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The 4 Most Common Xplan Mistakes (and How to Fix Them!)

Jan / 17 / 2022

Xplan software boasts unrivalled capabilities for streamlining and effectively managing the ever complex financial planning world. Yet, often advisers are left alienated by Xplan errors or issues, without understanding where they’re going wrong. At Specialist PMC, we not only customise Xplan to suit your unique financial planning business, we also help you uncover the most common mistakes in Xplan — and unlock the mystery of how to fix them.

What are the most common Xplan mistakes?

Commonly, we see businesses manually tracking their FDS/Opt-In dates, client reviews, and editing merged documents far too much than necessary. Not only does this cost your practice precious time and wastes valuable human resources, it opens up windows for error and potential compliance breaches. These unnecessary issues stem from the four biggest Xplan mistakes:

1. Xplan site set up/client base is incorrect

You can’t build a stable house on a flawed foundation, and the same goes for your Xplan structure. Every system, process and advice document you write is born from the data foundation that you lay — so getting it right is fundamental! Unfortunately, many businesses don’t record the right data in the right areas, leaving data gaps, incorrect client details and breeding a menagerie of problems throughout the life of your business.

The biggest misconception that we observe amongst advice businesses is that Xplan datafeeds are a ‘set and forget’ approach. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth and can increase your compliance risk as well as inaccurate financial advice. We cannot overstate the value of getting your client information and datafeeds set up right the first time to avoid potentially devastating errors.

2. Failing to invest in training

Within the financial services industry, the back office team are undoubtedly the engine room that drives success, yet there is often a serious lack of investment in training. Even for the astute adviser, a knowledge gap can seriously affect efficiency, accuracy and the overall client experience. Supporting those who support you is one of the best tools you can equip yourself with to help manage, grow and evolve not only your client base but your entire Xplan site.

3. You have incorrectly established business processes, or they are over-processed

Without robust processes, you cannot have robust profitability. Xplan is perfectly equipped to deliver reliable processes, yet many financial planning firms either establish them incorrectly or over process them, leading to a multitude of inefficiencies. As your main client portal, you and your staff rely on the tasks being set up, however over-processing means financial planning teams lose track and tasks end up dissolving into nothing more than a ‘tick and flick’ exercise where staff close off all the tasks in batches which seriously skews reporting.

We find time and time again that a knowledge gap is the root cause of inefficient processes. By gaining access to the areas of Xplan that have been developed to provide efficiency, you can use wizards, threads, tasks and templates as a key driver in your outcomes.

This is why we offer coaching and consulting in process efficiency and best practice, as well as providing a personalised solution for how to utilise the Xplan system to its fullest — giving you the tools and techniques you need to manage your business processes and compliance obligations all on the Xplan system.

4. You haven’t coded your custom site

One of the outstanding features that Iress software developers have worked hard to deliver is the ability to customise Xplan to suit your unique business needs. However, it is one of the four biggest problem areas for financial planning firms. If you or your team are manually writing advice, heavily updating or editing your advice documents once they’ve merged, then chances are you’re guilty of not using code to build efficiency. When processes are optimised and coded correctly, everything should be spot on in the first place!

Even manually constructing letters, mailouts, terms of engagement and review reminders can be solved through having your advice document wizards, templates and datafeeds built through personalised coding. Having a template can be your best friend and makes the task of emails, diary appointments, even file notes easier and quicker than you ever thought possible.

Of course, we know your speciality is in financial planning, not software coding, which is why we offer site admin and licensee support to help with site configuration and management.

These are the top four mistakes we see people commonly making with Xplan. While troubleshooting is sometimes simple, often it’s complicated and time-consuming. But it’s certainly worth spending the time on fixing these errors. Once everything is running smoothly, you’ll free up time, reduce your stress and ensure the quality of your documents and advice remain top-notch.

How Specialist PMC can help your business

If you are ready to set your parameters for operational success, then Specialist PMC is ready to get talking. Let us help you improve your systems and build better relationships with your clients. Our practice management consultants respect your unique approach to financial planning, which is why we leverage our extensive experience and many years working with Iress, Financial Advisers and Licensees to develop bespoke solutions.

Contact us today to experience our exemplary service.