For some, the introduction of Fee Disclosure obligations is a thing-of-the-past and the implementation of these obligations within their business has been seamlessly integrated. For others, the whole process is still a nightmare and many advisers have put their head-in-the-sand in the hope that no one is watching.
If you are one of those advisers who are still struggling to make sense of the regulations and are looking for a better way, here are my suggestions for you. Take Note!
Fee Disclosure Requirements
The Fee Disclosure requirements are broken up into:
Fee paying clients who need an FDS each year
Fee paying clients who need an FDS each year and to opt-in every two years.
It is essential that this information is stored in your CRM for easy access and review. All clients who do not require any Fee Disclosure statements (archived clients, insurance only clients, commission only clients) should be set as ‘No’ for FDS and ‘No’ for Renewal. Keeping clean, clear data is essential for ongoing maintentance.
Fee Disclosure Statements
Once you can clearly identify your clients, it’s time to integrate an FDS document within your business. This may form part of a formal review, a one off bulk run or a combination of the two. Either way, the requirements of the Fee Disclosure Statement are the same. The document will be broken up into three key components:
The Service Table: this will outline the service offering you promised your client in exchange for an ongoing fee, and the services that the client participated in during the last 12 months.,
The Adviser Service Fee paid by the client over the last 12 months
If applicable, the Opt-In notice which is to be signed by the client to opt-in to another 2 years of ongoing service.
Automation and Integration
Utilising software such as XPLAN you can improve our processes by taking advantage of their integrated Fee Disclosure features including:
Scheduled reports: Whether you use XPORT or Scheduler, XPLAN can send you regular reports detailing clients who are due for their FDS statement, clients who are yet to opt-in, and any client whose opt-in has lapsed.
Automate the service table: Utilising Service Benchmarks, XPLAN can record activity against your service offering, and provide your client with a details report on Service Offered V Service Received
Automate the Fee paid: XPLAN has many avenue’s for capturing the fee paid by a client. You can use CommPay data, transactional data from IPS via datafeeds, Invoices sent over the last 12 months, or simply add the flat fee into the Adviser Fee field.
Automate the update of the FDS fields and client responses: Using a thread and email templates , you can complete the tasks in your office and force the thread to update the FDS or Renewal dates in XPLAN. The email can be used for your client to opt-in automatically.
If you are unclear about any aspect of FoFA or require specific information on integrating this via XPLAN, please consult a team member at Practice Dynamix for more information on how to implement this efficiently in your business. Our XPLAN support services and project development team will be happy to assist you.