Advice platform adds broker support

by 06 Nov 2017

Functionality for financial planning software FinPal will be expanded to include mortgage brokers in a truly consolidated platform across the two sectors.

FinPal was first created by founder and CEO Stephen Handley within his financial planning firm around four years ago to further the scope of existing software.

“When I came into the industry, I discovered that their software capabilities were fairly limited in my opinion. One of the key reasons was the lack of a real CRM underneath the actual other functionalities,” he said in an interview with Australian Broker.

Twelve months ago, the firm FinPal was born. The software was rolled out to financial advisers in February and has now been expanded due to added interest from brokers.

“We had the opportunity to bring in business that was both an adviser and a broker because they wanted better software for the advice side and as soon as they saw the capabilities of the CRM, asked if we could start to add functionality for the mortgage side of the business.”

Similarities between data used by brokers and advisers meant it was fairly simple to add extra features for mortgage brokers which will be rolled out in an upcoming release by December, he said.

“That will allow our customers that have both disciplines in practice to have all the client’s data in one consolidated view, be able to run workflows for both sides of the business through the same systems, and that will allow them to do things like know the overall cost of the client regardless of what sort of service is being delivered.”

FinPal is built using customisations within Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 CRM system which brokers can install and gain instant access to.

“Beyond that, we have a set of web apps that we ship that run on the Azure platform. They extend the functionality by extracting data out of the CRM. We’ve built other features such as the client portal,” Handley said.

FinPal is currently working with brokers to add functions such as workflow and commissions management into the overall system.

Handley said the firm will take a ground up approach to try and introduce the software to more independent brokerages as well as a top down strategy through aggregator groups.

This especially targets aggregators and brokers which have taken out an Australian financial services licence (AFSL), he added.

“I think we’re going to get quite a bit of interest because to my knowledge there are no systems out there that support the two disciplines well in a centralised fashion.”

The FinPal system is also scalable, meaning it can be further updated and expanded to offer greater efficiencies to brokers and advisers, he said.