Sarah Abood (left) and Ben Marshan

With current Statements of Advice being too long and unfriendly to consumers the Financial Planning Association has released a toolkit to guide members in creating video SOAs that fulfills regulatory obligations.

The Statement of Advice Project (SOAP) Box Set is a 14-video series that covers how to create a video SOA as well as well including examples that cover various scenarios including pre-retirement planning and risk advice.

The series features FPA head of policy Ben Marshan and Cyber Collective Australia founder Fraser Jack.

Marshan said the SOA requirements came during a time when paper was the only option available to planners.

With video conferencing now a normal part of daily life, he hopes the series will showcase alternative avenues of providing a compliant SOA under the current legislation.

“We are still seeing financial planners put together paper-based SOAs that stretch between 80 to 100 pages long,” Marshan said in a media release. “The idea behind the Statement of Advice Project is to push the boundaries of finding the most effective way of providing advice to clients while also keeping within ASIC’s regulations.”

FPA chief executive Sarah Abood who had also been the CEO of Profile Financial Services added that she has seen first-hand the amount of work that goes into an SOA.

“A lot of what drives up the cost of financial advice is the amount of background work, information investigation and time spent by the financial planner on what is required to be included in the SOA,” Abood said.

The SOA ends up becoming a document clients find difficult to read, she added, which ends up clouding the advice given to them.

“Any efforts made to make advice more efficient and usable by clients is a critical step forward for the profession. Through the SOAP Box Set, Ben and Fraser have put in an incredible amount of work towards making this a reality and speaks to their tireless passion in making advice more accessible and affordable for clients.”

SOAs will be addressed in the Quality of Advice Review, having drawn ire from the industry for being time-consuming and cumbersome to produce.

Last year the Financial Services Council released its affordable advice green paper that recommended Letters of Advice as an alternative to SOAs.