Software Integration Makes Client Reporting Easy

Research has shown that a mere 10% of clients actually open their quarterly reporting statements.

By digitizing and automating the reporting process, firms can save big while increasing their own access to the reports that enable them to provide informed, proactive investment advice.

Halbert Hargrove Investment Counsel, an RIA with $4.08 billion in assets under management, created a integration comprised of CRM, ECM and portfolio management to automate a daily reporting process that grants its investment counselors access to real-time information on client positions and holdings. The app enables investment counselors to make informed investment and planning decisions and provide proactive customer service.

Early on, the firm realized that to be efficient and prevent errors, it needed to have just one point in the process where client data is entered and stored. That is why it has constructed its reporting workflow around its CRM system and has used integrations into the portfolio management and ECM systems to make the process seamless. Once a new account has been set up in the CRM system and assigned to an investment counselor, Halbert Hargrove’s integration begins to realize its power:

  • The portfolio management system automatically generates daily reports through an innovative electronic publishing system that the firm created.
  • By integrating ECM with the publishing system, the reports are automatically transferred from the publishing system into the ECM system.
  • Then, the reports are automatically made accessible to the investment counselors through the CRM system, which contains a direct link to the daily report in each client’s records.
  • At the same time, the reports are simultaneously published to Halbert Hargrove’s client Website for online viewing via a password-protected site.
  • For those clients who choose electronic delivery of reports, an automatic e-mail from the CRM system alerts them that there is information awaiting them, thus completing a fully automated workflow cycle.
  • “By having this end-to-end integration, we can be extremely fast, efficient and flexible in responding to client service requests. Additionally, with the one point of entry for client data, we’re minimizing errors,” says JC Abusaid, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer.

    He notes that the integrated system also makes quarterly reporting a much simpler process. “When it comes time for quarterly reports, we can take the published, electronic versions and e-mail those out to the clients who have elected to receive them in electronic format. This helps reduce the total amount of paper and mail we create and, for some clients, we do not generate any paper at all.”

    In terms of ROI, Abusaid says, “While we haven’t put an actual dollar figure on the value of this composite system and what it does for us, we do know that in terms of scaling upon existing infrastructure, back-office efficiencies and the lack of filing storage – it has to be in the range of tens of thousands of dollars per month.”

    Similarly, North Carolina’s Piedmont Trust Company has integrated its portfolio management, CRM and ECM systems to grant clients access to information via a client portal. According to Managing Director Ed Wright, “The integrations were not costly thanks to the SDK and open architecture associated with our ECM system, which allowed us to create a customized Web experience for our clients.”

    For more examples of how top advisory firms are using cutting-edge technology tools to maximize operational efficiency and improve client services, download your copy of the trend report , “ Using Technology to Drive Productivity and Profitability ”.