December 9, 2022

AdviceTech Podcast #16 – Worksorted – Transcript

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Peita Diamantidis
Hello, and welcome to the XY Advicetech Podcast. I’m Peita Diamantidis and the guests joining me here today to deep dive into the work sorted app has a graphic design passed along with time in business development for a platform and an insurer and works with innovators to turn their ideas into commercial reality. Thank you so much for joining me on the show. Simon Betchley

Simon Betchly
Thank you for having me. Thank you for having me.

Peita Diamantidis
Not at all. You’re very welcome. Now, I’m very keen to dive into all things work sorted. So there’s clearly a lot to dive into, I might add. But before we do, let’s just sort of get to know you a little better through your own technology use so cool. What is your most used emoji? Do you even use emojis?

Simon Betchly
I do I get told off for using exclamation marks in text messages and emails too much but I think my most used emoji is gonna be you know that silly face where it’s kind of you know, one eye up one eye down, winking but silly smile with a tongue out. I think that’s kind of me. For those that know me, I can’t I can’t stay too serious for too long. Probably my most used one for sure. I like it.

Peita Diamantidis
You haven’t gone as far as using like the red exclamation point, emoji itself you?

And how about if you had to, you know, delete all the apps off your phone? And you just got to keep three? Which three would you keep?

Simon Betchly
Well, you you headline this with me having a graphic design background. So maybe no surprise that Instagram is one of my more favorite apps, I follow a lot of artists and the likes, I’m a very visual person. So Instagram, for me is sort of one of my I guess, favorite social media platforms. I couldn’t live without the Reminders app. I love that because I’m constantly thinking of things, things will pop up. And I don’t want to forget them. So I’ll just jot them down. It means I can move on with my day. But I’m never going to miss anything. And I got a new app not long ago, I was testing it out for my kids. It’s called Impulse. And it’s just one of those apps you use to test your memory and to keep your brain functioning it’s good little puzzles and trips and trips on that one. So I tested it out for the kids but I found myself using that on almost daily to just sort of jog the brain and yeah, like I said, test your memory tests your your problem solving skills. A bit of fun.

Peita Diamantidis
Oh, I love it. I always do app. So I’ve written that one down. I’ll check it out. Although it does sound like one of those ones that might be dangerous in that then, you know, I’m diving into that more than I should.

Simon Betchly
But yeah, it does get a bit addictive.

Peita Diamantidis
Right. And I’m one of those people on the call no three hours have gone. So let’s dive into work sorted. Yeah, let’s sort of go a bit abroad initially, help me get a sense of where it sort of sits in the whole advice tech space, you know, what category does it generally fall under? Who is who is it lined up against that sort of thing?

Simon Betchly
Yeah, so we’re a bit of a fun one, I guess. You know, we are what we refer to I guess as a financial services specific CRM. So that’s really the core of our product and and what we have a reputation for we were very lucky to win an award for Best Overall CRM and the advisor ratings landscape report, the most recent one which was which was wonderful. But we also have Have a strength in revenue management. We consider ourselves a better word, a practice management solution, I guess, our view on the world and our angle is, is that we, we fundamentally believe in the value of advice. And we know that great, efficient, effective businesses are able to provide better advice and more advice to clients. We are not paraplanners, we don’t have a power planning background, we have business background. And so our view is that we want to help advisors run the best possible business that they can, so that they can go and do the stuff that they’re so great at, which is servicing more clients. We’re very business centric tool rather than a power planning tool. And it’s, interestingly, one of the first definitions or distinctions that we give when people come and look at work sorted is, what are you? Well, we start with what we’re not. And we’re not a power planning tool, where everything else though, so we fit in to that category of operational efficiency, we are, you know, helping clients capture their client information, run their businesses, through workflows and process automations have reporting and insights into their revenue and productivity and profitability and cost to serve all those kinds of fun things, that businesses are really interested in knowing about their operational side, and we leave, you know, the power planning tools to the experts in the market that have power planning tools. And it’s an

Peita Diamantidis
interesting approach, because there’s a lot more specific paraplanning or paraplanning, you know, tangential tools out there. Now, just off the top of my head here, product racks and others that are fitting this need. And so, you know, we don’t need every system to do everything. The islands, right, got more options, don’t we?

Simon Betchly
Yeah. And I think, you know, without going into the full history of it, that seems to be you know, there’s still a prevalence of all in one solutions. And that makes no surprise, they’re big businesses, they can, you know, they can provide great tools, but they can’t be great at everything. And you know, we’ve kept our scope very narrow, we’ve gone deep and rich into our capabilities around that business efficiency. And it’s played well into our favor. And certainly we know that businesses, especially with all of the compliance hurdles that they’ve had to jump through, and the layers upon layers upon layers that keep on coming, having a tool that can help them genuinely drive and make efficient, effective changes to the way they operate. Just say some having to repeat all those little redundant things really bring back the time that they want to do the things that they’re really good at. And that’s what we get excited about in businesses, if we can get advisors out doing what they love, and enjoy doing and take all that mundane, monotonous stuff away. And, you know, drive that through automation and through our products. And it’s a good day.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, absolutely. You know, so then, okay, let’s talk through then primary users. So then it’s still team members in the practice. So clearly, you know, advisor right through to admin and people out there, I’m expecting you would seek this across the whole business, it’s not the sort of thing that you’d see one person in the operation having, if you’re using it, everybody’s using it. Is that fair? That’s

Simon Betchly
right. Yeah, looking at works best when everyone’s got their hands involved, because it does become that day to day workbench for your activity and your client information. And for a lot of your client communication to so your emails, text messages, documents, that you create file notes, all of that kind of stuff happens in work sorted. So, you know, we do see the whole business. But it’s also interesting that, that the level of users has expanded with the change in the way businesses operate. So outsource paraplanners outsourced administration staff. But by the way, we structure and license our products, we don’t have limitations on a per user basis. So we offer a single solution, unlimited users all functionality, which opens up this opportunity to say, Well, I have a really good strong relationship with my referral source or with the accountant in my office, you know, and I happen to do mortgage broking as well, why can’t we all use the system? Even to the extent that we’ve seen firms that say, Well, my compliance officer or my external auditor, is given permission to have access to my system, albeit very limited and controlled? But why can’t they log in and get the file notes and see what they want to see. And then they don’t have to disrupt me. So it just, it’s broaden the opportunities with how you engage with your community of connections, and taken away that limitation around our will, it’s going to cost me an extra how much to have another license and, and all those sorts of things.

Peita Diamantidis
You know, when you’re looking at tools like that I that sort of the other sort of pricing that’s either use that link to your numbers of users or amount of use, you know, one of those two things. And I offer as you can imagine, when I’m doing this sort of stuff, I get asked about new apps coming out and things like that. And I asked for my feedback. And that’s the two things I give feedback on. Do not price it this way, please, because all of us then hold back. Yeah, we don’t use it as much. We don’t give it to every member of the team. I mean, right through to the receptionist should have these things because everybody can have an input everybody. If there’s some tasks, they can tidy up, they can, you know, provide some support to other team members. Like all of that only happens when it’s across the board. And when you don’t care, you’re like, that’s good. Just give you access, you

Simon Betchly
know, and you need that digital footprint right? You know, we work in a very heavily compliant related environment. So knowing that it was Betty, not Bob that was doing those things and you know, given certain people permission to do certain things is really empowering. I’m in business to and so, yeah, look, it’s a joy for us because it means that, you know, businesses can grow, they can ebb and flow, if they’ve got a temp that’s on for a bit, they can introduce that user to our system, and not be concerned about that, that bottom line cost. But also, then you know, that all functionality gives them that opportunity to start with us around a very typically our clients will come with a particular problem that they want to solve first. But because by virtue of building our system as one from day one, it means that it’s all heavily integrated, you know, if you’re using our system for revenue, you’ll find revenue sits at the client level, or and you can attach it to activity. And so people are encouraged to use more of our system over time, because I go, Well, what does that do? How can I use that more? And they’re just gonna get more benefit? Right? You know, if they, we say to our clients, you know, if you see the value in our product that they want God, you wait until you’re at a 10 2050 100, you know, whatever, because you’re going to be using even more of the system and getting even more value. And, you know, it doesn’t matter that it’s a, it’s a fixed price system.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah. Okay. And so, in that sense, then, are there types of practices you see, that really managed to get rolling, whereas there’s others that struggle, even a style or a size that works sort of just works really well? For?

Simon Betchly
Yeah, look, we. So we, our sort of our typical client is a financial planning firm, integrated or not, but typically, sort of predominantly financial planning. You know, we do have many firms that have got accounting mortgage broking or lights in them, too. But the typical is financial planning firm, they tend to be between two and 20 advisors. But again, we’ve got others at either end of that spectrum to self licensed businesses, again, they tend to make their own software decisions. And so it is, you know, less sort of hoops to jump through. But we do work with a number of licensees that are quite practical and pragmatic about having more open software usage, we do have some that mandate our product, we have some that endorse our product, but we prefer to be with the firms that want to use it. So they’re the types of independent decision makers that we’re looking for. As for then, you know, the cream of the crop, or the ones that really seem to drive our system best, they have someone in their business that will be that driver. So it may be they may be fortunate enough to have a practice manager Operations Manager in their business. But sometimes that responsibility by virtue of the business not being huge, rests with money, the administration stuff, or potentially an advisor or power planner, but having someone that’s going to own it, and drive it makes all the difference with these things. And I think that happens with it with any piece of software, right? I agree, we certainly see the value, you know, they, if they do have that practice management lens on their, you know, on their job role, then they get work sorted, and they can see how much potential they’ve got to really hone their business, right, and just drive a better service delivery. Yeah.

Peita Diamantidis
And I think, yeah, there’s an interesting lesson in that that’s have a guru for the big systems you use, you know, there’s going to be a handful that are the chunky ones, just have a guru in the office, it’s the person that’s across it, they, they watch all the newsletters, they, you know, they constantly interacting with a provider, either, like, let them and you’ll be stunned how often that isn’t a senior person, there’ll be just somebody in the business that gets it, you know, then they just, I mean, for this one, it sounds like, you know, boxes and arrows, numbers, you know, somebody that just conceal that value, and so can own that. And then in a team meeting when somebody’s talking about either a new process or something that I do can be hands up. Oh, we could probably do that in workshop, you know?

Simon Betchly
Yeah, yeah. And the product suite does sort of lend lend itself to there being well interested parties at all sort of spectrums, I guess, you know, CSOs, admin staff and the like, love the efficiency, they get out of workflow and client communications. Advisors obviously love the revenue, right? So they want to have a look at the numbers practice owners as well. And then the practice managers sort of sitting between going right, well, if I can see what it costs us to do all the things we do, I can see what revenue we’re generating, I can start to call profitability and productivity and all that kind of stuff, as well. Yeah, awesome.

Peita Diamantidis
Before if somebody’s sort of curious about the tool, is there anything you’d suggest they do before sort of embarking on work? So is there some stuff they can clean up or anything they can sort of get solved beforehand?

Simon Betchly
We, we always go through, you know, transitioning data is always a big consideration for businesses. And I think, I think it’s potentially a, they perceive it to be a bigger job than it actually is. We do a lot of hand holding and a lot of help with sort of transitioning data, but it’s it for us is one of those, I think that the thought process that you go through is, Am I comfortable leaving my all in one? Or am I already in a position where I’m comfortable to do that? Because you are if you’re splitting up your technology, you know, you got to make sure that by doing so that you are going to still drive efficiency, right? It’s got to be a better outcome. And in a lot of cases of course it is we’re seeing that trend now through the Marketplace it’s I think we’re over that sort of hurdle now everyone can see the value in starting to split up your systems for the right reasons but with with doing so, and making that decision, it’s right well, what am I going to use for all the pieces of my process and for the for the most part, our clients seem to retain they tend to be coming from an all in one solution. They like it for power planning. So they will see Good for their power planning solution so that that won’t change. So there’s a constant there, which reduces the complete disruption to their business. What they are doing though is they’re now changing in our world, obviously, their CRM, and that, that can again feel a bit concerning for them. But we, we wrap a nice strong process around it to make sure that it happens smoothly and quickly. And that all their data gets across. And we do do a lot of data cleansing along the way, it’s sort of its inherent in what we do, but it’s a great exercise for firms to go through because what they then get, and, you know, as nerdy as it sounds, there’s nothing better than a fresh set of data, right, and you have all your client names, clean all of your addresses, you got rid of all the archive, you know, all of that sort of stuff is sort of all tidied up, and away you go, you can get back into doing your processes and driving that efficiency. So, yeah, it is a consideration. And we certainly talk through when we talk to any prospective clients, you know, where you’re coming from, how do you want to set it up? And what’s what’s going to fit in all the, you know, the pieces of the puzzle, don’t have to have it all solved straightaway. But it’s important that way, especially because we’re not everything to everyone, that we can show them what else we connect with, and how we can help them solve that. I hate the word but end to end solution. Right? You know, it’s making sure that we fill all the gaps, or at least point them in the right direction where we’re not going to be the person solving it for them.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, it is a transition like that when it is one of those call centers, because really what you what you guys, I mean, it’s got a revenue focus, but CRM and CRMs are in the middle, aren’t they? Even though? That’s right, I think it advice we think our power planning tools are It’s like no, no, no, the CRM is the center, because that’s where the client leaves, right? So. So when you’re doing that, I think, I think in our heads and years ago, we would have thought this to were right, okay, up to this date, it’s one system, and then the day after, it’s the next one was like, there is no hope in hell, you’re gonna pull it off. We’ve tried and it is not possible. The lie is it’s a lie. As of right, from this date, those two people are going to start doing a revenue ething with the new system, and then they’re going to you know, so it’s transitioning into that, you know, clearly,

Simon Betchly
yeah, and that’s where it comes back to, you know, I said we, they typically come to us with a particular problem that they want to solve, right, we solve that one for, it’s very easy to get distracted with all the other cool things you can do and work sorted, and we want them to use everything, that’s great. But let’s solve the first problem. First, you know, we’re working with firms at the moment that are moving from a software that’s no longer continuing. So first and foremost, get your client data in and start getting file notes. You know, the rest of them come on, we can we can absolutely transition. So thankfully for us, 12 years of experience doing this, you know, this isn’t our first rodeo. So we’ve we’ve got a nice robust process around that we can help them get across. And it is interesting, you know, once they do come across, what that opens up as far as opportunities to test and try other systems, because you’re right, we do sort of set as the bedrock. But once you’ve got that settled down, picking and choosing other advice tools becomes really easy, right? Because you don’t have to move your whole business anymore, right? It’s got that foundation set up. So if you want to test and play with some of those other peripheral tools, it does actually become quite easy to do.

Peita Diamantidis
Right. And I do think, you know, I mean, years ago, some years ago, we weren’t self licensed ourselves. And there’s a lot of reasons for that. But the one reason that was quite strong for us, but would be a certainty now is the systems choice. I mean, we’ve always in our business always been tech focused, because we needed to be well ahead of time, just because it was where it was. But I think, you know, the way we were approaching it, then is how most practices are now like the inability to choose Tools that suit yourself, clients, you know, me Sure, it makes such a difference. And you don’t realize how hard something is until you then go somewhere else. You’re like, Oh, my God, we just press that button. And that just happened, you know, just right, the joy of that is. Now speaking of which you’ve just made me think of a topical little form or process that I’d be curious about your viewing on and maybe any progress you guys are making. So consent. Oh, yeah. The blizzard product provider fault, right. So we all know that consent there, and I respond and we get our clients to sign off. Yeah, the challenge is the double of it all. Have you guys heard of or have made any progress in discussions with getting providers just to just accept either one form we all agree on or our internal forms? Or what’s your view on all of that? Yes. So

Simon Betchly
when when annual advice agreements became the new thing, and we had one licensee that jumped on it about 12 months before it was really enforced for anybody else, we took the chance to the opportunity to build out as we had done previously for FDS and opt in a full management process in software to handle them. So all of the fields all the widgets, all the alerts all the bits and pieces, you know how you know and to when you can’t break it, you know, it will it’ll help you through the entire process. And one of those challenging pieces was of course the consent document. Now we produce capability to to create a consent form based on assets sort of default they had a template they did, and we know that that’s suited family To be fair,

Peita Diamantidis
it wasn’t so bad. Yep. All right, so we so we built

Simon Betchly
the capability around that one. But the question mark really did loom then well, you know, what are we going to do? How are we going to handle all the others because they all decided, unfortunately, to pick a different path. So looking at it transpired, the way it transpired, which has been a pain for advice firms, because whilst all of our functionality around producing, you know, your fixed term agreement, or your ongoing agreements, out of work sorted as seamless and lovely and wonderful, then there’s this stumbling block with Hang on, well, what about the consent, oh, well, you know, one, on do it this way, one, do it this way, I can use your generic one for for the others. And it’s just it became really, really clunky. So I’m absolutely advocating for a single sort of template for those things. Because I already have a stack of development initiatives that will help to streamline that process. phenomenally. You know, we already have, again, that ability to track consent, due dates, and all those sorts of things in our system, we produce the LFOs, and the ifs and all the bits that go with it. But there is, without giving away too many of my secrets, we do have a very good idea around not only we can issue them right now and digitally sign them and all those wonderful things. But then the return of those, and then the issuing to the product providers is something that we’ve got some really cool ideas around. So all I need is a standard form. And then we will we will go on for that one. So yeah,

Peita Diamantidis
and I think I think the mistake, and and I don’t put this on anybody in particular, really, we were all reacting. I mean, that’s what happened here, right? We all reacted to something that was a requirement was, instead of approaching it as more like, well, how are everybody going to approach contributions, which is got to be acceptable across all and got to be right, when looked at it as a as something that was an individual thing, per practice. And it was a fundamental mistake, it needs to be like a Notice of Intent form, like it just needs to be this. everybody’s the same. We all you know, or at the very least, all of the fields are the same the way we stated. I mean, and I’m okay with the provider saying, Well, you know, you’ve got to say our account number is got to be this way. And it’s got to have this many digits. Oh, that’s for sure. Yeah. All that’s probably once as we can handle 100%. But the need to double up and some of them handled the data differently. And like, yeah, we I feel like for the past, probably, yeah, I mean, even the past 18 months, I feel like there’s a good half of our practice where it’s just been dealing, because the follow ups alone. And this is for people that want to do it the clients want. Like, it’s not like they’re resisting. Correct. It’s just, it’s just a debacle. So yeah, I’m with you. There we will we need to pick it somebody. Yes. All the XY members listening, let’s start all talking about how we can just get this one simple thing sorted. Because I think it may go our lives that much easier. So let’s talk a bit more about client facing stuff. Is there? Is the practice really designed internal? Is there any part of it that interacts with the client at all?

Simon Betchly
Yeah, look, there’s there’s tons. So I guess by virtue of it being that main platform that captures client activity, you then use our system for email for SMS for questionnaires for fat fines, we are in the process now of looking at a version if you like of a client portal, I’ve got to be careful with the terminology here. Because it’s, we are not building necessarily a full fledged fact font, digital fat fine, like those that are in the marketplace, we integrate with lots of those very good tools. But certainly, it’s a very topical issue right now is security, right. And so, because we are that tool that is so heavily used between the advice firm and the client, we do want to make sure that there is a more secure way of sharing documents, right, we can, we can use E signatures and all those sorts of things, which is fine for those types of things. But when you’ve got, you know, large files that are Word documents, PDFs, you know, scanned images of things, you know, even giving you ideas, you know, all of those sorts of things that you need to provide to an advice firm, there’s got to be a more secure way, a secure way of doing it needs that two factor authentication and all those sorts of things. So whilst we have a lot of great facilities for those things, a another more secure way of doing this that is a little bit more modern than just using email, is certainly we’re going to head look at our system is used heavily to engage with clients, our process automation functionality allows you to automate a significant amount of that as well. So anything from basic, you know, text messages to wish them a happy birthday through to, you know, review reminders and issuing documents to them, all those sorts of things. Our system, you know, sees a lot of input and output with clients.

Peita Diamantidis
And I’m seeing a lot more of that in the the client portal sort of view is is years ago, it was always like, let’s just call it app, you know, a client. Yes, the focus was very much on data feeds. Yes. Like it was Bob, but what the clients want to log in and see their balance and like II is but they can get that on the other app providers. Yeah, they can’t do as easily interact with us. Yeah, and so for me, I see, you know, the really great Portals will just be that hub, that place where we interact and cut through the noise of all the other channels, we’re trying to get to them on that phone, SMS emails, if you can, if that can be become the home or the place or the virtual office. Really?

Simon Betchly
That’s right. And the trick is, you know, you’re just you’re giving them another app, possibly, right. And so yeah, the trick is not to just sort of, you know, bombard them with lots and lots of apps. And so this way, you know, we’ve got a pretty pragmatic view on it, there are front end client engagement tools out there, so I bundled into that, you know, the portals in the digital fat, find solutions, and there’s lots of new entrants, as well as some, you know, good mature products in that space. You know, we want to integrate with those really good tools, so that we don’t have to then add another one to the pile, so to speak, that if they want to use any of them, I won’t go listing them all. But we all know who they are, to submit client information to submit documents and data and all those sorts of things, well, then we want to integrate with those so that we can share them obviously into our system where, which is where they will normally end up residing, anyway, yeah. And then obviously be able to push documents back. So we’ve been building some really cool integration to share documents that you can produce in work sorted into those front end tools as well. Nonetheless, we will still sort of progress forward with having our own simple version of those things. Because not everyone’s using those engagement tools now. And it makes sense for us to have one as part of our suite. So they will, you know, similar to our digital fact find solution, it is good, you know, I’m not going to put it up there as the best, but it’s good. And it certainly serves a purpose. And it definitely helps our clients out and the client portal will be a really decent, slick, simple to use client portal. But we were not going to try and you know, really pushing them create a brand new app and all those sorts of

Peita Diamantidis
things. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s the thing, I think, you know, we we do need to stop looking for that one ring to rule them all. Because it doesn’t work. No, it just doesn’t. And we can kid ourselves that it does, but it simply doesn’t. And the best analogy I heard for that was, you know, if we tried to pick, you know, the best house and the best car and the best, all these things and put it all together, it’s the ugliest caravan you’ve ever seen. And it doesn’t go fast. And it’s not actually particularly safe, and it doesn’t have a poor one. It doesn’t you know, so we can’t do that with our systems. So I like the idea of having a tool like this CRM at the core revenue, feeling really well. And then, hey, trying out your portal, and then if you grow out of it, that’s okay. Yeah, grow out of the pool, you can add on, you know, and as long as as integration as possible, then I think that’s a powerful and quite sensible approach to some of those things, easing yourself in.

Simon Betchly
Yeah, and it is for us, you know, that is very much part of our remit, we, you know, we’re comfortable not being everything to everyone. So it is important for us to integrate them with lots of other things and integration, you know, we could have a whole conversation on integration and seldom

Peita Diamantidis
at least,

Simon Betchly
you know, it means a lot of things to different people. And unfortunately, I think what what it’s perceived to be from an advisors perspective and advice, practices perspective, and what it is sometimes sold as are two very different things. Again, part of the questioning that, that I suggest advisors have when they’re looking at software, and you talk about integration, if you ask the question, Are you integrated with this? And they say, Yes, ask how and how much, you know, what are you sharing? How does it work? Because yes, could mean as simple as here, we share three fields of client data. And that’s not really that helpful, but nice to have, maybe, but you know, how valuable is that? So, you know, look, we have lots of integrations. And some of them are very simple, and some of them are very complex, but our focus now is less on the volume of them and more on the depths that we can build into them. So like us, you know, we, we want to and that plays into some other functionality that we’re we’re really strong in, not only do we want to share client data and documents because it makes sense to do those things to reduce rekeying and reentry and all the likes. So it’s good to have that data synchronization. But where the fun stuff comes in is where we can automate actions out of one system into another. So this is this is the next level of integration and automation, if you like what we’re seeing, you know, there are a small percentage of players that are using things like Zapier to already do that, right, you know, you can update a client information in one software and it will go and do five other things through through zaps, right, we’re looking at exactly the same sort of thing through work sorted. So because we, that is you said, and we agree fits kind of in the middle. Yeah, you would have front end kind of client engagement tools, digital fat, find solutions, portals or those sorts of things. At the back end, we kind of put you in a your advice, production tools or those sorts of things. So that’s sort of the standard trifecta, if you like of advice, relevant financial services, relevant tools, but then you also have zeros and Docu signs and you know, you have Callen Lee’s and all of these other products you’ve heard all those what I refer to as industry agnostic tools that you use in your business to omit can’t be complacent, they are also just as valuable just as heavily used, you know, tools that you use in your business, so we’ve got to make sure For that we’re connecting to those, which we do. But then also allow those sort of that chain, domino effect if you like, or that chain reaction of events when we do something simple in one system. So that’s my headspace now sits when we build an integration is key, let’s make sure we’ve got data shared. That’s, that’s step number one. Now, what can we automate? Right? So when you do that, if a client enters their data in that front end portal, we want it to create the client, sure, we wanted to create a job for one of the CSOs, we wanted to send a thank you email and have a link to the online calendar, and we wanted to update in MailChimp, we want to do all of those things, so that the user just doesn’t have to do it, because that’s their standard process. And that’s Yeah, I think that’s where the real fun is gonna be, I joke about it, you know, bringing the fun back to financial planning, we’ve got to do that, right. And tech can play a big part in it.

Peita Diamantidis
And certainly, I completely agree with you. Because we I think in the industry, we think that sort of data replication or, or, you know, reduction of double entry is where the value is, and I don’t think it is, I think that’s like a 10% of a total 100% of automation value. It’s, it seems like a lot, because advisors feel like they do it a lot. And therefore it becomes our pain. And therefore we make everybody else leave our pain, right? It seems like that’s the price, but the repetition of, you know, setting a task for somebody else for moving over there and adding that thing in and ticking that box over here. And that in admin, the amount of that going on, is nuts. And that’s where we’ve found value to be honest, and, you know, simple example. And it’s, you know, it’s using something like Zapier is, you know, we’ve historically side taken on a portfolio of clients. And that, you know, upload into a system generally, okay, great. That’s, that’s, you know, a task. And hopefully, your data is clean, and the whole thing is not too bad. But we’ve managed to use the API to to actually trigger when that happens, it automatically sets up the client folders in Google Drive one after the other templated ready to go receipts that’s different. So now people go, Oh, is that a big deal? Yeah, it really is like to have those things just done, done well, all clean. It’s that sort of simple and mind numbing task, you know, really, nobody loves doing that stuff.

Simon Betchly
No, we used to see it, even in our own system, you know, workflow processes. And one of the steps in the process is send the generic email in a welcome email to the client. And we just went Hang on, let’s just automate that entire step. Right? So just Yeah, press the button to complete it. And it will automatically send that email to your client. And it’s done. Right, save the fall note client gets it wonderful. Taking some of those things out. So instead of saying the instruction to do it, the system just does that, I think.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. And, and what’s powerful about those things is it frees up more time to actually interact with the client in in a more fluid way?

Simon Betchly
Well, yeah. Yeah, I love it on two accounts, it does, it frees up the time. But it also improves that engagement you have with your clients, like the experience that they have, by getting these emails, getting that contact point, you know, sometimes it’s unnecessary, but the fact that you’ve just sent them an email that says, we’re at this stage, we’ve completed all these things, and when this is the next step in the process, you’ve kept them informed, they love hearing those sorts of things, simply not automated, you know, that’s great. So we always look at, you know, our product development on those two lenses, if we’re solving a problem for the advice firm, and helping them sort of do what they do better, great. But if it’s also then making them like a champion in front of their clients, even better,

Peita Diamantidis
and updates are powerful, aren’t they? Because, you know, everybody fills a void with concern, just two weeks. So if you can just be giving them update, I mean, it’s why people love apps. Well, I mean, all of our deliveries now we will get those updates. You know, even even some of your shopping, you can watch the the truck on your on your phone, need to watch the Harris farm truck as it delivers my food, no, but it makes me feel better, right? And it gives me certainty, and I’m not thinking, Oh, they’re gonna forget, or is it not, you know, so I think you know, that I agree with you some of that stuff, you know, the minutes, a team member just completes a task, and they’re off doing their thing, you know, they don’t need to worry about interacting with a client, or this has been done, we’re one step further along. You know, it’s, that’s powerful. And it’s probably we don’t do it quite enough and advice.

Simon Betchly
No, and we can learn a lot, you know, again, I look outside of our industry for inspiration to you know, there’s a lot to be inspired about in our industry, but I think from a tech perspective, where we’re too far behind, so, you know, I don’t I don’t benchmark ourselves against what we do in our own industry, I’ve benchmark ourselves against you know, those those global, amazing pieces of technology that do have that level of engagement, you know, the way eBay communicate with you throughout the sales process, and all those sorts of things. You know, that’s, that’s a high level of engagement. That is really cool, you know, sometimes bored, borderline obsessive, and over the top, but, you know, but it’s still great. You know, like, you just said that every step of the way I know exactly where things are at, you know, I know when my deliveries are coming when it’s left here and to have that level of engagement, I think just gives us a comfort and trust, right, it builds that trust which is awesome.

Peita Diamantidis
And it is a bottom line item. I think it’s something because once again is not necessarily coming to the advisor, but very few practices would be counting the inbound calls or emails they get because somebody is wondering where something’s at. But actually, that can become quite a big portion where it’s you reacting to somebody that’s just following up on something that you’re about to get to. Like, it’s, it’s that stuff. And so the more we can just sort of automate that checking in, they’re not going to feel the need, you know, so your time isn’t going to get sucked into something it doesn’t need to see, I do think there’s, and particularly, you know, we’re, we’re in, you know, a portion of Market Joy said sarcastically, right now, where you are going to be getting lots of queries, and you’re gonna be interacting with clients. So do to give them something that just keeps felt like they keep kept up to date, they don’t need to inbound query, you will free your time up, and just make it that bit more manageable. So integrations clearly clearly play a big part for you guys. It’s something that sort of that you would put us as a big tick box or a focus for you, which

Simon Betchly
very much yeah, yeah, from a from a development perspective, we cannot ignore it, we will not ignore it. And as I mentioned, you know, we have a reasonable set of integrations already both front end back end. And then obviously, those industry agnostic tools, we will continue to build out that list. But it is more, as I mentioned, the quality over quantity focus now. Because we’ve you know, we’ve picked a couple of the big few advice tools. So we kind of cover a lot of the market there. And we’ve got a couple of the big few at the front end and those sorts of things. So it’s now sort of looking at what are the what are the tools that add a lot of value to our advisors, and we consider startups as well, you know, we’re not just looking at the mature products. So when we see some really interesting startups that we like, and we want to make sure that we’re connected to those, but it is also looking for us, you know, at the industry agnostic tools that are so commonly used that add value. So because we work in the revenue, space payment gateways, you know, invoicing and managing payments is becoming a bigger thing for advisors. Right. You know, they still have plenty of platform fees and insurance Commission’s but you know, direct fee for service via invoice is happening, it’s happening a lot. Now, you’ve created a new challenge of recovering your income. Right? So how do we make that an efficient process? Well, it makes sense, just like we have three zeros and, you know, my abs and all the rest of you got your little pain out button? Well, you know, you can generate invoices out of work sorted, so they want to issue an invoice and have the same sort of capability. So we’re and for us, that’s exciting, because it’s really managing that revenue, all the way through the process, you know, it can come back to the payment gateway, reconcile in our system match off automatically in software, you know, all of those sorts of things are really cool. So, yeah, we’re tinkering with some some tools in that space as well, you know, we, we want to remain strong and CRM stay strong in revenue. And I think wrapped around that is just that business operational view. We’ve got a number of industry specific tools that we are currently working with as well, that will release another integration just before the FPA conference, and another one shortly thereafter, hopefully. Yeah. And then, you know, the sort of bits and pieces like our, our own portal, and those sorts of things are definitely not short term horizon. Yeah.

Peita Diamantidis
Is there anything that you see, for Capstone, you’ve got your current users where they really ninja things, you’re like, wow, they pull something off that even you potentially didn’t expect.

Simon Betchly
So I have a great amount enjoy and catching up with advice firms and seeing how they’re using our system. I spent a Friday afternoon last week with four practices in the same network that all use works sorted, they came to me with 18 Product Development improvements that they would like me to consider they had ranked them they had part written specs for them. And it was awesome. And I got to sit there and listen to the way they used it. And things like Process Automation are really popular in our software, and those guys use it well. And they gave us a number of ideas on how we could use it better. So I just the way they were doing that and and the collaboration that they had with each other was phenomenal. We have some users that have built out incredible processes, you know, one of our practices about 80 automated processes, you know, in the level of efficiency that that drives in her business, not only for herself in their operational role, but for her staff. And even when new staff come in, you know, the small amount of training that is required, because they just didn’t follow the bouncing ball in their processes is just incredible. And it’s not difficult to get there. But it is a it’s a journey, right? Because every business is different. I can’t just take her processes and give them to your business, because you don’t operate that way. But once you understand the capability and the potential, then you know that the mind starts going off. So we, in particular, have agreed this week that that particular power user process automation is going to do a masterclass. And we’re going to invite all our users to come along and see how she does that because it is quite incredible. We have others that obviously use the revenue side really strong and not only using it to understand the actual receive revenue, but their expected revenue and they are able to compare and make sure that they’re not missing payments that come through. But really, you know, we I guess our because of the breadth of functionality in our system, I say we’re narrow but you know, having revenue on one end and workflow on the other end means that there’s quite a lot of opportunity to just do things really well, yeah, we’ve got some that have built the most beautiful document templates in our system. And we’ve coupled again, with process automation, you know, when they issue out their, their emails automatically to their clients, God, they look good, you know, and it’s just, you think, Man, that is a professional operation. But there is there’s just lots of little opportunities in work sorted to pick a bit of functionality, and really use it well and get a great outcome out of it. Even our questionnaires now gets used in so many different ways. You know, it could be a risk profile questionnaire that they’ve built out, which just saves them a heap amount of time, when their clients come into the office, to just general questionnaires about things that they’re interested in, and their lifestyle and those sorts of things so that they can have a more robust conversation with them. And, again, you can automate those to go out to write. So they might do them periodically to just sort of touch bases with their clients, and they can be super informal, and they’re just a nice way to engage. Yeah,

Peita Diamantidis
absolutely. Even feedback loops can be considered easily. That’s in short, I love this. I mean, my favorite, uh, you know, frowny face, flat face, smiley face, you’re gonna get nearly everybody doing that.

Simon Betchly
How do we go? You know, you’ve just been into the office, you had a meeting? How did we go, you know? Yeah. And again, we’re starting to see those that’s the power of that automation is that you can set it up and say, right, well, when we’ve completed the meeting, appointment, we’re going to be held into complete and it’s going to automatically send that email to them and go, Hey, just checking in you have your meeting, you know, hope it went well. love a bit of feedback. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, all those sorts of things, I think the more people are sort of digging into the detail of our system, the more they’re getting out of it. And, you know, we have some firms that have been with us, you know, we still got some of our first 10 practices that signed up to work. So it’s still on board. But they don’t know what they don’t know, right. And we’re a business that doesn’t just release once a quarter or once a month, we do two releases a week. So there’s always going to be stuff that they’ll miss. So we do have that wonderful experience that they circle back to us, you know, five years later, and they say, Look, we love your system, but we’re not sure if we’re using it to the best of its ability. And we’ll actually do like a practice audit. And we’ll have a look at how they’re using our system. And we’ll help them get more out of it. And we’ll introduce them to practices that are using it differently in different areas. I’m making another connection this afternoon with two self licensed businesses, one here in Adelaide, one in Victoria that want to talk about staff KPI reporting, and how they’re handling that out of work sort of so it’s fun.

Peita Diamantidis
And I think it’s if there’s one consistent theme across the interviews I’ve done so far. And well, what 15 or something I’m think now answers 24 In the series, is we aren’t we are not ever using the tools we already have to their full capability. Yeah. And that’s everything, every single Excel, you name it, none of them are we using? And so you know, what a wonderful opportunity, because just using the ones you’ve got to their full capability doesn’t cost you any more. No, that’s just using what you’re already paying for, you know, so Exactly. I love that. You know, I think that’s a wonderful opportunity. Look, I’m all for upgrading your systems and looking at alternatives. Don’t get me wrong. In fact, I’m probably too far that way if I’m doing this. But I do think there’s so much opportunity for each of us just to squeeze out that extra bit of value and impact out of the tools we’re already using.

Simon Betchly
That’s right, yeah. And if it’s just a quick little educational session, and then you get stuck into it, and you can do it. That’s you know, that’s even better. Yeah, exactly, exactly. Our job as software providers is to just make sure that it is simple and intuitive to use and that you can get in and do these things. You know, I don’t want to build an economy of consultants to help you use work sort of, I want you to be able to do it for yourself. Absolutely. You know, and we’re quite proud of that. But yeah, look, when we can get involved and help them. You know, we’re more than happy to do that. So

Peita Diamantidis
perfect. So you’ve mentioned a couple of things that are on the development path coming out, which is great. Is there anything that bit further out? That’s a bit of a wish list thing? Like, Oh, I’d love us to get to this point, you know?

Simon Betchly
Yeah, we’ve we’ve got a couple of try not to give away too much of the secret stuff that’s going on. But we, we we do we build a development pipeline that will that will sort of extend for now 12 month period, so for our financial year, but we intentionally leave enough that in those sort of later quarters because things do change, right? And we’ve got to react to you know, we’ll wait and see what comes out of the quality advice review, right. So those sorts of things may mean some some items get pulled up or down the list and we change priorities. So we do remain quite flexible. But there are some core bits of functionality on the horizons that we’d like to get to around integrating our product further with things like voice voice to IP voice so being able to connect and live from from work sorted. Yes, save the audio. No, because we’ve we’ve seen more and more of you know, there’s own conversations going on and and instead of PDFs getting saved into our system, it’s it’s mp4 files, video files are getting saved. Yeah. And so Absolutely, we’ve acknowledged that and gone, well, we can, we can work more closely with these providers. Again, we don’t have to be the video tool, but we can connect with best of breed tools in that space. So that you can make your calls, you know, have your videos saved them as notes, audio notes, video notes have been transcribed and, and have a bit of a richer connection there with with your CRM. So that’s certainly something that we’d really like to get to. We’ve been tinkering with the phone app ourselves, but more for the practice rather than for the clients. In the sense that advisors again, when they’re out on the road, or getting back out on the road, they still want to be able to look up a client, find their address, find their phone number, save a file, note audio, no, you know, those kinds of things, kick off a job, see where jobs at, you know, just some of those sort of basic functions that they’re not running drill down reports on their revenue from their phone, but, you know, just some basic capabilities, you know, interactivity with our systems. So, yeah, they’re not pressingly urgent for us there. That’d be really nice to have some and certainly, you know, we can see the value in them. They just sort of they sit a little bit further on the horizon.

Peita Diamantidis
Yeah, fair enough. Yeah, all of those sound pretty exciting. i Is there anything else we’ve missed about the system? That’s a particular

Simon Betchly
look, I think we’ve we’ve we’ve done a pretty good job of covering it. You know, I think we will continue to stay true to our, our, you know, our segment, if you like of the industry, double down and just do what we do really well. And make sure that we are adding as much value in that space as we can, we’ll connect with the right tools to make sure that businesses can build their end to end stack I, again, not my favorite words. But whatever the advice firm considers to be their end to end is what we want to help be part of, and make sure that we’re facilitating as much of that efficiency as possible. And connecting with those tools be industry specific or agnostic.

Peita Diamantidis
They’ll stick that’s so exciting. All right advice explores if you’d like to find out more about work sorted, then the website link is in the episode show notes. We’ve also popped in Simon’s LinkedIn details, so that feel free to nudge him and I’m sure he’ll either respond or point you in the direction of the appropriate person. Thank you so much for joining us, Saman, I love that work sorted as sort of one of the tools and there’s more coming, I know, but one of the tools industry that really sees the value in actual integrations, not wants to integrations that are crazy and clunky and sort of, you know, are excluded from people like us that are a small business, the more we can make all of this accessible than anybody in the industry, and they can build whatever they like, it’s just down to our imaginations, then, you know, and how exciting is that, in terms of the offer you can build, and the clients you can serve. So please keep that up. I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future.

Simon Betchly
We’ll do thanks for having me along. It’s been great. You’re welcome.

Peita Diamantidis
So are you a current user of work sorted, maybe you’ve given it a try, you’ve got some feedback or some insights. Maybe you completely agree with everything we just covered, or maybe have some different experiences, no matter what they are, please share your insights on the x y community platform, as we’d all love to hear your take. And any further tips you might have, you know, to give other advisors or practices that it may be considering take checking out work sorted. And in terms of sort of my thoughts. Look, if you haven’t come across Zapier before, I would really encourage you to put aside just a little bit of time to watch a few YouTube videos on it. You know, Zapier can be your own little connector for the repetitive little tasks that you and your team are doing. And it can really streamline things and make life just that bit easier, right? These are these 1% things that we’re going to find hundreds of to just change our worlds and the way we do things. The key thing to understand is that Zapier has just two key elements, the trigger and the action. Now, the trigger is something that happens in one system, right? And the action is the thing that you want to occur in another system, when that trigger is tripped, right. So it can connect Excel to word, Gmail to Google Sheets, you know, anything you’re triggering one can cause an action and another. And it is truly as big or as beneficial as your own imagination. If you do a write a list of all of the tools you use, and then check them on Zapier to see whether they’re there, right, you’ve got your main list, then just copy it, copy and paste it to the right. And I want you to just draw random lines from apps on the left to the right and see if any of those like all that connector could really make a difference for us. Now, when you become a real ninja of this, then you can actually have automation within a system. So an Excel trigger could cause an Excel action. This might be something you otherwise can’t do in a system that you can’t tell something within it to cause something else to happen. But it’s really powerful. So I would encourage you just to start checking it out, you don’t have to use it yet, just start to get a feel for it because more and more of the tools in our world are going to be on the list for things like Zapier, and it’s going to really help us streamline our offerings. Now, as you know, there is only one skill, we need to become bionic advisors. And it’s avid curiosity. So to help you build that habit, today’s curiosity corner app that sort of caught my eye is up content. Now you can find up content at a content.com. And they describe it as a way to discover, collaborate and distribute relevant third party content that will help you turn leads into loyal customers. Now, basically, this is all about finding content that uniquely suits your niche, and then easily distributing it. Using ad integrations with social scheduling tools and newsletter tools like say, MailChimp, it even has the ability to add a call to action to the content that you’re creating, curating for your audience. So I just want to be really clear what I’m saying there. It can be somebody else’s article that you’re basically sharing with your audience. But you could add your own call to action at the end of that article, right. And that can be interesting. You don’t need to write your all of your own content, you can curate great stuff that’s already out there. This could be perfect if you’re working on a new niche, and you really want your content to pop. But maybe you just don’t have that ability or even interest in sort of writing it all from scratch. So I encourage you to check it out. And as always, please reach out if you if you enjoy it, or you find it really valuable because I’d love to hear about it. Well, that’s all we’ve got for this week, be sure to subscribe to the podcast so you’ll get your advice tech fix automatically sent to you each Friday. Now, lots of us are really keen to focus on a new niche like I just mentioned, or perhaps, you know, refine our niche even further, just to ensure our messaging and offer really resonate with them. But the challenge is then working through what changes we need to make to both our processes and our systems to best deliver that offering. So if you are keen to build a nation that loves what you do, and we’ll pay you for it, and then have a plan to scale up your business so that you even love looking after them because it’s so streamlined and effective then be sure to join Jenny Pierce and I for our niche down and scale up masterclass. The first will be held in Sydney in early 2010 23. But we’re getting loads of interest in nationwide locations. So please reach out. If you’re interested at LinkedIn, Peita M D, that’s PEITAMD. Otherwise, I look forward to turning up in your earbuds next week. And remember advice explorers Stay curious.

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