4 Benefits of Workflow Automation


By Robert Defrancis, Practifi

It’s no surprise that advice firms are among the most process-intensive businesses in the financial services industry. A lot of these processes occur again and again, such as client onboarding, conducting annual reviews, updating client information, and so on. If you break down these processes into individual recurring tasks, you might think they take much time at all. 

A few minutes here and there might not seem like a big deal, but when you look at all the processes and tasks that your team completes manually on a daily basis, you’ll see that all that time adds up. You’ll likely realize that much of the manual work can be automated by technology to save time. This is precious time that could be better spent elsewhere.

And we get it, the idea of automation and implementing technology may seem complicated and daunting, but it’s an investment in your team and in your business that will pay dividends. There are a number of benefits to automating your business, but here are the top 4 benefits we believe you should consider:

1. Minimizing errors

Within advice firms, there are plenty of tasks and processes that occur on a regular basis. Many of these are sequential with one completed task triggering a new one. For example, when you get a new client, the onboarding process may kick off with some paperwork, then some data entry, then a meeting or two, and the process goes on. If your team is doing all of this manually, then the chances of making a mistake increases exponentially. Mistakes such as missing paperwork or incorrectly-entered data can greatly affect the onboarding process and may start you off on the wrong foot.

With workflow automation, standard processes can be designed and managed within a single platform. Processes like the one mentioned above can be kicked off automatically, assigning tasks to the appropriate team members and triggering a number of other steps. If you use a management platform to automate your processes, you’ll likely have a few other helpful features that’ll act as a system of checks and balances to ensure that your process is done correctly and in a timely manner. It’ll give you and your team the peace of mind you need.

2. Enhancing efficiency

In addition to giving you oversight into your workflows and processes, automation truly helps with repetitive tasks, reducing the time your team spends doing the same thing over and over again. For example, with the current Covid-19 pandemic, you’re probably making the same call to your clients again and again.

With automation through a management platform, you can quickly delegate these calls and implement call and note templates to ensure that the information you give and gather are consistent, and that you’re not recreating the wheel with every call. This means you’ll be able to communicate with your clients quickly and efficiently.

3. Growing your firm

When you’re automating processes and reducing repetitive tasks, you’ll have more time to focus on growing your firm. This could mean more time developing a growth strategy, or just going out there and getting new clients. This could also mean spending more time with your existing clients building stickier relationships or providing more services. Whatever growth means to you, automation is the key to unlocking it. You’ll be better able to focus on growth when you’re not caught up in day-to-day tasks.

4. Moving fast to get ahead (or to relax—we aren’t judging!)

Automating your processes and tasks means that you and your team aren’t wasting time on office logistics and small mundane tasks, or worrying about what didn’t get done. You’ll move a lot faster and get enough extra time to strategize and get ahead of your competitors who may not be as efficient. This is time you can spend marketing, prospecting, or doing whatever you think will move you (and keep you) ahead of your competition.

Additionally (and we’re not judging!), saving time could just mean saving time for yourself. Perhaps you want to cut down your workday and do the same amount of work in fewer hours. Maybe you want to spend more time with your family, go golfing, or take a vacation—whatever it is, you’ll have more freedom and flexibility to pursue it!

The Future of Advice

Workflow automation is truly the way of the future. It reduces the need for manual work and gives advice firms the efficiency they need to save time and scale their business. Additionally, if you’re looking to step up your client service, automating processes that have a large number of client touch points can elevate your game. Check out our new paper, “Elevating the Advice Experience,” to learn how automation can transform the client journey.