house and integrates the revamped adviser technology center. The tool is not available to independent advisors through RBC on-call operations.
While RBC leaders in the field can see an advisor’s goals and progress on Business Compass, adoption will not be required, nor will it be used to assess the advisor’s performance, Cheeley says.