When it comes to fact finding, the past couple of years have seen financial planners embrace technology. In 2019, a survey we conducted suggested only 24% of financial planners preferred to conduct a digital fact find with clients, over a hard copy paper version. In 2020, that figure rose to 75%.
Fast forward to 2021, and nearly 70,000 digital fact finds were either completed from scratch by clients, or pre-populated by financial planners for their clients to then complete. This was more than 2018, 2019 and 2020 combined, indicating a continued shift towards the use of digital fact finds and overall digital engagement.
Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic was and remains a major reason why financial planners decided to embrace digital fact finds. However, its continued usage suggests it is here to stay. But what are the benefits of conducting digital fact finding and why should you consider it?
It's what your clients want
Within our survey, we also asked clients if they preferred to complete a digital fact find or the more traditional hard copy paper version. What we discovered was that 94% of clients preferred digital fact finds, citing them far easier to complete than a traditional paper version. This indicates that although we as a profession believe clients want to meet and discuss things face to face, there are elements within the financial planning process which they prefer to do remotely.
For example, inviting your clients to create a FE Onboard secure Portal and complete a digital fact find in advance of a meeting allows them to complete it at a time and place convenient to them. This means they’ll not only have access to all the information they need to provide the most accurate information possible, but when you finally meet, you can both focus on what matters most – resulting in a more engaging experience.
27% of all secure Portals created have been created by clients aged between 60 and 79, highlighting that clients of all ages are keen to embrace technology.
It saves you time and makes you more efficient
Inviting your clients to create a secure Portal and complete a digital fact find in advance of a meeting means you can both focus on what matters most when you finally meet. It also means you’ve saved time and eliminated the need to sit with your client and complete a hard copy paper fact find. However, the time saved does not stop there.
Gathering client information using a hard copy paper fact find requires you to key that information into all the other software providers you use. However, by gathering client information digitally, you can simply send that information to your back-office, our FE CashCalc cashflow modeller etc – eliminating the need to manually key information.
66% of financial planners suggest using a digital fact find saves them on average 2 hours for every brand-new client they digitally onboard.
It can reduce costs for clients
66% of financial planners are saving up to 2 hours for every brand-new client they digitally onboard, with a further 11% saving even longer. This suggests there is a lot of time to be saved within financial planning processes across the country. It also suggests the time saved per client can either lead to a reduction in costs for clients, increased profits for your company, or even a mixture of both.
For example, if you ask your clients to complete a digital fact find in advance of a meeting, you’re reducing the time you spend obtaining hard facts. Plus, by gathering the information digitally, you can eliminate the need to manually key the information into all the software providers you use. This time saving can be passed onto your clients.
£4 million was saved by financial planners digitally onboarding and engaging with clients using our technology in 2021.