Choose the Best Practice Management Software
Long before the paperless office or the virtual workplace was possible, our president, Warren Mackensen, wanted to find a way to use a database to manage all of the details of his growing practice. Within months, ProTracker Advantage was causing a stir in the advisory world. Not content with minor tweaks, Warren began to re-imagine how to exploit the newest technology. ProTracker Advantage is the result!
Here's what Warren believes a practice management solution should provide and why we built ProTracker Advantage to meet these particular requirements.
A dynamic advisor world.
Your work changes every day. You want help to keep on top of it.
Conference room scheduling.
Scheduling internal company meetings is a challenge unless everyone’s schedule is visible in one place. Your practice management solution should provide a built-in group calendar to easily schedule company-wide meetings.
Your practice management solution should store digital photographs of each client so that new employees may readily greet clients when they arrive. Client preferences should be stored to provide concierge-level service.
Your practice management solution should permit the global reassignment of work from one employee to another due to vacation or sickness.
Your practice management solution should permit the reassignment of firm associates on client accounts when an employee leaves the firm or is otherwise unavailable for client service.
When an advisor returns to the office after an absence, your practice management solution should permit the advisor to review the activities that occurred while the advisor was away. These activities should include: appointments, notes, tasks, emails, documents, communications, marketing efforts and clients reviews.
A process-driven world.
Capture your business processes to consistently provide good service to your clients. Don't let tasks fall through the cracks.
Advisors do not have the luxury of reinventing the tasks in repetitive processes. Your practice management solution should provide a simple but customizable task-oriented workflow library from which employees may select and assign repetitive tasks to members of the firm.
An integrated world.
Don't manually enter data in multiple places! ProTracker integrates with many other financial and generic packages.
Sync your contacts and calendar.
Your practice management solution should facilitate syncing contacts and appointments with your smart phone. Using Microsoft Outlook as an intermediary, you may sync your contacts from ProTracker to your smartphone.
Your practice management solution should import data from common accounting systems so that client revenue may be monitored for strategic planning purposes. Further, the accounting integration is useful at tax time for itemized deduction purposes.
Portfolio Management Systems.
Your practice management solution should import data from industry standard portfolio management systems to facilitate the computation of net worth, money balances and portfolio withdrawal rates.
An aging world.
Your clients count on you to assist them with their goals.
Clients need reassurance that they will not run out of money. Your practice management solution should be able to show simple retirement projections based on basic input parameters. For most clients, complex cash-flow based retirement projections are unnecessary.
Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs).
Clients living well into their 90’s are pervasive in every advisor’s practice. Required minimum distributions starting at age 70-1/2 have to be managed closely because of the 50% penalty on insufficient distributions. Although each custodian provides a simple calculation for each account, the coordination of distributions from multiple tax-deferred accounts remains an advisor responsibility. Your practice management solution should calculate and record distributions so that remaining distributions before year end may be monitored and managed.
Children are inheriting their parent’s IRA. Required Minimum Distributions take a different form in each of the three years surrounding a parent’s death. Your practice management solution should calculate the decedent’s final RMD, the inheritor’s first year RMD, and then the inheritor’s follow-on RMDs using the N-1 rule.
Your practice management solution should graph portfolio withdrawals rates so that clients may be apprised of how long their money may be expected to last. By showing clients that their withdrawal rate is not excessive, clients are able to overcome depression-era money baggage and live more fulfilled lives.
Your practice management solution should automatically stop incrementing a client’s age when they die. The decedent should automatically be excluded from further age-related client lists.
A regulated world.
Simplify your compliance tasks without cutting corners.
Regulatory requirements have never been greater.
Your practice management solution should support expected regulatory examinations. Built-in reports should provide client lists, assets under management, assets by institution, clients by state, related parties lists, Form ADV offer dates, privacy notice dates, terminated clients lists and other reports required by examiners during an inspection. All client correspondence, including emails, should be archived.
Your practice management solution should track the distribution of disclosure statements, privacy notices, business continuity notifications, newsletters and other client communications.
Written Policies and Procedures.
Your practice management solution should facilitate the deployment of written policies and procedures for all employees to follow. It is not enough that the firm has a three-ring binder on the shelf. The employees need immediate access to these policies and procedures.
The Chief Compliance Officer should be copied on client correspondence so that periodic reviews may be conducted for regulatory compliance purposes. Your practice management solution should permit the creator of a document to copy the Chief Compliance Officer on selected documents for later review.
A preserved world.
Go paperless. Ensure that your correspondence is saved and easily retrieved.
Your practice management solution should archive both incoming and outgoing emails to support regulatory examinations. Although 100% archival of every email is not required of all professionals, it is still helpful from a practice management standpoint to archive all client emails. This process should be automatic and employees should be able to control how and when archiving events occur.
Document linking and scanning.
Your practice management solution should link to existing documents and permit direct scanning of new documents without the need to purchase additional document management software
A busy world.
Stay focused. Don't miss a thing. Be productive.
Employees of advisory firms need to see today’s appointments and tasks on their home screen when they first open the practice management software. And for employees on the go, these events should sync to their mobile devices.
With all of the various activities running through an advisor’s mind in a given day, your practice management solution should suggest “the next step” to the advisor for the screen currently in view. The unobtrusive Assistant in ProTracker Advantage does exactly that
Frequently, an advisor’s work is interrupted by a client telephone call that requires immediate attention. Afterwards, the advisor must return to the previous task. Your practice management solution should accommodate fast client searches and then readily facilitate returning to the previous client’s information
Your practice management solution should include automatic employee notifications when a new task or appointment is created for them
"Ready to run" reports.
Your practice management solution should provide standard reports out of the box. Each advisor should not have to build their own reports that are common across most firms. There are over 150 report types available in ProTracker Advantage to meet most advisors’ ongoing needs.
A changing world.
You have a lot of information on your clients and you'd like to examine it in light of changes in the market or to the tax code.
Even a plethora of canned reports is sometimes not enough. Your practice management solution should have a robust dynamic report builder that provides for virtually unlimited access to your client data for creation of custom reports.
An affiliated world.
Track the many connections between you and your clients and the wider world.
People know people.
Building groups of contacts or clients for marketing purposes should be intuitive so that selection of parameters and criteria are easy.
Your practice management solution should facilitate the creation of reciprocal roles, e.g., when a stepson is added, the reciprocal role is automatically added for the stepfather.
Last client activity.
Your practice management solution should show the last appointment, note, review or task that has occurred, thereby giving the advisor an idea of when the client was last contacted. This knowledge promotes proactive client contact and greater client retention.
A limitless world.
Don't be hamstrung by artificial constraints of your CRM program.
The number of addresses and telephone numbers should not be constrained to a limited number of fields.
Address and telephone number fields should not be constrained to monikers such as “Other,” where it is impossible to tell the relationship between the telephone number and the location.
Fields and field labels should be customizable for contacts, clients, groups and assets. Field types should allow for text, number, currency, date, yes/no, and memo field types.
The number of file folders created in which the user may store client documents should be unlimited. The user should be able to look through your practice management solution directly into Windows Explorer where file folder creation is unlimited.
A measured world.
Keep track of where you are and plan for where you are going.
Advisors frequently like to check their firm’s progress year over year. Your practice management solution should readily provide internal client and prospect statistics showing numbers of new clients, clients within certain net worth or asset ranges, days from the first prospect meeting until the prospect becomes a client and other firm statistics.
Periodic firm-wide strategic planning events frequently require analysis of various firm benchmarks, such as client counts, clients assets in specific ranges, client net worth, services offered and other demographic parameters. Your practice management solution should provide flexible pre-formatted reports to provide this information.
A market-driven world.
Manage your prospects to help grow your firm.
Marketing to expand your list of clients requires a consistent and steady effort. Your practice management solution should enable your firm to consistently maintain the marketing process and to track the progress of a new prospect from initial entry to signing with the firm as a client.
Annual surveys by media organizations and professional associations frequently ask advisors for client statistics to rank firms based on their size or assets under management. Your practice management solution should readily provide those statistics to support submission of the firm’s numbers. Firms may then use their inclusion in these annual rankings as a marketing piece
Business card scanning.
Your practice management solution should readily scan business cards and fill in the relevant name and address fields automatically.
These are the requirements that we considered when we designed ProTracker Advantage.
Let us help you evaluate it for your needs. Request a demo today.