How advisers use technology in their firms has been revealed through new data collected by Iress.

Fifty firms were surveyed by the technology provider, 23 per cent of which had 10 or more advice firm staff using their back office system.

The research found that more than half (52 per cent) of those surveyed do not hold all client details in their back office system, which has a GDPR impact.

Iress executive general manager for wealth Mark Loosmore says there are GDPR risks with data held in potentially less secure places, for example, paper files or cloud-based storage through office laptops.

Loosmore says: “Advisers are using external storage solutions due to a number of factors. For some, there’s an associated cost of storage in the back office or nervousness of committing to a single solution; also some back office solutions make saving data challenging. For others, it’s simply habit.”

The survey also found that 92 per cent of firms do not have integrated planning tools, which can save advisers time on re-entering information. An almost equally high proportion, 82 per cent, say they use provider extranets for quotations.

Loosmore says: “This is not an efficient use of time. It’s yet another set of rekeying, another log on and data process. It disrupts the audit trail of the advice journey.”

According to the research, 46 per cent use their practice management system to manage their compliance.

Loosmore says: “Almost all respondents identified they managed compliance around rather than through their back office. This has a number of implications:  gathering compliance data is costly and time consuming, with a high potential of making mistakes as a result.”

He adds 56 per cent of those surveyed say they can’t reliably produce Gabriel reports from data held in the back office or automatically through it.

A third of those surveyed say their back office does not let them segment clients.