Written by Kronos Technologies on March 05, 2019
Great advisor-specific CRMs can transform an advisor’s practice. They increase efficiencies, enable advisors to capitalize on more opportunities and they help create awesome client experiences. But, they are also great tools for reducing compliance headaches and anxiety. Good CRMs, that were designed and developed with the advisor and their clients in mind, can reduce the amount of time and effort spent on compliance related filing and data entry, and automatically create the types of easily accessible audit trails necessary to prove compliance.
Read on to see 5 tips for using your CRM to make compliance easy.
The compliance challenge
Although there are many aspects to compliance, and they vary from region to region and across different segments of the financial services industry, there are some broad commonalities amongst compliance requirements, including:
- Demonstrate a needs-based approach to selling
- Record retention
- Advisor disclosure
- Client Privacy
Managing your activities and documentation to remain in compliance in these areas, while finding ways to spend the bulk of your time in front of clients, can present a challenge for many in the business. But top advisors have learned to lean heavily on their advisor-specific CRMs to take much of the effort out of maintaining compliance. Here’s how they do it.
Tip #1: Demonstrate record retention by archiving all client documents
A good, advisor-specific CRM allows advisors to file all the documents they send and receive from their clients. In each case the documents can be attached to the relevant client record, making them easily accessible if needed for compliance purposes. This digital archiving means advisors never have to worry about whether they filed their paperwork and where to find it.
As well, good CRMs include many insurance and investment-specific templates that can be used to create commonly used compliance related documents—such as replacement insurance notifications or advisor disclosures. These documents can also be attached to the relevant client record to demonstrate the advisor is compliant with record retention policies.
Tip #2: Automatically create an activity audit trail
Not only does a strong activity management feature simplify advisor’s lives by keeping track of the tasks that need to be performed and notifying the advisor at the appropriate time, it is also essential to proving compliance.
In a good advisor-specific CRM, after 30 days, all completed activities will be frozen. The completed activity record cannot be changed by the advisor, and this creates an audit trail that can be used for compliance purposes to demonstrate how an advisor interacted with a client. Since this procedure happens automatically, the advisor need not worry about low-value compliance tasks, like filing.
Tip #3: CRM features protect client privacy
Advisors are increasingly tasked with ensuring the security of their clients most important resource—their Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and their financial data. And, using CRM features to become compliant when it comes to client privacy is an essential aspect of building client trust and confidence. A good CRM has a secure email function that enables advisors to address privacy concerns by communicating with clients using bank-level encryption to send email that never passes through the internet.
Tip #4: Voice Memo
One way advisors demonstrate their needs-based approach to selling is by preserving records of their conversations with their clients. These audio files eliminate any possible confusion over what was discussed with the client and what was promised by the advisor.
A good CRM has a call recording feature that allows advisors to record all client calls and attach those recordings to the relevant client record. Not only does it give the advisor a history of what was said, but it preserves a record of what needs to be done as part of the follow-up process.
Tip #5: Use an FNA that integrates with the CRM to demonstrate a needs-based approach
A digital Financial Needs Analysis (FNA) solution that integrates with an advisor’s CRM enables them to easily complete the discovery stage of the FNA process, but also preserve that data. The FNA can be updated from the CRM’s existing client data, reducing low-value data entry tasks—but it can also be attached to the client record in the CRM, creating a demonstrable record of the advisor’s needs-based approach to the sales process. Completing and archiving a robust digital FNA every time an advisor conducts a client review shows that they have explored all client needs and proposed appropriate solutions.
Advisor-specific CRMs are not just great tools for managing all of an advisor’s client relationships. They do more than just automate workflows, save time and effort by reducing low-value work, and track and manage sales opportunities. Great CRMs can also remove a lot of the anxiety advisors feel about demonstrating a needs-based approach to selling, making disclosures, protecting client privacy and retaining all the necessary records. Features like activity locking, secure email, call-recording and document management can turn time spent worrying over compliance into hours freed up to create more great client experiences.