Project Management
Experience with Roles/Goals
Audits of Roles/Goals
Software for Roles/Goals
Article Explaining Roles, Goals, Workflows, Cash Flows, and Controls


Any successful business has managerial and financial controls that help managers hold team members accountable for duties and results. Likewise, a financial and estate plan must have accountability controls to help insure that all advisers work within their roles. The controls must help reveal if advisers are accomplishing the outcomes for which they have accepted responsibility or acting in over-lapping or undisclosed roles.

The best controls are depicted graphically in reports shared with all planning team members and the clients. Ideally, the reports should summarize the potential outcomes of the recommendations of all advisers in year-by-year after-tax cash flow summaries that integrate the cash inflows and outflows from all planning strategies. Analysis of comprehensive cash flows is the best way to reveal irregular payments. Current, accurate, and fully integrated cash flow reports shine a bright and revealing light on all financial activities. We heed the wisdom of the sage who wrote that “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.”

Advisers should meet regularly to discuss the client reports and clarify what needs to be done so that the Blueprint will accurately reflect how the client can best achieve his or her goals. Each adviser on the planning team must provide prompt and complete feedback regarding the client reports so that all planning team members can work from the same foundational assumptions. Increasingly, all essential details about a case are available 24/7 using web-based systems that provide essential details and alert advisers of deviations from goals.

When all advisers use reliable web-based systems, adviser team members and clients can obtain a variety of timely reports. These “controls” help advisers monitor each others’ performance and address problems promptly.

The best adviser teams use web-based project management software to track “who will do what by when.” Following each meeting, the Wealth Counselor should update a Next Action Checklist to clarify due dates for all investment, insurance, legal, tax, or other next actions. This checklist should be web-enabled or it should be emailed to the client and the advisers to keep every adviser “on the same page.” If the client and all advisers review the checklist and forward suggested changes to the checklist to the Wealth Counselor or Case Manager, the checklist can be updated regularly and the client can see clear progress toward fulfillment of all goals. Here is an excerpt from a sample next action checklist:

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