If you were to start every month with a pile of £50 notes on your desk, and then each week set fire to about a quarter of them, I suspect your staff would think you were completely mad.
Yet, in effect, this is what thousands of advisers are doing month after month as they spend hours preparing annual reviews for their clients.
It is not uncommon for a client’s annual review to take between six and nine hours.
Assuming that the work is done by a combination of staff at rates of between, say, £25 and £150 pounds an hour, it means the cost of each report is an absolute minimum of £150, and could be more than £900.
However you count, that is an awful lot of £50 notes to throw onto the fire for just one client review.
The fact is that an annual review has become an unavoidable part of delivering a professional service to your clients.
Many companies have recognised the importance and value of providing their clients with regular reviews. However, the amount of detail reviews now require make it increasingly expensive.
Unless it can be delivered more cost-effectively, it is going to be cost-prohibitive for all but the most well-off clients.
This is where so many advisers are quite literally wasting thousands of pounds a month by ignoring the technology that could so dramatically simplify how they put client reviews together.
No adviser would ever dream of going back to quill pens or even typewriters, but still spend hours putting together client reviews.
Even worse, this takes time away from what the client really values: their personal financial planning experience.
The systems available today can automate at least 90 per cent of the information needed for a client review, cutting hours off the process and leaving you and your staff free to focus time and expertise on the important 10 per cent that adds real value.
It is a false economy not to invest in today’s technology to speed up the review processes.
The overall cost will be a fraction of what you may currently be spending and will put a stop to burning those £50 notes. Of course, you may have to turn up the central heating a bit.
Ken Davy is chairman of SimplyBiz Group