Xplan Top Tips: how to get more from your software

The options for configuring Xplan are almost endless. They need to be, because no two wealth management businesses are quite the same. But users are often unaware of quite how much they can do to get the software working not just for their business but for their individual roles too.

If you’re keen to make sure you’re not missing a trick when it comes to Xplan, read on to hear our expert team’s top tips and best-kept secrets.

Dragging ‘n’ dropping onto document notes

“The first time someone showed me that you can ‘drag and drop’ attachments onto document notes rather than clicking ‘browse’ and uploading documents the long way, I got really excited.

Then I discovered it also works when dragging emails over from your Outlook inbox. It blew my mind! What a massive time saver, especially if you don’t have the Outlook plug-in.”

Sally, CEO

Handy Xplan menu shortcuts

“Did you know, you can just hit the / or \ key to pop out the side menus? It’s a small thing but years of working with Excel means I love to reduce mouse clicks whenever I can! Hitting / and then typing in the client name is such a nice way to search.

I also like the search shortcut codes. I learned about these when working with a business that used postcodes as a way to identify clients when they called in. The same business also received emails into a generic inbox but of course clients don’t typically add account identifiers when emailing. Here, being able to search Xplan by email address is very handy too.”

Depesh, COO

3 top Xplan timesavers from our training expert

Take a moment to set your preferences. It’s quick to do and a real time-saver.

As examples, you can:

  • Set document notes to view ‘both’ so you can see client and partner notes
  • Set task preferences such as column headers and date ranges. It makes a big difference when the default ‘2 week window’ is changed to ‘view all incomplete tasks’. It’ll save you three clicks every time you’re on the tasks screen in a client record
  • If you’re an adviser, make sure your client focus search filter is set to just your own clients rather than defaulting to all clients

Use the ‘view all comments’ button that appears on any task in a thread.

It’s especially handy when multiple people are working on a case – for instance the adviser, paraplanner, administrators and compliance. Anyone can add a comment to a task and then everyone can see exactly what’s happened without having to sift through document notes or emails.

Don’t overlook how you can pop out client contact details without having to dig in their client record.

There are two ways to do this:

  • The ‘view summary’ option in the pop-out menu on the right-hand side when you search for a client
  • The ‘contact card’ on the client hub. People often think client addresses aren’t on the client hub when they are – you just have to click on the little card to see them.”

Leanne, Head of Learning & Development

Left those filters on again?

“When you can’t find what you’re looking for – prospects, archived clients, deceased clients etc – take a moment to check your filters. You’ll usually find you’ve left an option unticked. Avoid the frustration and the duplicate record by checking your filters before you search.

And did you know you can even set your own default filters in your preference settings?”

Lyndsey, Consultant

Bulk uploads into Xplan

Then, all you have to do is clear the data from the spreadsheet (leaving the headers on there), add your actual data and your upload is good to go!”

Meatab, Consultant

Try a mouse wheel instead of scrolling

“With a long list – like portfolio transactions – the scroll bars are at the very bottom of the window which is sometimes off screen. Don’t struggle on. Instead, hold down your mouse wheel and move the mouse left and right to pan across columns and view all data points for a row without needing to find the scroll bar.”

Stu A, Consultant

Underused Xplan features and even more timesavers

“I love how you can star a frequently used page so it sits in your quick links. So simple, and such a time saver.

I really like the shortcuts available from the client menu, which a lot of people don’t know about. Simply search for a client and, instead of clicking on the client name, click the little arrow to see all the client menu sections. You can then bypass the main entity landing page and go straight to the page you need.

I also love that you can add signatures, job titles and contact details under user records that can then be coded to pull out onto letters. It’s a surprisingly underused feature!

The News page is a handy place to add user guides. You just click into it and the guide opens in the next tab in your web browser. This means you don’t need to navigate too far from Xplan to follow a process. Someone does need to maintain the guides so if you prefer to have all your user guides saved in the cloud (e.g. a Sharepoint site), then just add that Sharepoint site to your quick links.

I also love the ‘view all tasks in thread’ on the Comments tab in a task, so users can see all the comments history.”

Julia, Client Services Manager

Get using the Xword plugin

“My top tip would be the Xmerge plugin for Microsoft Word. It’s really useful for creating templates because it allows you to search and add fields so you don’t mistype. You can also add basic functions, such as an ‘IF’ function. And you can link it up to either your test or live site and run test reports before adding the template to your site.

Use a test site?  Here’s another tip for you. Make the top banner of the site a slightly different colour so it’s easy to spot if you’re in live or not. I have tried to search for clients in our test site and panicked too many times!”

Abbie, Consultant

Third-party valuation troubleshooting tips

“Here are two common queries and how to solve them:

Problem 1: valuations aren’t updating in Xplan even though you’re pretty sure you’ve done everything correctly.

Let’s say the adviser mapping has been added in the Xplan adviser mapping area (for instance, Aviva wrap, which is a bulk valuation firm-level feed). Adviser mapping is refreshed and working fine but the feed doesn’t seem to auto-update the accounts the next day.

Solution: you didn’t activate the feed in Xplan. All you need to do is go to System Datafeeds > Platform Summary and then click ‘Activate’.

Problem 2: pricing queries

Let’s say a provider – for instance, Transact – is activated and working fine. Users will sometimes see unlisted securities (specifically non-cash securities with an exchange code ending in .UNL). In this scenario, the prices of unlisted securities are updated by the Transact data feed, not Iress Market Data.

Solution: if the price is incorrect, you might think it’s a market data query, leading you to raise a ticket with Iress. But it’s actually a data feed query so whoever looks after the data feeds in your business needs to query it directly with the provider (in this case, Transact).

Deepak, Consultant

Quick and convenient entity searching

“For my first few years of using Xplan, I didn’t know you could search via Entity ID in the client search box. I’d always put it in the URL in my web browser bar! I’m probably the only person that didn’t know that but I thought it was pretty cool!”

Jack, Consultant

Disclaimer: Our team was surprised by this revelation! We thought most people would know that you can search by Entity ID in the search box but wouldn’t be aware of the URL trick. This is very handy if you’re viewing the same screen for a list of clients, for example while you’re reviewing dates or salutations. Once you’re on the page you want for one client, just edit the Entity ID in the URL and you’ll get the same screen for another client.

Controversial perhaps… but bung everything into a notes field!

“With any CRM and workflow management system – including Xplan – you need to find the balance between accurately completed data fields (which can drive so many efficiencies when searching, monitoring or automating activity) and free-text notes (which are generally considered quicker and easier for the user when making the note).

Ahead of any data migration to Xplan, the ideal is to cleanse the data but it’s not always feasible to get it all done in time. We take the view that “no data is better than bad data” when dealing with fields designed for specific data. So what do you do with legacy data that’s in a mess? I think dumping it into a document note is a great way to keep hold of it for future reference. You won’t lose it but you won’t mess up your new site before you’ve even started using it!”

Stu T, Consultant

Make use of the Iress Community

“I think one of the best kept Xplan secrets is the Xplan Field Revealer. It’s not an official Iress product. It’s a labour of love by one of Iress’s top engineers. They authorised Iress to show it to clients in a webinar, which is available in Iress Community but it’s not widely known about.  

We checked with Iress and they’re happy for us to share it with you too so take a look HERE and see what you think.

My single biggest piece of advice for anyone involved with site administration or process change is to sign up to the Iress Community. There’s LOADS of helpful information there.

Our team at Evotra will pass any important updates on to our clients but we encourage all site administrators to visit Iress Community regularly and sign up for updates. It’s a hugely valuable resource.”

Caroline, Consultant

Get more from Xplan with rEsolve from Evotra

Through our rEsolve service, we have a team of Xplan specialists available to provide all the support you need in the way that works best for you:

  • Regular training
  • Specialist support for your in-house site administrator
  • Fully comprehensive outsourcing where we manage all your Xplan-related activities leaving you to get on with running your business
  • A range of packages to suit all budgets

Need advice on which areas to prioritise? We’re here to help. Know what you need already? Just tell us and we’ll get on to it.

Give us a call on 020 3410 1966 or email hello@evotra.co.uk