How Your Portfolio Accounting System and CRM Can Work Best Together

How Your Portfolio Accounting System and CRM Can Work Best Together

It’s not too hard to come up with a list of things that work better together: Sonny and Cher, waffles and fried chicken, Simon and Garfunkel—although that one might be hotly contested by any of you Graceland fans out there.

I’d like to add this pairing to the list: your portfolio accounting system and your CRM.

There are many benefits that come from bringing these two together. You can automate your workflows and stop forgetting tomorrow’s meetings. You can integrate your apps to one location. You can make reports easy to compile and see.

Here are three specific ways you can improve your workflows:

1. Share Portfolio Information Seamlessly

When you get photos back from your wedding, you usually only see the photographer’s best, and then you get to choose which among those you want to keep. Now imagine if you get all the photos back: whether out of focus, original, or doctored. The process of sifting through the duplicates could take forever, and you might never end up with the photos you actually want.

Duplicates slow you down.

The same is true for your business. You shouldn’t have to duplicate data entering in your CRM and your portfolio accounting system. When you integrate the two, you can sync your data back and forth. That way, when you update once, you can see the updates everywhere.

By syncing data in this manner, all your records are centralized to one location and you don’t risk any employees using outdated information.

2. Run Reports from Inside Your CRM

Have you ever watched Harry Potter with your kids? In the third movie, the character Hermione uses a Time-Turner. The Time-Turner allows her to go back in time once she’s completed a task, and work on something else at the same time. How many times in a day do you wish you had that?

Well, you won’t be able to go back in time the way Hermione does. But you can complete a few tasks simultaneously when you integrate your portfolio accounting system with your CRM.

For example, find a portfolio accounting system that will allow you to run a report from right inside your CRM. Tight integration like this can save you a lot of time, because you won’t be switching from app to app or even leaving the client record you’re viewing.

3. Utilize Workflows in Your CRM

In the first two examples, we’ve focused on how integrating your portfolio accounting system with your CRM saves you time. But, by utilizing workflows in your CRM, you can also get organized.

Any business works best when its processes are written out and accessible in a common place. By storing workflows in your CRM, your employees will know exactly what needs to happen in almost any situation, and you can get new employees up to speed faster.

Spelling out what goes into every task can help reduce confusion and, in turn, increase operational efficiency. Workflows can assist your team by helping you manage tasks not only in your CRM, but also tasks related to actions in your portfolio accounting system as well. When your portfolio accounting is integrated into your CRM, you can get those tasks completed and checked off without even switching systems.

Strengthening Conversations with Integration

Making reports more simple and adding pre-defined workflows is great, but what about actual real-life, immediate examples? A portfolio accounting system and CRM can help with that too.

Let’s say you get a phone call from a client, and with your phone system integrated into your CRM, you already know it’s them when you pick up because your computer screen gave you a pop up so you can quickly view their profile.

Then once you answer and you’re on the phone, that client profile in your CRM contains accounts, values, cost basis, performance, and quick links to transactions—and even updated financial plans. Now, you have the tools at your disposal to answer almost any question your client brings up.

When your CRM integrates your advisor tools, that’s the kind of real-time efficiency booster you can expect.

My number one piece of advice for advisors when they are looking for new technology is to review the integration capabilities offered. Your priority should be on how you can work smarter. One of the quickest ways to see results is by integrating your CRM with your portfolio accounting system.

Eric Clarke
Eric Clarke
Eric Clarke is the chief executive officer and founder of Orion Advisor Services, which develops solutions that improve advisors’ business operations and interactions with clients. The company’s current vision is to integrate its portfolio accounting system with CRM platforms to increase efficiencies for advisors. Mr. Clarke and his colleagues founded Orion’s predecessor company after they developed an off-the-shelf portfolio accounting system for advisors. Prior to starting Orion, Mr. Clarke served as chief operations officer for CLS Investments, an SEC–registered investment advisor. As an industry-recognized expert in portfolio accounting, Mr. Clarke has written articles that have appeared in Investment News, The Journal of Financial Planning, and others. He earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Brigham Young University and a master of business administration degree from the University of Utah.

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