Last Updated on July 20, 2020 by John Prendergast
People have been talking about the idea of a ‘paperless office’ for almost 40 years now.
For decades, businesses have been transitioning processes to rely less on physical paper, and more on technology. For financial advisors, ‘going paperless’ is a viable strategy, and it’s driving real results for offices of all sizes, in all stages of business. Meet 3 advisors who are making ‘paperless’ a reality in their office, and find out about steps you can take to make the paperless transition, too.
1) Chal is saving time and money
Chal Daniels, a financial advisor in Napa Valley, is moving his $25million AUM financial advisory office to paperless after 19 years in the biz. Why? He wants to increase his operational efficiency so he can spend more time with clients, listening to them and finding their solutions. He reports that his transition to paperless has also led to substantial savings in business operations and enhanced customer service.
According to Chal, going paperless requires brain power as well as computer power. For example, he suggests other advisors who are trying to wrap their minds around paperless file storing to “think about setting up a filing system that mirrors how you organized the drawers of your file cabinets.”
Tip for a Faster Transition: Add hours to the week. Chal extended the day of one of his employees from 3 to 5 hours during the initial transition simply so they could help scan paper documents.
2) Mark is reducing his impact on the environment
In 2012, Mark Stempel had a successful advisory business with $50million AUM, and sold it to change careers. However, just a few months later, Stempel decided to go back to advising and is starting a new advisory business, from the group up.
During his few months off, Stempel “became more aware of the environmental and social predicament we find ourselves in… I became more aware of impact investments, and it seemed like a perfect way for me to be of service.” He’s approaching his new phase of financial advising with a focus on impact investing.
Impact investing is defined by FA Magazine as striving “to achieve both a competitive financial return and a measurable social, economic or environmental impact by promoting economic growth, delivering products and services to underserved people or tackling environmental issues.”
It’s no surprise that Stempel is “going paperless”, among other environmentally-friendly initiatives.
3) Jim is guiding the way for advisors everywhere
Jim Koch is an independent RIA who’s been refining his paperless office for the past few years. Considered a “pioneer” by InvestmentNews for his use of web-based tools to provide retirement planning services, Jim certainly has some street cred in the industry, and provides strong example for other advisors who want to transition to paperless.
Jim says paperless is not only drastically more efficient for the advisor, but necessary to remain relevant to today’s changing investor.
For Jim, the transition to paperless happened in stages. You can read how Jim did it, the 3 most important paperless tools he uses, plus the clever way he introduces technology to clients, in “How FInancial Advisors Transition To Paperless” (a free guide available for download).