For new technology to actually benefit advice practices, principals need to make sure they show leadership by communicating what it’s for and the strategy behind it, according to CCUBE Integrated Wealth chief executive Nathan MacPhee.

MacPhee, whose business offers cloud-based financial planning technology, says that simply changing software and nothing else is “a path to failure”.

“For new technology to have an effect you need leadership and buy-in,” he argues.

MacPhee says technology providers like CCUBE can bring the time and cost of implementation technology down considerably, but without getting everyone on board the efficiencies gained will quickly be eroded.

“Without the right leadership, the right clarity as to where the practice and its licensee is going and what the future look like, the technology will not achieve goals because no one understands what they are.”

The other requirement for technology to actually take effect is resilience, MacPhee adds.

“You’re going to have resistance, because change for people is hard,” he says. “When you think about advice businesses, they’re still comprised of individuals. So, what’s in it for them? What’s their future look like? Unless it’s communicated and understood it won’t achieve what it’s set out to achieve. You’ve got to communicate and bring your staff along the journey.”

MacPhee acknowledges that CCUBE isn’t the first technology company to come along with new software systems that promise to change the way advice businesses operate. The point of difference for CCUBE, he argues, is that it’s not about “rebuilding old systems”. Instead, he says, they like to work with companies to embed new processes into the operations model. “We migrate data, but not processes,” he says.

Technology isn’t the solution, he argues, and shouldn’t be looked at as a saviour to a business. Integrating a new technology solution as a ‘bolt on’ to existing practises is not an effective way to improve a business, he explains, because legacy practices and attitudes will blunt the benefits. “If you plug in new technology and do the same things you’ve always been doing you’re going to get the same results,” he says.

MacPhee will moderate a panel discussion called ‘Starting with a clean sheet of paper” at the Professional Planner Best Practice Forum in Sydney on July 30. Joining him on stage will be Austbrokers Financial Solutions director, Jordan Hawke, whose firm recently started onboarding CCUBE’s technology.

“Jordan’s one of those guys that’s embraced the change,” McPhee says.

Tahn Sharpe is a Sydney-based financial services journalist with a background in financial planning. He writes on advice, superannuation, investment, banking and insurance issues, is a certified SMSF Adviser and holds an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.
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