MoneyGuide Pro, one of the leading financial planning software applications for financial advisors, has completed an integration with Integrated Advisory Software (IAS), an all-in-one system for CRM, Portfolio reporting, and financial planning.
What's interesting about the integration is that IAS is competitor of MoneyGuide Pro. "The two industry greats are providing advisors with a choice in planning software." according to an overly enthusiastic press release from IAS.
IAS was launched nine years ago and was hailed as "the future of financial planning" because it integrated the three core apps used by advisors into one system and a single database. It was what I called "The Silver Bullet." To date, IAS has fallen far short of its early promise and has not gained wide adoption. Advisors invariably like one part of the application--typically, portfolio reporting--but don't like its CRM or planning capabilities, which has hampered its popularity.
MoneyGuide Pro, meanwhile, has grown over the same period to be very popular and has about 10,000 users. The program is known for its easy to use interface and unique way of displaying whether a client's financial plan is well-funded.
The integration says a lot about the willingness of practice-management applications to integrate with each other and how much easier integration has become. Since both applications are web-based, one application must write a "call" on the other's database to pull in the data automatically. In this case, the feed runs two ways, with MGP passing financial planning data to IAS for display in IAS client portals, for example, and IAS passing portfolio data into MGP for use in MGP's financial planning calculations and client viewer.
The integration is a big win for IAS because it hopes to sell its CRM and portfolio reporting capabilities to MGP users. It may also be an indication that IAS's detailed, cash-flow system of financial planning is less popular with advisors than the simpler, goal-based interface in MGP.