ARLINGTON, Va. and JERSEY CITY, N.J., June 10 -- BNA Software®, an operating division of BNA, and Financial Guidance(TM), a division of Scivantage, Inc., today jointly announced the release and general availability of a new product, BNA Wealth Manager(TM). Designed for use by certified public accounting firms, BNA Wealth Manager, powered by Scivantage, employs the technology developed by Financial Guidance for its highly successful Methuselah® financial planning software solution.
"Accountants are currently using applications ranging from Excel to tools that can handle only a small portion of wealth management, not the entire spectrum of topics," said Dean Sonderegger, BNA Software product director. "Further, many of these tools aren't really meant for use by accountants. Most were built for the banking or insurance industry, and don't take into consideration the way in which accountants do business. To us, this makes wealth management an emerging market. In BNA Wealth Manager, we're offering CPA practices a tool that can help them turn tax-time clients into lifetime clients.
"Our value proposition is simple. BNA Software is nationally recognized for delivering applications that enable accountants to quickly and efficiently provide accurate guidance to their clients about complex subject matter."
Michael Forbes, senior vice president and general manager, Financial Guidance, agrees that this partnership is the right fit for both companies. "Our primary focus has been on the financial planning and wealth management space through brokerages, and independent and enterprise financial advisors. BNA has a rich history of selling into the CPA market, with deep penetration into that space. Together, we are well-positioned to offer CPAs the most comprehensive wealth management solution to better service their clients and grow their practices."
BNA has conducted extensive market research into the potential for CPAs to purchase a dedicated wealth management tool. The key is to enable them to provide comprehensive services in eight specific areas:
o Retirement Planning
o Multiple-Level Education Planning
o Long-Term Care Planning
o Gift Planning
o Insurance and Disability Needs Analysis
o Advanced IRA Distribution Planning
o Trust Planning
o Estate Planning
"We found that roughly 60 percent of accountants offer some level of wealth management services," Sonderegger said. That same research revealed their satisfaction with the available solutions is low.
"Our partnership with Scivantage allows us to leverage a proven wealth management product with our expertise in serving accounting firms, thereby enabling them to compete in the rapidly growing CPA wealth management market. BNA Wealth Manager complements the intense analysis that can be done using the BNA Income Tax Planner(TM) and BNA Estate & Gift Tax Planner(TM) products to fulfill the need for a complete suite of cost-effective planning tools practitioners can use to better serve their clients."
Three product differentiators in particular present new users of BNA Wealth Manager with distinct benefits. The software is highly interactive, providing users with instantaneous feedback as they create their client cases. There are robust charts and graphs that build automatically to show the impact various decisions a client could make, or did make, have on their overall plan. It also provides both a comprehensive and a modular approach to planning. An accountant can enter as much data as they want to obtain a top-to-bottom analysis, or scale that data to focus on one particular topic of interest.
For example, a client sets a goal to fund their child's college education, but then has a shortfall according to their current rate of savings. The accountant enters additional data to change the plan, and BNA Wealth Manager then builds easy to understand graphics so the client can immediately see the impact of those changes. Users can actually design a wealth management plan in real time with no need for practitioners to construct any graphics themselves.
The software's scalability is the third major differentiator. Very few applications have the capability to provide effective wealth management planning for high net worth clients. However, using the functionality Financial Guidance originally developed for its Methuselah product, BNA Wealth Manager enables practitioners to meet these complex challenges in a format expressly designed for the way accountants provide their services.
BNA Wealth Manager installs automatically, and there are no special system requirements other than an Internet connection. The training cycle is also simple and fast.
"The average CPA can begin doing simple analyses within 15 minutes right out-of-the-box," Sonderegger noted. "We estimate an accountant familiar with wealth management can become proficient in just two to three hours using the comprehensive overview that serves as a self-training course."
A unique feature, "Instant Client," can be of benefit for training, as well as a valuable tool for experienced users. According to Michael Forbes, "This feature guides the CPA through entering data for a new client. As they go through the various modules, for instance retirement plans, education plans, or an IRA distribution, it becomes self-explanatory as to what data the system needs. This is much more efficient than sourcing a client's file for information, and then trying to determine what types of accounts fit into what timeframes for them to accomplish their goals."
BNA Wealth Manager is available for a 30-day, risk-free trial. The trial includes free access to the BNA Software technical support team. Accountants interested in this trial should visit www.bnasoftware.com/lifetimeclients, or call 1-800-424-2938 and select option three for further information.
Leading financial institutions depend on Scivantage for essential front- and middle-office applications that deliver transaction-critical data, automate key business processes and drive operational efficiencies. Scivantage's proven, back-office independent brokerage solutions offer a powerful suite of applications that span the workflow of financial professionals and support the complex investment needs of the retail investor. From online trading and event notification management to automated account opening, maintenance and funding, Scivantage enables financial institutions and financial professionals to dramatically reduce operational costs, strengthen customer relationships and improve productivity.
Through the Financial Guidance Division, Scivantage offers a full range of planning and wealth management solutions for financial advisors, insurance professionals and centralized planning departments. For more information, please visit www.scivantage.com or contact us at +1.866.724.8268.
BNA Software is an operating division of specialized news and information publisher BNA, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. BNA has been America's premier news and analysis publisher of legal and regulatory issues for over 75 years. The company's clients include all of the Fortune 100 and all of the top 50 accounting firms. Founded in 1983, BNA Software develops expert solutions for tax and accounting professionals. With category-standard software and top rated technical support, BNA Software is the solution of choice for professional firms and corporations of every size. More than 35,000 customers, including the IRS, depend upon BNA Software for the highest degree of tax, regulatory, and compliance expertise available in the market. Visit www.bnasoftware.com for more information.
Source: BNA Software
Contact for BNA;
Dave Hagen of Vice President,
Marketing of Scivantage, Inc.,
Web Site: www.bnasoftware.com/