Custodial Onboarding – Automation Through Digitalization

I remember when it used to be such a hassle to get custodial forms filled out, signed by clients, and then submitted to my custodian. I rarely had forms ready to be signed by clients at face-to-face meetings. The reason being, it would take the whole meeting to figure out just what accounts they needed to have opened, and what assets needed to be transferred (and from where). I wasn’t about to have the client sit there while I prepared all that paperwork.

Fast forward to today, where paper is a thing of the past and NIGOs (Not In Good Order) are virtually non-existent. It’s all thanks to the digitalization of the onboarding process. PreciseFP has been a pioneer in this area, capitalizing on its position as the leader in client data gathering.

Advisors who use PreciseFP for custodial onboarding have two options, both of which are 100% digital, and both help drastically reduce NIGO, while delivering a better experience to the client:

  1. PDF Form Filling and E-signature. Data gathered via PreciseFP is used to automatically fill account applications, transfer forms, etc. Supporting documentation, such as voided checks and recent brokerage statements are gathered all in one place, eliminating the constant back-and-forth with the client. Once all required information is provided by the client, e-signatures are obtained and the envelope is sent off to the custodian for processing.
  2. Direct integration with custodians. Data that is gathered by PreciseFP is sent electronically to the custodian. The advisor then logs into and utilizes the custodian’s digital onboarding tool to specify which forms to fill. Finally, the client is engaged by the custodian’s system, asking to validate the data and confirm that the forms are what the client would like to submit for processing.

Both solutions are game-changers for most firms in that they save advisors time, reduce NIGO, and make it super easy for the client. Personally, I prefer the PDF filling + E-signature. With it, I don’t have to log into and learn my custodian’s digital onboarding tool (which would be an even bigger deal if I used more than one custodian). Also, I see exactly what the client sees and can make sure that the data is complete prior to sending (and if there is a problem I can easily resend the engagement right from within PreciseFP). Also, it’s one less place to send my client since everything is handled by PreciseFP.

A client of mine recently moved out of state and needed to wire funds to buy a new home. From within PreciseFP, I sent her a Move Money form that was automatically filled with the data I already had on file for her. She received a digital envelope, was able to apply her e-signature, and that envelope was then automatically forwarded to my custodian. In the past, I would fill out a pdf in Acrobat, send it to the client who then needed to print, sign, scan, and then email the document back to me… Like I said, a total game-changer. My client was amazed at how easy the process was and since she was out of town, glad she didn’t have to be near a printer or scanner. Finally, I would be remiss not to mention that my end-to-end digital solution with PreciseFP is far more secure than the “the olden days” when I used email.

Don Whalen, CFP®, President

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