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How technology is enabling ‘business as usual’ during COVID-19

May 6, 2020  |  #Celebrate #Government Policy

For many years, our practice has been taking advantage of technology as it has evolved. We have always believed that technology can be a great enabler to allow for better client experience, a more efficient and enjoyable workplace for our people, as well as greater consistency and compliance in our work.

Given that we are one big team working across more than 15 locations, we needed cloud-based tools that enable us to communicate well with each other and share our work across specialist teams.

In late March when we were forced into remote working overnight, we were able to do so nearly seamlessly, thanks to the technology and culture we have built up over the years. So, what are we using and how does that help our clients?

 

Video Conference Meetings via Microsoft Teams

As mentioned, we have multiple locations and specialist teams spread across our sites. MS Teams allows us to video conference with each other very easily and we have found this to be an effective way to communicate and share information. If we can’t be together in person, a video call, sometimes with our whole business, means we can at least see each other’s faces and body language. That allows us all to better convey our messages and intent and have a richer working relationship with each other.

Now with social distancing, we are using this technology with our clients. If you have never done a video call, it can be a bit confusing at first, but we are having great success with this most of the time. As a client, you can lay eyes on your adviser, see that you have their full attention and also see any material they want to share with you. As an adviser, we can see when our clients are following along with us or when they seem confused or might need more information. Thereof course, have been some humorous moments, a favourite across the business is that one adviser conducted an entire meeting with clients whose screen was upside down!

 

Make the most of it

We thought we would share some of our tips that we’ve found helpful as we too navigate this new and exciting way to conduct meetings with you:

  • Dial-in a bit early or do a test call to ensure you are set up properly
  • Have the meeting in a space that is, as much as possible, free from distractions or other noise
  • Prepare for the meeting like you would normally, know what you want to get from it if there is an agenda read that ahead of time if you have questions feel free to send them through ahead of the meeting or note them as you go so you don’t forget to ask them.
  • The most common issues we have found are:
    • Not having the right technology – Teams prefers to run through Google Chrome or its own app so you may want to download the app through the app store ahead of time.
      teams logo
    • Sound not working – you often join a meeting on ‘mute’ by default, so you have to click the microphone icon to ‘unmute’

      (Image displays unmuted sound)

    • When using your phone to connect, the screen may not be big enough to see the material being shared. You can use full-screen mode by clicking the full-screen button on the top right corner of your screen.

 

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Everyone has been grateful that there is an alternative to coming into the office right now, and many clients find this more convenient as it may save on travel time, taking time away from work, hiring a babysitter, finding a parking space, etc.. When we do eventually return to the office, having video meetings is something that is likely to remain an option for those who prefer it.

You may also be interested in our article financial stress and maintaining a healthy relationship.

 

Understand how a financial adviser can support you with your need for financial security. Get in touch.

 

Administration work – signing documents electronically

Our meetings are not the only thing that has gone digital, we can send paperwork to be signed electronically saving time and paper! Usually, we have all our documents signed during face to face meetings. In the past we have tried posting (but that takes quite a lot of time to be delivered and returned) and emailing (which can be annoying if you have to find a printer to print things out and then a scanner to scan them back in and reply). Sometimes there are no other options and we rely on the above, but more recently we have also been able to utilise our Invest Blue App as well as a tool called Docusign.

Docusign

Docusign is a global tool that meets some of the most stringent security standards in the world and uses the strongest data encryption technologies available. As a client, you will be able to receive the documents you need and easily, from your device or computer, make your electronic signature and send the document back electronically. It may not seem like a big deal, but the compliance standards in our industry demand a lot of paperwork, and it is critical that we are able to tend to that responsibility accurately and efficiently.

adopt signature

Make the most of it

There is one critical step that we have found clients need to take upfront for this tool to work well, and that is to set up their personal signature in the app from a tablet or smartphone. This allows for your genuine signature to be recorded and then used down the track, which most of our processes require. If you are a client, your Relationship Manager or Adviser can send you a simple step-by-step guide to get set up and use this tool.

Invest Blue App

A while back we launched our own app which is available through your normal app stores.

Get the Invest Blue App

app storegoogle play

 

 

 

 

There are many handy links embedded in the app that allows you to easily contact us and find the most current information, resources and news. When you are a registered user of the app, you can also receive documents to be signed this way. The engine behind this tool is Global Sign Certificate, another global provider and a member of the Adobe Approved Trust List. Rather than embed your natural signature, this tool uses a digital signature stamp. We cannot use it for all documents that we need to be signed, but it has handy for some.

Make the most of it

Download the app and then register by clicking on the “i” at the top right corner and following the ‘register’ prompts. It is best to use your main email address that you would have shared with us on your account. Again, your adviser or Relationship Manager can send you instructions, just give us a call.

Check-in frequently as we post our most current information here.

 

Cashflow and Wealth Tacking – Money Brilliant

No matter your age or situation, having a good handle on your cash flow is critically important to living your best possible life. As a client, when we work with you, your budget underpins your whole financial plan, and it is this plan that forms the roadmap between where you are today and what you want for your future. It is very normal to walk out of a progress meeting with an adviser feeling clear and confident about where you stand financially and for your future, but then even days later start to feel uncertainty or doubt. By using a tool like Money Brilliant, which syncs to your accounts and allows you to track your cashflow and wealth automatically, live; you are able to see how things are going every day and if you are on track or not. It is like having your adviser there with you cheering you along on your financial journey!

spending report

Make the most of it

Login in and create an account online (best done on a desktop/laptop if you have one, but can also be done on a phone/tablet). If you are a client of ours, you can ask your adviser to invite you and then have access to the premium account for free, a $10/month savings.

Sync your accounts. If you have questions about security read here.

Set aside 1-2 hours to classify transactions and reclassify anything that wasn’t coded properly.

Set up bills.

Set up your budget.

Explore the tool – there is so much power here!

  • Manage my spending to see how you are tracking to your budget
  • Review your spending report to understand the breakdown of your spending over time
  • Review ‘people like me’ to see how you stack up
  • Set some goals and track your progress

Find our simple guide to budgeting here.

 

Behind the scenes

We use a tailored workflow and client record management tool that has SalesForce as its engine. We also have a suite of other tools that allow us to take your important goals and dreams and translate them into financial plans that make sense for you. We are not a technology company and don’t design our own tools, but we are good at knowing what is out there and making those things work for us so we can work for you.

Make the most of it

Ensure you keep your general information and email address up to date with us so we can share important information with you easily. We generally share information once a month or when there are more time-sensitive news items to share (i.e. Coronavirus).

 

The need to work remotely and social distance took us all by surprise, but we are happy to report that within 24 hours were 100% operational. There have been a few minor processes to adapt to, but by in large, our people and our clients are reporting that they remain happy and engaged with the work we do. Technology has enabled this quick transition, but the people have made it a success.

You can find our step by step guide to managing your finances during COVID-19 here.

 

If you would like to discuss your financial situation, we are happy to assist. Contact us today.

What you need to know

This information is provided by Invest Blue Pty Ltd (ABN 91 100 874 744). The information contained in this article is of general nature only and does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any particular person. Therefore, before making any decision, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice with regards to those matters and seek personal financial, tax and/or legal advice prior to acting on this information. Read our Financial Services Guide for information about our services, including the fees and other benefits that AMP companies and their representatives may receive in relations to products and services provided to you.