May 15, 2019
How and why Ethos Financial Planners use now:plan cashflow modelling from Focus Solutions.
Ethos Financial Planners have been offering financial planning services for over 20 years, under the strategic direction of Managing Director, John Morten. Using Focus Solutions’ now:plan cashflow modelling tool, Ethos has seen their business transform and can now offer even more to their clients. We spoke to John to find out how…
It’s really been an upgrade on our business and in such a short period of time too. The impact it’s had has been significant, not just for new clients, but very much for existing clients as well. We’re able to offer the client a lot more for their money at a time when the cost of fees is very much in the spotlight — it just demonstrates we’re providing real value.
One of the most important services we offer is being able to forecast for the client, i.e. “can you afford to retire”. Before now:plan we had to cobble together vast amounts of data and present them to the client on clunky looking spreadsheets. It took at least a whole morning to produce and cost us real money in time and resource. Now the reports take 15 minutes to produce and we can present them to the client in a far more engaging way.
It’s made significant improvements to our efficiency which makes a real difference to our bottom line as a business. The software isn’t complicated so we’re able to train a junior member of the team to do the bulk of the fact finding, load it on to the system, set the What Ifs and then an adviser just needs to check it. It’s transformed the way we work for the better.
Well now our IFAs can get on with actually meeting clients rather than spending a huge amount of their time doing admin work. We’re now talking about what matters — giving advice — and the clients love the software. Visually it’s so engaging and easy to understand, if we’re honest no one wants to read lengthy reports they just want to see the charts!
Absolutely, most people are visual. Going back before the digital age, my main tool was my notepad and I used to do box diagrams with stick men — even something as basic as that my clients used to say “I must take that with me so I can understand it.”
We’ve used quite a well-known cashflow modeller before in the past but it got to the point that we found it unusable — couldn’t load the thing as it demanded so much input. After a while we ditched it as it was far too complicated. That’s what’s great about now:plan, it’s kept as simple as possible but with a complicated option if you need it.
It’s just so easy to use. The fact it’s highly pictorial resonates very well with clients while managing to meet so many of our regulatory requirements such as sustainability of income and assets. We love using it, it has practically every What If scenario that our clients can throw at us so we know we can provide what’s asked of us in such a brilliant way.
The back up and support from Focus has been absolutely first class. We get responses straight away; there’s no convoluted tech speak and nothing is too much trouble. We have been very delighted with every aspect of the service you have provided to us.
It has provided us with real impetus in terms of the pure financial planning aspect of our business and it certainly has reinvigorated us here at Ethos. We feel it’s got us back to what we are here on Earth to do which is to give people top-class, strategic, financial planning advice.