If there is one aspect of a financial advisor's daily operations that has drawn questions in light of relatively new computer software offerings, it is workflow. Workflow management is a key way to ensure the smooth and efficient operation of a financial practice while permitting staff to accomplish common sets of tasks associated with a workflow. Workflow management systems vary, but one aspect they share in common is the establishment of a series of tasks that generally can be configured to be automatically assigned based on the completion of a prior task or workflow task set.
The advantage of these systems is the avoidance of missing steps in a workflow process and allowing things to slip through the cracks. Consistency and timeliness in accomplishing sets of tasks, particularly where it involves communications with the client, are important aspects of increasing the profitability and decreasing the costs associated with the practice. The reduction and/or elimination of errors and duplication of tasks are other potential advantages.
So, if it is clear that workflow is such a great benefit to financial advisory practices, why is it not more universally used? One reason may be the complexity involved in developing workflow procedures. Another may be the misperception that establishing standardized procedures in a firm detracts from the customized nature of the relationship with the client.
To better understand and apply the concept of workflow ...