Obsidian Financial launched in 2009 and since then has grown rapidly to become one of the leading independent financial advisory firms in the UK, specialising in Wealth Management and bespoke financial planning.
Based in Tamworth, the firm now manages more than £250 million for private clients and businesses across the country. Clive Saffer is a Director of the firm, having been an IFA for over 20 years.
Director of Obsidian, Clive Saffer, explains: ‘Every morning we receive commission statements showing hundreds of transactions and all this data must be married up to what our back-office system needs, but obviously it comes in lots of formats and often using different abbreviations.
When we tried to re-format and interpret this manually it was a long and laborious process, taking an administrator several hours.’
“We calculate that every month we have fee or commission payments representing up to 5,000 individual transactions from at least 20 different insurers and platforms… provider statements vary tremendously as some have only ten lines of data, whereas a wrap platform like Aviva may have two or three hundred lines.”
The Commission Express Service
“Now we just send it over to IFA Dataflow for input into Commission Express and ‘bang’ it’s literally done in seconds,” Director of Obsidian, Clive Saffer
Obsidian saves an incredible 40 hours a month, equivalent to almost six working days. In terms of cost, if an administrator was to do these tasks manually, most companies would need to pay between £1000-£1500 in salaries alone.
Eliminated Human Error
“The Commission Express service clearly represents a very efficient technology investment” Clive Saffer
Analysing provider commission statements, can provide similar benefits for policy valuations. Clive Saffer, “Having the ability to process valuations data is a really useful extension to the service and saves us lots of time”.
The Greatest Benefit
“The biggest benefit to us of using IFA Dataflow is the vast amount of time they enable us to save on a daily basis.”
“When we tried to re-format and interpret the commission statements manually it was a long and laborious process, taking an administrator several hours, but now we just send it over to IFA Dataflow for input into Commission Express and ‘bang’ it’s literally done in seconds,” Clive Saffer, Director, Obsidian.
IFA Dataflow Team
Most importantly, both the Commission Express valuation and commission reconciliation services have proved incredibly easy to use. One of Obsidian’s team, who now use the service daily described how she needed “less than ten minutes” training to become familiar with it – another great advantage, particularly for busy firms with limited resources.
What our clients say
“I would definitely recommend IFA Dataflow for firms doing a lot of manual data entry for commission statements. It’s a no-brainer. A few hundred pounds a month to have some statements scanned in versus the full-time salary of someone entering data and the human error that can result. It saves time, money and makes the process more accurate.”
Jennifer Gould, Group Financial Controller, Broadstone
“We’ve utilised IFA Dataflow for the past few years and they continue to provide us with a really efficient service. Being able to call on a service that converts PDF files to CSV with such speedy turnaround times is one thing, but when the CSV files are returned in an IO compatible template it’s even more resourceful.”
Tim Gale, Circadian
“The paper statements can be 10 pages long or more, and have 25 different items of income renewal, where the different items must be totalled separately, and then by the time you get to the end, it doesn’t balance, so it all has to be checked again. This is where IFA Dataflow is an absolute lifesaver.”
Joanne Morgan, IFA Outsourcing
“The people who work at IFA Dataflow are very efficient and helpful. If I need a statement returned urgently, I can always rely on them to process this as top priority and return it to me right away.”
Nadine Key, Thorntons Investments
“You know how when you find an amazing hotel or restaurant sometimes you don’t want to tell other people about it and you want to keep it secret? Well I hesitate to write this, but one of the secrets behind Policy Services Limited’s ability to deal with millions of legacy commission entries per year has been IFADataflow”.
David Ness, Policy Services
“IFA Dataflow has streamlined our commission and fee processing so much that we are now able to import data from a pdf file at the touch of a couple of buttons. The time saved in data input has allowed us to concentrate on other areas of the business.”
Emma Wilde, Marketing Manager, Ascot Lloyd
“As a long term customer of IFA Dataflow, we have always found their service to be fast and efficient. The files are returned promptly, without any fuss and there is always someone on hand to help whenever required. They can be relied upon to help support the high standard of service we offer to our clients”.