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A Back Office Mystery: Accurate data and how to get it

In the world of financial services, ensuring you have access to accurate and up to date data is essential yet for many firms the reality is that data can only be relied upon at the time of a client review when the back-office staff are tasked with pulling together the latest valuation.

Since the evolution of the back-office system more than a quarter of a century ago, firms have wrestled with the challenge of achieving reliable back-office data. Think how much better your management information could be, if you could rely on your systems being updated overnight by a service provider that does the hard work for you.

Rank your clients by AUM, monitor portfolio movements, calculate a true picture of what your business is worth, all of this relies on accurate and up-to-date data.

The question arises If it’s so important, why has this seemingly straightforward task proven so difficult to get right?

The answer lies in a lack of momentum. Without a compelling reason to get your back-office data into shape, firms struggle to find the incentive to embark on the journey of data cleansing. And remember, data cleansing is only half the story. Once you’ve got your data cleansed, it’s going to be out of date tomorrow unless it’s being updated for you.

Client needs drive action …

The truth is, data cleansing often takes a backseat until a client explicitly demands access to it. Firms tend to prioritise tasks that directly impact the client experience, and rightfully so. Clients now expect 24/7 access to their data. You can give your clients access to their data via a platform portal but this is missing a huge opportunity to improve the day-to-day efficiency of your business and which leads to increasing client loyalty and boosts the value of your firm.

Your advice firm is 'more valuable' with your own client portal.

Jon Dear, head of advisory operations at Hargreaves Lansdown: “If you haven’t got a client portal I would say, go and get it sorted. There are so many reasons, not least the value of your business. In this age of consolidation, companies that have a digital engagement with their customers will be worth more than those who don’t.”

A Catalyst for Change: Your Client Portal

Having your own client portal becomes the catalyst for solving the long-standing data cleansing problem. Your portal is the go-to resource for clients, available 24/7 and creates a perpetual cycle of data checking by them for you. Add to that, that your portal supplier will manage your data for you, updating it with data from platforms and providers on a daily basis. Sorting out the problems for you, when they happen, and your portal will have you leaping for joy, that you can finally rely on pressing a button and seeing how much your firm and your clients are worth.

Breaking the cycle and embracing 24/7 accessibility.

Delays in portal implementation often stem from the misconception that data must be cleansed before the launch. However, this train of thought can be counterproductive. If data cleansing were the prerequisite, it would have been accomplished already. Instead, view your portal as the driving force behind the cleansing process. Your clients are the best asset in ensuring your data is accurate. They will work with you to ensure any discrepancies are quickly sorted. Ultimately, the only way to know your data is accurate is to share it with your clients.

It's time to shift the narrative. Rather than viewing data cleansing as an isolated task, consider it an integral part of your firm's commitment to client satisfaction. 24/7 accessibility through your portal becomes the driving force behind maintaining accurate and up-to-date data.

Carpe Diem

The time to act is now. By prioritising portal implementation and making it synonymous with data cleanliness, your firm can break free from the historical inertia that has hindered back-office data management. Transform data cleansing from a daunting task into a seamless, ongoing process that not only meets but exceeds client expectations.

Chief executive of TFAS Wealth Ltd, Jeff Lange “I would argue anyone who does not have a financial portal needs to get on board and sort it out. It doesn’t have any negative sides, only positive.”

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If you care about your client experience, this is the trigger for you to get your data into shape.

Book a demo to learn how moneyinfo can help you to solve the long-standing data cleansing problem.