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Decimal brings automated SOAs into limelight

Financial planning software provider Decimal plans to bring automated statements of advice (SOAs) to the fore, claiming they will completely change the way advisers conduct business.

Speaking to ifa, Decimal executive director of strategy and innovation Jan Kolbusz said the introduction of its new adviser technology will reduce the cost of “not only compliance” but the cost of giving advice.

“At the end of [a session] you typically have to wait weeks until an SOA is generated,” Mr Kolbusz said. “With us, the ideal situation is at the end of that session… I can literally give you the statement of advice then and there.”

Mr Kolbusz also said that through Decimal, advisers will be able to generate SOAs that are no longer than three pages, which will make the process easier and more engaging for consumers.

“Might only be one… [But] we think [SOAs] can be three pages, and we are working to make sure that is compliant,” Mr Kolbusz said.

“If ASIC, for whatever reason, says, 'oh no, you still need 12 or 50 pages', what we can do is say, 'fine, we will produce that and produce your 50 pages', but we bet the consumer is going to read that [one page] and the rest of the pages can just be [small print],” he said.

Mr Kolbusz said the technology will also be able to keep track of everything an adviser does, providing compliance officers ease of access to records.

“When you produce a piece of advice out of Decimal it is totally produced from inside the system, to whatever extent the adviser wants to personalise it or generate or whatever options they pick – it is all captured in the database,” Mr Kolbusz said.

“So a compliance officer can absolutely see in real time what has been done.”