The President of ProTracker Software, a successful client relationship and practice management solution, talks to International Banker about the benefits to financial advisors in using the new totally web based solution ProTracker Cloud.
By Warren Mackensen, BSEE, MBA, MS, CFP®
As a practicing financial advisor, I recognized as early as 1996, that advisors were experiencing significant information overload as they tried to serve numerous clients with many ongoing issues. With my own practice management insights and execution efforts, I began to develop the ProTracker software solution. An engineer by training and early career, I have always had a deep interest in creating systems and processes that facilitate operations, be it on a nuclear submarine or in a financial planning practice.
With input from some of my beta-tester NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) colleagues, additional features were developed as day-to-day situations arose that demanded them. The result was ProTracker Advantageâ, a comprehensive relationship management and workflow solution that revolutionized practice management. The industry response was overwhelmingly positive. Over time, ProTracker Software also offered a Compliance Manual for Registered Investment Advisors, an ADV Part II narrative brochure template, an Information Security Program and a Business Continuity Planning Tool.
But the industry was changing. As advisors have become more mobile, they have demanded mobile access to their client information. I had to refocus on the changing needs of advisors.
Advisors want to review client goals so that they fulfill their fiduciary role to keep pointing the client in the right direction. Keeping track of client tasks that only the client can do, e.g., change the beneficiary on a retirement plan at work, is important to give the client the nurturing that they expect with regard to their goals.
Workflows are important to advisors so that they may provide consistent client experiences. Rapid creation of a meeting agenda speeds the preparation time when a client is coming in for a meeting. Delivery of a net worth statement is now a regular client expectation. Review of client beneficiary designations is important. These items are typical of advisor expectations for client relationship software.
Access to client documents when the client is on the telephone adds significant efficiency to an advisor’s day. By linking documents and emails to the client record in the client relationship software, instant access to their documents and communications eliminates the chore of retrieving paper documents and calling the client back.
From the beginning, ProTracker Cloud was designed to be mobile-enabled so that the rich database can be accessed from anywhere using an iPhone or an Android device. The mobility of ProTracker Cloud helps the advisor increase client service levels and adds to greater advisor productivity.
Additional benefits of the system include:
- Two-factor authentication process enhances data security
- “Teams” function facilitates supervision and regulatory compliance
- Allows users to define workflow processes, assign tasks and monitor completion
- Run automated marketing communication campaigns
- Accessible from any mobile device
- Scalable for any size practice, from sole proprietor to multi-office firm
- Helps manage tasks and nurture relationships
- Imports from portfolio management systems and accounting software
- Standard and custom report builder
- Organizes financial, life planning and estate information related to client accounts
- Manages emails and other electronic documents
- Synchronizes with Outlook
- Expedites communication with individuals, clients and groups via email mail
- Fast navigation and intuitive interface
- Flexible subscription model provides cost-effective options for growing firms
With annual pricing starting at just over $700 per year, quarterly subscriptions and no minimum number of users, ProTracker Cloud can be the system of choice for all independent advisory firms, from sole proprietor to large practices. With three subscription levels — Standard, Professional and Enterprise — different users in a firm have access to functionality appropriate for handling the specific tasks for which they’re responsible, whether purely administrative, managerial or regulatory. For example, in a five-person firm, there may be two Standard Edition users, two Professional Edition users and one Enterprise Edition user.
Ongoing support is provided through a built-in context-sensitive help function, which can answer most questions that users may have. Of course this is supplemented by telephone and email support. In addition, user groups are scheduled so that participants may interact with the developers. We also will be offering training videos in the near future.
I’ve known and admired Mr. Mackensen for many years. He’s a very thoughtful and thorough professional. Any thing he “engineers” should be really good. This cloud-based CRM and workflow system would seem to be a good fit for banks, investment advisory firms, financial advisors, etc.