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Xplan Hacks

Changing licensees? Here are 10 tips to keep in mind

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6 months ago

Here's a guide if you're in the process of changing licensee or getting your own AFSL, as there can often be some important technology milestones that need to be taken into consideration

We have seen a significant increase in the last few months of businesses changing Licensees, or taking up their own AFSL. Particularly as some dealer groups close up or consolidate there has been a lot of change for individual practices.

We wanted to provide a bit of a guide for anyone who is in the process of changing licensee or getting their own AFSL, as there can often be some important technology milestones that need to be taken into consideration to ensure that your transition is smooth.

1. Convert your data if you are moving Xplan sites

It sounds simple, right? Converting your Xplan data from one Xplan site to another does require a considerable amount of planning and effort. Every Xplan site has a unique, isolated database, which is important for privacy, security and performance reasons. But when it comes to moving data between sites, this means that careful planning is needed.

There are a couple of ways to move data between Xplan sites, but the simplest and most efficient way is to use the services of our Xplan Transitions team. They have consultants and analysts who can walk you through the process of converting data.

Please ensure that you reach out to Iress as soon as you know that you are intending on leaving your licensee’s Xplan site. With all the movement in the industry at the moment, it’s important to make sure that we can secure a conversion date for you that will minimise disruption to your business.

2. Ensure all users are mapped, even users that have left the business

Xplan conversions will convert client data based on the ownership of the client. That is to say, if a client’s adviser is listed on the Permission to Extract form, they will be extracted in the conversion.

Sometimes you will have archived, historical or other data in your Xplan site that might still be listed under staff that have left your practice. Do not neglect listing these names on your Permission to Extract form! It’s always useful to convert as much data as you can when you do your conversion, as once you’re off your old Xplan site, it’s going to be very difficult to get that data back, and likely will attract additional costs.

3. Get permission from your old licensee to convert data

When you start the conversion process, you will be required to get a Permission to Extract form signed by your licensee’s Xplan site administrator. Please be aware that this person is not in your business, but your licensee’s (or it might be a third party, or Iress if you are on an Iress managed site, such as Planner Central). It can be tempting to just fill the whole form out yourself, but remember that the first half of that form needs to be completed by your licensee.

4. Check whether you can keep access to your old Xplan site while you complete your transition

In the above screenshot, you’ll see the field ‘Date after which Iress is authorised to perform data extraction’. If this date matches the date you’re expecting to leave the licensee, we generally would be concerned that you may also lose access to Xplan after this date.

We sometimes see that licensees will cut-off access to Xplan on the same day that you leave their licensee, and make that same date the earliest date Iress is allowed to take data out of their site. This can mean that businesses have no access to Xplan data for several days while a conversion is underway. This is not ideal for business continuity.

Always check that you will be able to maintain some access, even if it is only read-only, for a few weeks while you transition your data over. This will allow you to thoroughly check your data after the conversion to ensure that it has gone smoothly.

5. Pay attention to field mappings

When you move between Xplan sites, some of the customisation that can be built between sites might cause some issues during a conversion. For example, in your current Xplan site, you might have a file note type of Statement of Advice, but in the site you’re planning on moving to, they may not have this file note type. They might have another one called SOA, for example.

Before you do a data conversion, request a list of the choice field values, so you can make sure that you don’t lose any of the richness of your data filing when you move to your new Xplan site. There’s no way to cover off every single choice field values, but here’s a list of a few I’d recommend checking:

  • Assets and Liabilities Types
  • File Note Types and Subtypes
  • Task Types and Subtypes
  • FSG Version
  • Review Types
  • Diary Categories
  • Client Categories
6. Check if your new licensee uses CommPay so you can easily generate Fee Disclosure Statements

When you’re talking to your new licensee, it’s important to check to see how your new licensee will handle revenue management going forward. If your dealer group has CommPay, you can link your Xplan site (regardless of which solution you go to) to their CommPay instance.

This will allow you to get all your fee data directly into Xplan, and will mean you can easily generate Fee Disclosure Statements or even automate this process entirely.

7. New licensee? New Adviser Codes

If you’re changing licensee, the product providers that your clients have investments with will likely want to issue you with new adviser codes. With this change in adviser code, it’s also important to register for their Xplan datafeed as well. We have datafeeds for a lot of providers. A comprehensive list can be found here - and details on how to register for each datafeed provider here.

8. Who is going to do your site administration?

Your new licensee may not dictate to you which Xplan site you go onto, especially if they don’t manage one themselves. If that’s the case, it’s important to work out who is going to be doing the site administration for Xplan. This includes:

  • Creating and maintaining users, including licenses
  • Creating and maintaining user groups
  • Managing assumption sets
  • Portfolio and datafeed administration
  • Developing, coding and maintaining of templates
  • Building and maintaining workflow architecture (tasks, threads, cases)

Appoint an Xplan Champion in your business to be on top of this, or consider solutions that will help to mitigate this requirement for you, such as a licensee who maintains an Xplan site themselves, or an Iress managed service.

9. Ensure that you’re ready to go with templates, and transfer any templates you need

Your new Xplan site may have very different, or no templates at all from the beginning. It’s important to investigate what your new site has so that you can establish if they will work for you, and whether you need any extra work done during your implementation. You may want to consider Advice Toolkit for Iress' out-of-the-box advice template solution.

It’s also important to remember that conversions don’t bring over merge templates (e.g. Fact Find, SOA, FDS templates) or email templates. Diary templates do get converted, as do Note, Task and Thread templates if the owner of the template is being converted (name is listed on that Permission to Extract form we mentioned earlier).

10. Prepare for change management with your clients if you have a Client Portal

If you use any Iress client access tools such as the Client Portal be aware that you will likely need to rebuild the portal on your new Xplan site. With this, your clients are going to need to be notified of the change. This might form part of the change management you do with clients regarding your licensee change as well.

It might also be worth also looking into upgrading to the latest Client Portal if you are using either of the other two older generations of our client access tools. At the very least, the URL your clients would navigate to will likely change. There may be further changes as well depending on the version you choose or if you choose to upgrade. This may be a nice opportunity to introduce some new features as part of your licensee change.

Updated 6 months ago
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