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Tech Review: SunGard’s WealthStation CompAct

Tech Review: SunGard’s WealthStation CompAct

Kelley Rating (one asterisk = lowest, five asterisks = highest): Ease of navigation, design of interface and learning curve **** Instructional documentation and help system **** Carries out the goal of the product as advertised ***** Overall usefulness ****

WealthStation CompAct is a stand-alone, comprehensive financial planning tool that allows you to generate financial plans quickly and interactively.  It illustrates selected financial planning topics, using charts and summary tables, by addressing the most common financial planning concepts directly and producs client results with tabulations and graphical aids.  It can integrate with WealthStation financial planning should you want to extend a financial plan created in CompAct and create a more sophisticated plan as the client relationship evolves.

It provides a single tool that allows you to initiate planning through the concepts of accumulation planning, asset allocation, cash/debt management, education funding, financial priorities, financial statements, life insurance and retirement planning.

It creates, and allows you to direct, the operation of default inputs and assumptions, automatically presents solutions to funding financial goals and balancing priorities and produces what-if and scenario comparisons.

What’s It All About and How Does It Work?

WealthStation CompAct is a facility that operates and stores data online, making it available from any device that can access the internet.

It opens with a Dashboard/Client List screen from which you may select clients, entities or personal team clients.  Clients may be searched by first or last name, and recently accessed clients are displayed.  You may add a client or an entity.  From the Client List screen, the default Main Scenario begins and you may create other scenarios for the client.  You may also open the Client Information screen to review or enter detailed client information including contacts and relationships.

Selecting a listed client moves you to the Client Snapshot screen.  Tabs list the client scenarios, and from each scenario you may return to work you previously initiated in that scenario.  This screen also lets you go directly to Assets and Liabilities and Insurance for the client.

Clicking Module Launch from the Client List screen takes you to a list of the planning modules that make up WealthStation CompAct. The planning modules cover accumulation planning, investment management (including asset allocation), retirement planning, financial statement and debt management with cash flow analysis, education and risk management and basic calculations for income, estate and gift taxes.  Included are standalone zCalc based specialized calculations of charitable gift annuities, CLATs, CLUTs, CRATs, CRUTs, GRATs, installment sales, private annuity, QPRTs and RMDs.

You may select among the planning elements of this facility by series, concepts or a listing of all modules.  Series arranges the modules by Advisor Series (areas of financial advise from cash-flow through estate and retirement planning), Planning Series (modules directed toward specific planning elements, such as accumulation, asset allocation, retirement specifics, financial management and tax management), Foundation Series (entry of risk tolerance, goals and basic financial information) and the Calculator Series (specialized calculations, such as charitable trusts).  By concept, the modules are arranged through retirement, investment management, financial statements & debt management, education & risk management, income & estate taxes and multi-purpose and miscellaneous (including quick access to the Select Concepts screen). 

From the Client List screen, you may also access Select Concepts.  From that screen you may conveniently approach application of the planning modules through choosing all or one of: Financial Statements, Financial Priorities, Retirement, Asset Allocation, Life Insurance, Education Funding, Cash/Debt Management or Accumulation Goals.  A Questionaire is included for the client to fill out as to financial information and goals.

A menu on the left hand side lets you select Data Input.  Data may be entered by: assets, liabilities, income sources, financial goals, goal prioritization, life insurance, risk tolerance and assumptions.  The data entry screens are simple and straightforward.

After data is entered and choices made, you may select Results, from which you then view the summary or other detailed reports.  Summary graphically displays the client’s financial priorities and the percentage of funding of each selected concept.

For example, the Retirement area Results displays a time line and cash flow.  You may request an “Executive Summary” that displays the degree to which the client funding goals have been achieved on the current planning date.

The Selected Concepts screens may be filled in in by what the facility calls “smart defaults.”

Modules that may be of particular special interest include:

The Estate Advisor module walks you through the client’s financial situation with analysis of assets and liabilities, as well as the effects of income sources and living costs (including long- term care needs).  The Estate Preservation module addresses estate costs and taxes with suggested solutions to tax costs.

What About Help and Support?

At the Dashboard/Client List, selecting Resources gives you access to the Library, which includes a system overview, “how to” guidance and detailed information on the Allocation Master.  When you are in an operating module, the right-hand area of the screen displays context-related help topics that may be turned on or off.  In Selected Concepts, clicking on Help brings a context sensitive help menu up for each screen.  You may add your own notes to each screen, as well.    

Further help is available by phone during business hours or by email.

Where Do You Get This Facility?

WealthStation CompAct is available from:

SunGard Financial Systems

Phone:  646-445-1004, option 5


Pricing is based on seat licensing with package (bundling with other SunGard tools) and quantity (number of seats) discounts offered.

Bottom Line

WealthStation CompAct provides a well-designed web-based facility with convenient data input and comprehensive results for the full range of financial, retirement and basic estate planning needs.  It presents a wealth of planning modules addressing various financial and estate planning concepts. 

Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Review by Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.

Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo., and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004) and author of The Electronic Practice ebook ( 2013).  He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at [email protected].

TAGS: Technology
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