Managing workflow and time recording

Hi all,

I currently manage a very small team of paraplanners, team of 2 plus myself.

I am managing the workflow of paraplanning requests through a simple excel spreadsheet, it works however, I am wanting to make a more robust process as we will be growing as a team in the very near future.

The back office system we use at the moment is XPLAN, the system is a bit of a disaster so I am wanting to keep anything that is put in place completely separate.

It would be great if some of you could share with me what systems you use to manage workflow or any tips you may have.




  • richallumrichallum Administrator
    What do you want to manage with the workflow? Is it case tracking or tasks too?

    We’ve used Harvest for time tracking for 10 years and it’s very good.

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.

  • I am wanting to track the cases and be able to run accurate MI on how long particular cases take.

    For example, I want to be able to show a pensions switch case on average takes X amount of time.

    We have a backlog at the moment of cases and I am wanting to understand why.
    Are there too many cases for the amount of paraplanners we have? Productivity or even efficiency of our processes?

    Ah yes I’ve read about harvest on another post. Do you have specific names for cases to make it easier when looking at MI?
  • I'm surprised that XPLAN doesn't have a task system/MI reporting up to the job. Might be worth getting your rep/support/whatevertheyarecalled there to have a chat and see about how the tools you already have could be made to work better. Have to say that I really like Harvest too.

    Chartered Financial Planner FPFS APP Chartered MCSI
    Head of Technical at EQ Investors

  • XPLAN do have the functionality but it isn’t very good and is quite clunky.

    We’re having other issues with XPLAN and looking to move back office systems in the not so distant future, so wanting to keep it seperate for now.

    What do you like most about harvest?
  • richallumrichallum Administrator

    @ParaP might be easier to talk through how we do this. DM your number and I'll call.

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.

  • JonaJona Member

    @ParaP We have similar issue with XPlan - its bobbins.

    We used Salesforce to build our own CRM if you are looking at alternatives....

  • I used XPlan in my previous role and this is the one aspect of it that I miss.

    One of the advisers was an IT wizard and set up a fantastic activity/task system whereby an activity was broken down into a number of sequential tasks with options to branch off in different directions or end the process where appropriate.

    MI could be generated on all the individual tasks that made up activities. For example, we had 6 categories of report (one of the branch decision-points mentioned above) on which, MI could individually be produced.

    It did take a fair bit of setting up but it was far and away the best system of task management and activity tracking that I have ever encountered.

    TL:DR XPlan can do a great job if you can (have the time to?) figure it out!

  • Plus one for Harvest, for tracking time though, not for workflow management.

    I've been using it since I started my business and the MI I have is superb. It will definitely meet your need to understand how long a case takes. It isn't free though. When I wanted time data for the whole team and the boss wouldn't give me a budget, I used togl, which did what I needed for free.

    Benjamin Fabi FPFS
    Chartered Financial Planner 
  • @amarshall did your previous employer have a single site of XPLAN? I understand having a single site means you can give it whatever functionality you need.
    For XPLAN to be great for us, we would need someone dedicated to building the functionality full time - like you said it's figuring it out. I have left our account manager a voicemail to give me a call back to see if this is something they could possible build for us.

    Thanks @benjaminfabi, I will look at togl too.

  • @ParaP I have no idea what a single site of XPlan means but as we were one office with only 9 users and the ability to do as you describe, we probably did!

    I disliked many, many things about XPlan but this particualr bit was fantastic. Enable doesn't get anywhere near :disappointed:

  • @amarshall Xplan offer multi-site and single site. There is more flexibility with a single site as you can add your own fields etc.

    What do you think of Enable? There are a couple of team members who have used it previously and say it's good.

  • @ParaP Enable is ok but it has a number of things that irritate me (easily done!). As mentioned above, I don't rate the activity/task system at all and time recording could not be any more hassle if they tried; its a truly appalling system!

    The client site is good and we use it a lot as a central backup for them of risk profile reports, suitability reports, illustrations, KIIDs, KFDs etc.

    When I have the time, I will build our report templates into Enable to automate those bits of the process that I reasonably can.

    I think from an admin & compliance view. Enable is pretty good.

  • Really liking Yipgo. Simple and great pricing.

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