Advisers should use technology to return control of data to clients, according to Mark Loosmore of Iress.
The executive director of wealth at Iress said collecting client data has posed a challenge for advisers for a long time, with many arguing it creates obstacles during relationship building.
But Mr Loosmore said that better use of data could break down barriers between the client and the adviser.
He said: “Relatively recent advances in technology have significantly changed both adviser and client attitudes towards data collection.
“A tablet, for example, can be easily shared between the client and adviser, helping the customer to feel actively involved with the process.
“The intuitive set-up of tablet technology makes it a particularly approachable way to engage clients, with the adviser having the option to enable clients to input answers themselves.
“Clients can also have even more control over when and how their data is collected by using remote factfinds, which allow the customer to log in to secure client portals and complete or update information without any involvement from the adviser.
“Crucially, the customer can enter this data at their leisure and may feel more comfortable giving accurate answers and details about their finances, all in the knowledge that they are not having to pay the adviser to do a task they can actually do themselves.”
Mr Loosmore added that when data was held electronically this could often be on disparate systems, resulting in inaccurate and misaligned data.
These problems would only be magnified further, he said, as advice firms were bought and sold, as each business would often have different CRM systems and data definitions.
He added that data sources such as price feeds, address look-up functions and links to quotation systems, can also be integrated with good financial planning and practice management systems to provide a single data source with minimal effort by the adviser.
Tom Dean, a chartered financial planner with London-based Plutus Wealth Management, said: “If you want to understand the goals and aspirations of the client you have to sit down and have them in front of you.
“You can collect factual information through a portal but it is no substitute for a more general conversation about where the client would like to take their finances.”