Our latest update AdviserGo arrives late February with a raft of new functionality, all in a continued effort to bring the best of Voyant Adviser over to AdviserGo and wherever possible, to redesign and streamline the features you've come to know and rely on in our original software.
As we migrate functionality from Voyant Adviser into AdviserGo, one major goal is to improve any longstanding features that could stand a redesign. In this release, Debts have been a focus of review.
We've changed the way debt payments are managed and also how future changes to payments are stepped in Voyant Adviser and as a newly added feature in AdviserGo.
Debts - Manage debt payments and schedule future changes (steps) in payments in Adviser and AdviserGo
Before - Over the years we’ve spent ample time training users of Voyant Adviser to look to the Expenses > Basics screen to manage linked debt payments.
To increase or decrease future payments on a debt, you would need to know to go the Expenses > Basics screen, find the debt payment expense, and then use the Step Up / Down feature to schedule these future changes to the payment schedule.
Rarely did anyone ever guess that debt payments were managed separately from the debts themselves. This was an aspect of the software one had to learn. Those who looked intuitively to the Debts screen to schedule future changes in debts payments would find only the option to make future changes to the interest rate on the debt.
Below, a mortgage entered on the Debts screen. The mortgage payment is shown as a linked item in he ledger.
Below, the linked debt payment on the Expense > Basics screen. It is here that one could step up or down future debt payments.
Now - Everything related to debts will be managed on the Debts screens.
This includes debt payments, which will no longer be shown as separate linked expenses on the Expenses > Basics screen.
As before, debt payments will be created based on entries on the Debts screen, as shown below.
The monthly or yearly amount shown on the screen will result in a debt payment expense, which can be tracked among other expenditures in the annual chart details (as show below) for the duration of the debt in the plan. This hasn’t changed.
Only now debt payments will work more like the expenses we create for protection policy premiums or the future purchase of a property or an onshore/offshore life fund. The expense is created but will not appear on the Basic Expenses screen. Debt payments will instead be managed more intuitively in one place, on the Debts screen, along with all the other details regarding debts. Any future increases or decreases (steps) in debt payments will now be scheduled on Steps tab of the Debts screen.
Note - If you scheduled steps to linked debt payments in the past, you will now find these on the Steps tab of the Debts screen.
For Further Reading
Recent Clients - View a list of the client cases you've most recently accessed in AdviserGo
A new “Recent Clients” tab has been added to the Home screen in AdviserGo to make it easier to find the client cases you access most frequently.
The software will track client cases as you open them in a given browser (e.g. Edge, Safari or Chrome) on a given computer. The Recent Clients tab will be shown only after you have opened at least one client case in AdviserGo on the computer. Once tracking begins, this tab will show up to the latest twenty client cases you’ve accessed.
Further details about this feature, for the more technically minded, can be found here.
Link incomes, expenses, and debts (mortgages) to properties in AdviserGo
AdviserGo now has options for entering and linking incomes, expenses, and debts to properties. You will find three corresponding tabs in the left navigation when viewing or entering a property in AdviserGo.
Linking debts, expenses, and incomes to properties is a great convenience. Why? If the property is ever scheduled to be sold, the software will know to end any linked incomes or expenses and to pay off with the proceeds from the sale the balance due on any outstanding debts secured by the property. This happens automatically, no matter when the sale is scheduled, provided these items are linked to the property. This is less to think about when presenting and having a play with scenarios such as downsizing or “rightsizing” a home. Without linking, the software would have no way of knowing that these items are related to the property.
When you go to link an item to a property you will be given the option to create a new expense, income or debt on the fly and to then link it to the property, as shown highlighted below.
If there is already a debt, an expense, or an “other” income in the plan, you will also have the option to link these items to the property.
This “Link to an Existing...” option, shown highlighted below, will only be displayed if items are available in the plan for linking.
Once a property has items linked to it, a link icon will appear next to the name of the property when it is viewed on the Dashboard. This icon indicates that the property has linked dependencies in the plan.
When you view details about the property, a blue banner at the top of the screen will indicate that it has linked items in the plan, as shown below.
To view these linked items, click Show Details.
The items shown are links, which when clicked allow you to jump to the linked items in the plan. If you were to click the linked “Home Mortgage”, shown below…
…the linked mortgage would display for further review and editing, as shown below.
Read on for further details.
Pensions, Money Purchases - Schedule the future crystallisation of money purchases in AdviserGo (UK)
Now that recurring or even one-off incomes from money purchases can be scheduled easily on the Planned Withdrawals screen, we encourage you to use the original Crystallisation panel primarily to schedule broader crystallisation strategies -- the most common being to crystallise the entire pension and take the tax-free cash. Otherwise, the new Planned Withdrawals screen is better suited for scheduling incomes from money purchases, since pensions can be crystallised in a given order, in tandem, and UFPLS and FAD income options are available.
Also, if no crystallisation instructions are added, the software will continue to assume withdrawals will be taken as needed from the money purchase, a setting which is controlled under Withdrawal Limits.
Below is our original panel, which most readers will be familiar with from our UK release of Voyant Adviser. This panel will remain unchanged in Voyant Adviser.
In our UK release of AdviserGo, Crystallisations is new tab for Money Purchases.
This screen will usually be disabled (greyed out) when you first come to it unless a set of crystallisation instructions had been added to the case previously through Voyant Adviser and the “Apply Crystallisation Instructions” checkbox was ticked.
To schedule a crystallisation in AdviserGo:
1. Go to the Dashboard screen and open the money purchase or as you are entering a new money purchase, click the Crystallisations tab in the left navigation.
2. Toggle on “Apply Crystallisation Instructions” at the top of the screen. This is the equivalent of ticking the “Apply Crystallisation Instructions” check box in Adviser.
3. Click Add Crystallisation.
Crystallisations can be scheduled based on a percentage of the account or in a fixed amount, with or without inflation. These are the same options found in Voyant Adviser.
The same Tax-Free Cash (PCLS) options available today in Adviser are available in AdviserGo.
The main difference between the handling of crystallisations in Adviser and AdviserGo is the exclusion of the Frequency options from AdviserGo.
Recurring crystallisations are no longer needed since these can be scheduled easily and with more options on the Planned Withdrawals screen.
The only option that could be missed is the concept of Phased Crystallisations whereby the software evenly divides the balance of the pension over a given number of years. This will remain available in Adviser, but we are not including it in AdviserGo in order to make the screen more streamlined, less complicated.