How to Save A Month of Time by Doing Less


Shocking statistic.

Blueleaf’s 2013 Advisor Tech Survey found that 34% of advisors spend up to 240 hours per year on reporting.  You may be thinking, “That’s not bad, I probably spend a similar amount of time on client reporting. After all, an important part of my job as an advisor is showing clients how their accounts are performing.”  The second part is true.  The first part is a tragedy.

time is money

Today’s world is filled with technologies that simplify communication, automate tasks and enable self-service. Your advisory business is no exception. Like a steaming cup of coffee from the Keurig machine, your client reports can now be generated with the push of a button.

Let’s do some quick math to put things in perspective. Those 240 hours spent on reporting are equal to 30 eight-hour workdays – a.k.a. one month of a typical work year. It’s a shame that 1 in 3 advisors is spending a month of their year on this single task because there are useful tools available that can help. Ready to reclaim a month of your time? Here are 3 tips for reducing the time you spend on reporting.

3 Ways to spend less time on reporting:

1) Simplification – The core purpose of client reporting is to show “Mr. & Mrs. Client” where their money was, where it is now, and what changed.  With this is mind, rethink what you choose to include in client reports. Are you spending hours compiling a 40-page report that will sit on a kitchen counter untouched because it’s too intimidating? Are your reports so complex that clients call you for an hour of Q&A as they attempt to understand each number?  Simplifying reports reduces client confusion, reduces the resulting service requests and reduces the effort to create them in the first place.

2) Automation – From automated bill-pay to single-button coffee machines, technologies have been developed to perform many of our routine tasks. Showing clients what’s happening with their accounts is important to automate, for both business efficiency and client retention purposes. Once you’ve simplified the report itself, set up an automatic reminder to send out quick portfolio updates. Or, better yet, find a client reporting tool that will automatically do it for you on a regular basis.

3) Client Self-Service – Equip your clients to service themselves with a client portal. Client portals are gaining popularity among advisors (another key finding from the survey) and are an effective way to reduce hours spent on reporting. With a client portal, your clients are able to log into their dashboard and find answers to questions on their own. An increasing number of advisors are offering a client portal as part of their service in order to scale their businesses and keep clients happy.

Simplify, automate and self-service to get a month of your life back.


Additional reading: “What is a client portal?

Executive Summary of 2013 Tech Survey


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Carolyn is Blueleaf’s in-house marketing guru. She writes on The Blueleaf Blog to make advisors’ lives easier, offering practice management and client engagement tips where and when they’re useful. Outside of the Blueleaf offices, she can be found running a 10k or cooking her famous chili. Chat LIVE with Carolyn on Twitter @BlueleafAdvisor!
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