The financial industry has gone through decades of steady, progressive change. Financial professionals are continually integrating new technologies into their workflows – and, as a result, are able to operate faster and more efficiently, while providing a greater client impact.
There are two types of relationships between financial professionals and their clients. One relationship – the most traditional and perhaps most common – is considering the services provided to clients purely within the context of how they fit into their pre-existing business plan. This could include tax preparation, annual financial statements, mergers and acquisitions, etc. These services are necessary, transactional, and compliance-based.
The other type of relationship – and the way we should all be embracing – is value based… not service based. This involves proactive work, such as the monitoring and analysis of the client’s business metrics, providing targeted, strategic business advice based on real-time information, and focused insights into the client’s cash flow, supply chain, overhead expenses, and potential disruptions.
To make these value-based relationships possible, firms need to leverage technology. Keeping in touch with their clients on a regular basis allows the financial advisor to keep their finger on the pulse of their clients, anticipate their needs before they even realize it, and bring value in the areas where they need it the most.
When it comes to technology, firms have two choices. They can adopt only the tech that’s imperative for their business operations: the early financial technologies that simplify their workflow. Or, they can choose to adopt new technologies that allow them to continue offering traditional services to their clients, while also harnessing the business’ data that they need in order to provide strategic, data-driven insights and act as a trusted advisor for the client to rely on.
Firms that embrace financial technologies and capitalize on the opportunities they afford will find themselves far ahead of firms that choose to retain focus on service-based business models. As technologies continue to advance, many transactional and compliance-based services will become increasingly automated, reducing the need for an accountant to perform these services at all. Leveraging tech today will not only provide immediate value to your clients, but will also protect your practice in an industry that can be significantly disrupted by automation.
Today, there is an amazing opportunity to gather detailed, intimate information about a client’s internal business operations to help them in the areas where they really need it – and might not even know it. Financial professionals can use their skills and expertise to become their clients’ most trusted source of advice – while providing immeasurable value along the way.