Financial planning is not the pen and paper activity it used to be, and the argument for using Excel – or not, surprisingly still exists. Some advisors argue that Excel produces the same results with significant savings, while others view the time savings when using tools as worth the expense. At AdviorPeak, our technology making it easier to trade and rebalance, monitor client portfolios and produce meaningful reports—all without pen and paper or excel spreadsheets laying across your desk and exposing you to risk.
Our trading and rebalancing system and our partner integrations save time and money and provide peace of mind where accuracy and compliance matter. Should advisors be Excel formula masters? Advisors should be ‘masters of advising’ and managing client assets, not Excel formula jocks.
It has become nearly impossible to efficiently provide long-term planning and manage all facets of client households on Excel spreadsheets and then manually execute those results on an external trading system. Something has to give to commit the time Excel requires; the amount of time spent with clients will be lost. Besides, along with manual processes comes risk—compliance risk and errors that frequently occur due to human error:
“Spreadsheets are frequently used for analyzing and providing evidentiary support for key business decisions. For complex calculations where data is continuously changing, and those that require the use of cell functions, Excel is often the go-to tool to get the job done. There is no waiting for IT to make changes to systems, no workarounds necessary and no compromises.
Excel is a powerful and invaluable tool. However, spreadsheets alone are not perfect. By themselves, they provide little-to-no protection against data corruption, no way to validate numbers or error checking, nor do they offer the transparency financial institutions require in today’s complex regulatory environment.”—Ignoring Spreadsheet Risks Puts Financial Institutions and Customers at Risk. Global Banking and Finance Review.
Forrester conducted a study on using Excel and concluded that every spreadsheet contains risk:
- Formulas not populated correctly
- Different versions in use by multiple employees
- Information is hidden behind formatting
- Manually driven processes are prone to errors—accidental or intentional
As more advisors move toward the fee-only model, technology will continue to play an important role. Advisors must evaluate what they are willing to spend and if the cost is justifiable. Advisors need to examine their direct expenses; those expenses which produce more revenue and decrease their risk of errors.
Our team at AdvisorPeak challenges you to run this through your Excel program:
- Total client Revenue divided by Number of hours using Excel = A
- Total client Revenue divided by Software cost = B
This ‘simple math’ provides the answer that “B” is the most efficient way to grow your business. But there is another question and answer you must consider:
- Total risk eliminated by using software vs. Excel = C
That “C” stands for Compliance Risk. We invite you to contact us for a demo to experience how our trading and rebalancing software is excelling advisors ahead of their competition and decreasing their risk of human error.