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How Oversight Helps Expand Financial Planning Services

Joe Buhrmann December 7, 2021

Updated on: November 3, 2023

When a business and its employees share goals, that alignment can set up all parties for a win-win situation. Firms looking for additional revenue from financial planning should heed this advice.

If you want to increase revenue from planning, then your goals need to be tailored to helping your advisors hit their goals to do more of it. Financial planning technology with analytics, oversight, and integrations is one avenue to drive expansion of services.

Regulation and Reputation Make Oversight a Priority

While no one likes to feel like “Big Brother” is watching, checks and balances are part of many of our societal systems. In today’s highly regulated financial services industry—whether you’re an insurance, banking, or wealth management institution—it’s likely your firm requires monitoring and planning oversight of your financial professionals. Technology can provide real-time optics into your financial planning process and help your firm be responsive when that question or request for additional information comes up.

And planning oversight should not necessarily be viewed negatively. Yes, it’s a requirement, but it can also create opportunity for your firm to secure your reputation and ensure a high-value experience for the client.

If you provide oversight to your financial professionals you can force a review of a financial plan before it’s shared with a client. A review from a home office expert, lead planner, or certified financial planner has several benefits.

First, it’s a quality check. Is the process the financial professional is taking to produce a financial plan for this client sound? Second, perhaps there’s a coaching and mentorship element to this review. When another perspective is offered, when other areas should be considered, or if something should be added or changed, then the financial professional builds their planning acumen concurrently.

Additional recommendations and supervision of plan quality are ways oversight enables the expansion of planning capabilities at a firm.

Increasing Engagement with Data Insights and Integration

Many firms have a variety of different systems and software applications their advisors use daily to complete their business. Home offices that invest in integration build seamless access to key client and advisor data that can impact workflows, reporting, and revenue opportunities.

Some common data pulls such as clients on the platform, onboarding, portals or clients sites, login frequency, or AUM on the platform, may be the performance screen you need to assess where the activity is. Flagging unengaged relationships early can ultimately impact client satisfaction, confidence levels, and affinity.

Uncovering Advisor Opportunities

A key to getting advisors engaged in more planning is helping them find the opportunities. Data analytics on an advisor’s book of business can provide the depth and breadth of planning insight needed across their client relationships so the firm can help that individual strategize.

It’s particularly impactful to see held away assets that could be converted to products and solutions or ancillary services you offer. The held away assets are your sales funnel for years—or decades—to come.

For example, if you can run a screen on which clients have a mortgage, you can then identify a client with an opportunity to refinance. When that client refinances, is there a chance to redirect the money they are saving on their mortgage into additional savings or a Roth IRA? There’s likely several ways to segment an advisor’s business to drive results.

Initiating Client Action

To be able to get that full client view, clients must be engaged in planning. And sometimes they aren’t, but perhaps they just need a nudge. Advisors may require coaching of effective methods to encourage client engagement.

First, the advisor could set the client up for success by providing them security or other useful information when you do grant them access, that will give them the confidence their data is safe. Additional education such as an overview video or “what to expect” from their portal or website may also provide the client with additional assurance.

After they have accepted the invitation to set up their portal or client site, then inciting the proper behavior may help steer them towards engagement. Perhaps there is a document—a report or a discovery factfinder—you you can deliver to the client, available only through access to their secure site. This will help drive clients towards interacting with their planning experience.

Spurring Change from the Home Office

Home office and firm leadership can help financial professionals connect the dots—and identify the holes in their business strategy—but only if they have access to information about their business. Technology plays a key role in helping enterprise firms obtain that clear view to expand planning.

With an oversight process, you keep a close eye on many factors when it comes to planning, particularly the impact on the client experience, which is a must-have for the next generation of clients and investors. To learn more about how adopting the right technology can be the win-win for your strategy to do more planning, read our eBook here.

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

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About the Author

Joe serves as a Senior Financial Planning Practice Management Consultant at eMoney Advisor. With more than three decades in the financial services industry, Joe aligns his know-how and passion to help firms of all sizes increase usage, adoption, and engagement through a modern financial planning experience. He leverages his expertise and supports internal departments across the enterprise, helping Communications, Marketing, Relationship Management, and Sales. Joe attended Illinois State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in Applied Computer Science and his MBA.

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