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How 8 hours can change your AFSL

6 min read.


By Andy Marshall*

What type of AFSL, what type of business would you have if you were able to free up 8 hours a week?

It seems the answer is one that has :

  • Focus
  • Increased profitability
  • Happier engaged fee-paying clients of the right type
  • A business that truly delivers its owners’ work-life balance.


When 40 boutique AFSL owners got together, they normally discussed issues of: technology enablement (or disablement depending on how you look at it), compliance management and interpretation, adjusting to a post Royal Commission advice architecture and business growth and profitability.

However, when asked to dig deeper, the hurdles in implementing and enacting solutions started with the largest hurdle of them all, time poverty.

Faced with compliance interpretation and management, time-consuming SoA production, transitioning legacy clients, traditionally businesses have enacted one strategy: more human power in either staffing or simply working longer and harder.

Throwing more bodies and effort into a fight seems a good idea, but if you could ask the Romans of the battle of Cannae, the outcome in that instance and in today’s modern business is seldom positive.[1]

The costs from a business point of view are high:

  • Reduced revenue and growth.
  • Lower client engagement and retention scores.
  • A significant profit impact.
  • Frustration.
  • Burnout.


When asked why projects and plans and identified priorities were stymied, the delegates all agreed that it was time poverty that was the biggest enemy.

If only that SoA production software could be faster! But that’s hardly ever the solution.


So, to create an action plan a different question was asked.  If you could get back 8 hours a week what would it allow you to do in your business?

The answers ranged from enacting the projects, engaging more of the right type of client, fostering partnerships, and of course the corresponding impact of greater revenue and profitability with a lesser human capital impact.

What’s the magic formula though to finding those 8 hours?

If you are an adviser … advise.

Don’t be the compliance manager and don’t be the IT consultant.  Don’t chase the shiny distracting objects that a lot of noise is made about in the advice profession.

There are people for all of these tasks.

  1. Outsource compliance to specialists who set you up with a framework for meeting your monitoring and supervision obligations and managing your AFSL policies and advice processes.  And in doing so immediately increase your compliance excellence and minimise the risks to your business and the time you need to spend worrying about it.
  2. Tackle your legacy clients and ensure that your offer is matched to the clients you want to work with, who you can add demonstrable value to and who will pay you appropriately for that value.
  3. Next, adopt a technology solution and be very deliberate about what you want it to do.  The technology you adopt should match your advice specialities, your client needs and the way you want to interact with your clients.


If you have not defined these three areas STOP, go back define them and then match a solution to your requirements.

The solutions are out there as are the people to enable them.  But simply asking the question “what’s a good CRM” is not a financial advice technology solution starting point question.

Just these 3 actions can deliver:

  • Focus
  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Growth
  • Profitability
  • Work-life balance


The question is do you have the time to sit still and let someone help you do this?



*Andy Marshall is the Head of IOOF Alliances which provides dealer support services for those aspirants to self-licensing and for existing self-licensed boutique advice businesses.  Andy ran a CEO and Leaders Forum for Alliances member AFSLs as part of the regular peer group interaction for members on topics such as compliance, technology, business management, and client engagement.


[1] The Battle of Cannae took place on 2 August 216 BC Hannibal, surrounded and decisively defeated a larger army of the Roman Republic and their 86,000 Roman and allied troops.


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