XPLAN for the 12th consecutive year has taken out the top spot of the Planning Software Benchmarking report which examines the planning applications used by advisers, reviewing the direction of app development for planners and licensees.
Investment Trends said applications are shifting from advice process functionality, turning their attention to business and practice management, goal-based client discovery processes and improving usability.
“In 2018, planning application development focused on implementing legislative changes to superannuation, improving adviser usability, and preparing for a post-royal commission financial advice landscape,” Michael Blomfield, chief executive of Investment Trends, said.
XPLAN achieved top score in 29 out of 34 categories measured in the report.
Investment Trends made note of its new functionality to improve user experience. XPLAN had launched its first CMS-based planning client portal, aiming to help advisers further develop their client service proposition and optimise practice process efficiency.
Advice Intelligence and Milliman were jointly recognised for the report’s Planning Software Innovation Award, for Advice Intelligence’s goals-based planning application powered by Milliman’s platform.
“Their collaboration on a goals-based advice platform is seen as a progressive implementation,” Mr Blomfield added.
The majority of planners were found to use XPLAN, COIN, AdviceOS or AdviserLogic as their main advice delivery applications.
Investment Trends noted that three new planning applications were delivered to the market in the last year: CCUBE Integrated Wealth, Advice Intelligence and Plutosoft.
“Advisers have more options than ever catering to a diverse range of planning practice business models, helping improve every aspect of the advice process from client onboarding to ongoing engagement,” Mr Blomfield said.
“These new third generation Australian planning applications reflect the shift to a goals-based advice process in tandem with the need to deliver enhanced process efficiency and compliance automation.
“The release of these comprehensive advice solutions present advisers with alternatives to the traditional propositions.”
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.