IRESS Announces Release of Xplan 2.0
IRESS announced March 10 a release date of April for XPLAN 2.0. IRESS Managing Director Andrew Walsh says XPLAN 2.0 represents an exciting new development in adviser technology.
“XPLAN 2.0 offers a new-look web interface that has been designed to meet the expectations of advisers who need their planning software to efficiently complete increasingly complicated tasks,” Mr Walsh said. “We are focussed on adviser productivity – therefore a key objective was to make it as easy as possible for our clients to get the results they wanted. We set out rethinking the user interface from the user’s perspective. This enables our clients to focus on what they want to do rather than how to do it.”
Mr Walsh said that ease of operation translates to reduced adviser training and implementation times.
XPLAN 2.0’s unique design also means new features can continue to be added without the software becoming overly complex. “We have a strong focus on responding to the functional demands of our clients and we complemented this approach with a leading design and user-experience that puts us at the forefront of future development,” he said.
During the R&D phase of 2.0, IRESS employed a global agency that specialises in digital user-experience to help define an optimal end-user experience. “The agency was very experienced and worked closely with our product and development teams as we evolved and refined ideas together with client feedback,” Mr Walsh said.
IRESS also offers a considered experience for advisers accessing XPLAN from smart phones and tablet devices. “Meeting these needs is becoming increasingly important as the devices gain greater traction within financial services,” Mr Walsh said.
The XPLAN 2.0 announcement comes on the heels of the latest Investment Trends financial planning software report, which revealed that XPLAN remains the best and most widely used financial planning software tool in Australia, offering the most functionality and the greatest breadth.
IRESS’ Product Manager for Wealth Management, Aaron Knowles said the results demonstrate that XPLAN is adding value to adviser businesses, not just ticking boxes on a list of features. “We recognise that there is no single best practice for running advice businesses and we work hard to provide a solution that offers the best outcomes for each dealer group or brand,” he said. “Flexibility is the key. Efficiency comes by optimising a process, to which software needs to flexibly adapt.”
He said this is one of the key reasons that the report showed plan production using XPLAN is faster than other applications – when producing limited advice for an existing client, XPLAN was 30 minutes faster than bespoke limited advice tools in the market place.
“This reflects the efforts of our people on the ground, partnering with our customers to implement their advice content in the software,” Mr Knowles said. “Efficient advice isn’t about software alone; it is about a dealer group’s intellectual property and how this is implemented in software.”
Integration is another category in which XPLAN stood head and shoulders above its peers in the survey results.
“We hear from our customers that integration with other applications used by adviser businesses is vital and so we offer meaningful integration and actively support it,” Mr Knowles said.
To this end, IRESS is constantly adding new data feeds and integrates with an ever-expanding list of insurers, fund managers, lenders, stock brokers and managed account providers. The integration effort continues in XPLAN’s next major release which will include integration with SMSF accounting software provider APS; insurance application straight-through processing (STP) and quote validation with Asteron.
There are also enhancements to pre-trade compliance for those who leverage IRESS’ order routing network to execute orders on listed securities via their broker. These features are provided within our existing service offering at no additional charge.
“We will continue to develop the features and functionality of XPLAN to ensure that it delivers superior outcomes for dealer groups, advisers and their clients,” Mr Knowles said. “The release of XPLAN 2.0 demonstrates our commitment to ensuring advisers have the best and most functional advice platform.”