The solution is said to allow advice practices to manage their Future of Financial Advice (FoFA) obligations, allowing users to set out dates and reminders for when compliance requirements are due and for clients and auditors to access financial disclosure statements within the platform.
Lifewealth Group CEO Jason Harwood called the software a natural response to the royal commission as it helps establish best practice frameworks for delivering regulatory outcomes while also enhancing the client experience.
“So what it allows a bank or institution or a dealer group, a compliance manager or a CEO [to do] is to basically just jump into Ontoma, either through a web portal or iPad and ... at a glance, understand where their entire dealer group sits in with regards to FoFA reliance.
“Within that of itself is really powerful, but then the ability to drill down and get down to individual practice level, individual adviser level, individual client level to understand where those singular problems may exist, that in a nutshell is a separate description of what it does,” Mr Harwood said.
Dexterous Pro co-founder Robert Nisi said that Ontoma will ultimately reduce the time-consuming burden of compliance administration by automating advice practice processes.
Mr Harwood added that Ontoma can allow firms to be alerted when upcoming deadlines for statements are drawing closer, drill down to individual clients when using the software to run financial disclosure statements and automate future alerts for statements.
“We have incorporated automated workflows to help meet compliance requirements, minimise human error whilst driving efficiency and establishing best practice frameworks,” Mr Nisi said.
“Whether you’re a deal group or a financial manager at work at a financial planning firm, you get to put on alerts, based on things you want to track and make sure they are following the process and procedure correctly.
“You are identifying the issues before it gets too late.”
Mr Harwood said his firm had contacted Dexterous around three to four years ago, looking for a customer relationship management (CRM) solution around FoFA compliance, opt-ins, review dates and the like, and to have it all be presented at a single glance on a dashboard.
Speaking on how financial firms deal with tracking their performance on compliance standards, Mr Harwood commented: “Certainly my sense from talking to peers in the industry, there’s a lot of firms working on a spreadsheet.
“Generally, they’re having the names of their clients on a spreadsheet, manually going and entering the requirements that they need to deliver on throughout the year.
“It’s very old school, very inefficient, liable to be inaccurate and quite often managed by one person in the firm and it’s quite often handed down to the most junior person in the office.”
Ontoma is developed locally, with all data being stored on Australian servers.
Dexterous said its Pro infrastructure currently handles transactions approaching an annualized $1 billion.
“This platform will help financial firms overcome the challenge of maintaining wholly transparent practice-wide compliance as resourcing costs increase and revenue margins tighten,” Mr Harwood added.
“It really is an opportunity for the larger financial institutions to reset the industry in a positive way.”
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
Sarah has a dual bachelor's degree in science and journalism from the University of Queensland.