When it comes to choosing a contract paraplanner, it is not simply a case of one size fits all.

In order to get the most out of any outsourced paraplanning relationship, it is essential that an adviser first understands the needs of the business, the likely volume of work and types of SOAs that will need to be written.

The different types of paraplanners

There are essentially three types of outsourced paraplanning services that an adviser can choose from:

  • Sole Trader
  • Offshore paraplanning team
  • Onshore paraplanning team

There are advantages and disadvantages of each outsourced arrangement mentioned above and the types of businesses that each service will suit best. This is how to choose the right paraplanner for your needs!

Sole Trader Paraplanner

The sole trader paraplanner is logically the first step in any contract paraplanner’s career.

This arrangement enables the paraplanner to dip their toe into the murky waters of contract paraplanning, with the flexibility to take on as little or as much work as they wish.

The advantages of finding a sole trader paraplanner is that this can often be the relationship with the highest level of touch as sole traders will generally engage only a handful of advisers and can therefore dedicate more time to each relationship.

The disadvantage of a sole trader is that unless they are able to secure just the right amount of work to satisfy their income needs, they are forced to seek more work and engage more advisers which often detracts from their greatest strength being their ability to dedicate more time to fewer advisers.

For an adviser, a sole trader contract paraplanner would best suit businesses that require a higher level of attention such as strategy or administrative support and one that has a very steady flow of work that can guarantee their paraplanner a certain number of SOAs per week/month.

If your business workflow is generally lumpy, a sole trader will probably not suit either party as, when times are quiet your paraplanner will seek opportunities elsewhere and when business is booming, your paraplanner is unlikely to be able to meet your workload.

Offshore Paraplanning Team

Engaging an offshore paraplanning team provides you with access to a greater workforce at a lower cost than could be found in Australia.

Generally speaking, offshore paraplanning teams provide the greatest benefit where your paraplanning needs, such as your SOAs, are consistent in nature by covering similar areas of advice, products etc.

There isn’t a real need to have a steady workflow, other than to meet the needs of the third party that is likely to arrange and manage your offshore team.

If your advice tends to range from the very simple to the very complex and everything in between, an offshore paraplanning arrangement is unlikely to be your best bet.

However, if your business operates in a specific market (e.g. insurance only) and you have software and processes that enable your SOAs to be produced efficiently, an offshore paraplanning team is likely to give you the best bang for your buck.

Onshore Paraplanning Team

An onshore paraplanning team arguably provides you with a greater level of flexibility and consistency than anything else.

With no requirement for a minimum volume of work or any constraints on the types of advice document you wish to write, this arrangement best serves businesses with a broader client base.

Whilst an onshore paraplanning team most likely won’t be able to give you the level of attention a sole trader will or be as cost effective as an offshore team, it will provide the greatest peace of mind knowing that the skilled, experienced workforce is there to tackle any task and that they will be able to deliver a consistent service in both quieter and busier times.

Contact One Degree Paraplanning to explore the best options for you

Overall, the type of paraplanning service that will be best suited to your financial planning business will be driven by the type of financial planning business you are.

Of course, there is no reason why you couldn’t engage a combination of all three services outlined above, however this can create its own set of challenges and more issues than it solves.

Whichever way you decide to go, it’s best to give it a crack for at least a month as it takes time for you to understand how your paraplanner works and for your paraplanner to understand how you work.

Whether you need assistance with ongoing paraplanning support or are in need of a one off large number of SOAs, One Degree has the resources required to meet your needs, regardless of the size of the outsourced task. Contact us today to find out how we can best help you!