Office Management Best Practices

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Dec 17, 2015 6:35 pm

Hello All,

First post, I am excited to be here! I'm here looking for a little bit of guidance, so I'll get right to it.

I work for a financial advisors office that consists of a few registered advisors, and a few folks in operations who do general legwork. We have about 40m in AUM. Our principal advisor/founder/owner has about 20 years experience and is very diligent. This person always keeps the best interest of the client in mind in every aspect of what we do. This means that we do many things that most advisors don't do, like tax-loss harvesting, budgeting, etc. With all of these moving parts "do-to" items often either get lost in the shuffle or are completed later than they should be. As a result, there is a lot of stress and hand-wringing.

The main issue is that we have three separate offices for client meetings, and a single operations office. This means that meetings take place at site A, while trades and applications are generated from site B. Our principle advisor is a brilliant tactician and charismatic "people person", but we all struggle to ensure that meetings at site A get proper follow-up from the staff at site B.

We use about 300 different programs and websites for everything from CRM to Aggregation to Budgeting to Account Management, and I don't know if there is a solution to this problem but it is a problem nonetheless. We have another 300 different spreadsheets assigning tiers and to clients and theoretically different team members are responsible for the tasks related to their respective tiers. I don't know if this works because there doesn't seem to be a clear and concise way to let everyone know who is responsible for what tier, and to have them retain this information.

Another problem is there is a lack of clearly defined roles and therefore tasks are assigned to different individuals as they need to be completed rather to a designated team member based on their role and position. 

I wonder if anybody here has been in a similar situation. How did you overcome this? What methods have you developed to avoid this type of situation? Do you think that an assembly line method of operation works best (with clearly defined roles/tasks), or does a collaborative method work better when team member are all doing the same tasks but for different clients.

Thank you so much for you input and feedback. Feel free to be as brutally honest as you want!