Delegate routine tasks to technology

An advisor showing another advisor something on a tablet.

Key Points

    • Many critical, administrative tasks can now be automated by technology.
    • Digital tools can help streamline processes from document management to portfolio rebalancing to scheduling meetings.
    • Freeing up time with the right tech tools means more time to focus on what matters most—your clients.

Believe it or not, technology can make being a financial advisor even more fun. How? Offloading essential (often tedious) tasks not only makes the workday more pleasant, but also frees up time for you to focus on the parts of the job that you love most—serving clients, solving problems, and helping families achieve their goals.

Here are some of the ways technology can speed up time-consuming tasks.

Streamline document management

If you think paperwork is an inevitable part of being an advisor, it's time to have another look at digital document management technology. Processes like onboarding clients go more efficiently when managed digitally. For one thing, it's faster and more convenient for clients to receive and sign documents digitally rather than filling out forms manually and faxing, scanning, or even sending physical documents through the mail.

Digital tools can also ensure paperwork gets filled out properly, which means less time spent tracking down information to fix missing account data. For example, advisors using Schwab's digital onboarding capabilities have seen "not in good order" rates fall from an average of around 30% to the low single digits.1  

The ability to deal with paperwork digitally can also streamline your responses to common client requests. Automated digital workflows can help make it easier and quicker to set up new account types, add or change automatic investment plans, and manage account beneficiaries. Technology that integrates the documentation step with the execution of common financial transactions further save time and effort. And automated workflows allow clients to approve transactions securely on a mobile device, reducing the chance of fraudulent transactions while simultaneously managing compliance recordkeeping.

Increase face time with clients

Online meeting schedulers allow you to set up meeting times with clients without struggling to figure out when everyone’s free. Video conferencing can make it easier to meet if clients live in a different city, travel frequently, or have trouble leaving the house. With a good scheduler, clients can choose their meeting time, decide whether they want to meet in-person or virtually, and receive a calendar invite with a link to an online meeting or the address of your in-person meeting, all without you needing to make phone calls or send a ton of emails.

Automate routine investment and tax management

Once you finish the rewarding work of aligning client portfolios with their goals, routine number crunching, and data gathering doesn't need to be part of your daily experience.

Digital tools can help you easily analyze portfolios to ensure allocations match clients' risk parameters and rebalance portfolios to keep them on track with their goals. With these routine tasks out of the way, you’re freed up to help with more important financial decisions. And when tax time comes around, tools that maintain cost basis data make gathering this important information faster and easier.

Integration is key

Having tools for each tedious task in your practice won't produce the best results unless they all work together. Before trying a new product, it's important to consider how it will interact with the technology you already have in place. For example, a CRM (customer relationship management) tool that consolidates information on both prospects and clients gives you up-to-date information at your fingertips. But an onboarding tool that can't take advantage of that information could mean duplicated effort and the potential for mismatched records.

Most of the time, the best solutions will also be the most flexible ones. Every firm has slightly different requirements, and needs can change as the business develops. It's important to have technology that's capable of changing with you. Look for systems that offer a backbone of digital document workflow, account management, and trading under a single, secure login as well as the ability to integrate seamlessly with the widest possible range of third-party applications. That way, you can fine-tune the balance between automated processes and hands-on, high value work.

What you can do next

  • Discover how Schwab's technology can help your firm deliver exceptional service with less effort. Learn about Schwab’s tech platform and explore how third-party integration solutions can help your tech work together. 
  • Consider a custodian that invests in your success. If you're thinking about becoming an independent advisor, contact us to learn more about the benefits of a custodial relationship with Schwab.


1. As of 12/31/23