Adviser Product Partnerships

Schwab partners with Envestnet for cloud-based billing solution; AICPA and CIMA launch ESG fundamentals program for accountants; ShareBuilder 401k Waives Plan Setup Costs in December for Small Businesses; and more.

Schwab Advisers Gain Access to Envestnet’s Cloud-Based Billing System

Independent Schwab financial advisers now have access to Envestnet’s cloud-based billing solution called Redi2 BillFinsolution.

Advisers that are part of Schwab Advisor Solutions can now use Envestnet’s billing solution for capabilities including flexible billing setup, standardized templates and reminders and alerts, the companies said.

“Our enhanced integration with BillFin further demonstrates the depth and breadth of our third-party technology capabilities, enabling advisers to choose and combine technology that best meets their needs,” Kartik Srinivasan, head of third-party integrations at Schwab Digital Advisor Solutions, said in a press release.

The BillFin system is currently used by more than 670 advisory firms and is designed to help in areas including operational efficiencies, identifying and plugging fee leaks and simplifying user experience and workflow to minimize errors and shorten billing cycles.

AICPA and CIMA Launch ESG Fundamentals Certificate for Accountants

AICPA and CIMA, which together run the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants, are offering a new certificate focused on environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting and assurance. The associations said the growing demand for ESG data from investors, lenders, customers and policymakers makes ESG a high-priority category for accountants.

The Fundamentals of ESG Certificate is geared toward CPAs, management accountants such as CGMAs and finance professionals looking to obtain baseline knowledge of ESG topics. The course takes nine hours and graduates will get a digital badge they can display on their online profiles, the associations said.

“Business reporting and the underlying concepts of enterprise value are evolving rapidly, and no group is more essential to instilling trust and integrity into that process than accountants,” Susan S. Coffey, CIMA’s CEO of public accounting, said in a press release.

The program will include:

  • Identifying the key aspects in each area of environmental, social and governance
  • Recognizing the expectations of investors and the impact on business
  • Assessing the responsibility of businesses for key ESG issues
  • Recognizing the business case for implementing sustainable practices
  • Identifying the role of the accounting and auditing profession in sustainability
  • Recognizing the current sustainability reporting frameworks and reporting requirements

ShareBuilder 401k Waives Plan Setup Costs in December for Small Businesses

Digital retirement plan provider ShareBuilder 401k is waiving 401(k) plan setup pricing for all new clients during December.

Sharebuilder said that from December 1 through December 22, companies with more than one employee can save up to $995 in setup costs by starting a small business 401(k) plan, and self-employed business owners can start a solo 401(k) plan without paying the standard setup charge of $150.

“Running a small business can be especially challenging during this period of economic uncertainty,” Stuart Robertson, CEO of ShareBuilder 401k, said in a press release. “We want to help entrepreneurs keep more of their hard-earned money by making it easier for them to start a 401(k) and receive all the benefits.”

BMO and United Way Partner on Free Financial Literacy eBook

BMO has partnered with United Way Worldwide to offer a free financial literacy eBook aiming to help bridge the financial literacy gap among Americans. The digital resource addresses financial topics with tips to help people make real financial progress, including budgeting, debt and credit management, digital banking, homeownership, loans and retirement planning, the organizations said.

For the last two years, BMO and United Way have collaborated to identify ways to enhance communication with consumers and ensure financial information and guidance is provided in an easy-to-digest format. Included in the partnership was a joint survey that found an overwhelming number of United Way clients were interested in additional financial literacy help.

A recent BMO Real Financial Progress Index survey found that financial confidence is declining, with only 39% of Americans stating they feel more financially secure than they were a year ago—down 11 points since last year. Meanwhile, 54% of Americans said they are making financial progress—down 8 points from last year—and 25% do not track financial progress at all.

UBS Partners with Addepar and Mirador on Wealth Analysis for Ultra-High-Net-Worth Investors

UBS launched a wealth analysis and reporting platform for ultra-high-net-worth investors in partnership with software and technology providers Addepar and Mirador. The platform provides a consolidated, real-time view of a portfolio across assets and liabilities, including traditional, non-traditional and illiquid assets, the firms said.

UBS financial advisers will have access to the platform’s analytics, which are designed to help them visualize their clients’ investment performance, cash flows and worth, while assessing the opportunities and risks across their portfolios.

Addepar’s data, analysis and reporting capabilities will also help UBS advisers consolidate clients’ performance calculations presented in a graphic interface to unlock additional insights on returns and investment trends. As part of the Addepar system, Mirador’s financial data technology experts will support UBS advisers with data management, custom visualization and tailored reporting, as well as operations and system maintenance.

Ameriprise Financial Partners with Dalton Education on Certified Military Financial Adviser Certification

Ameriprise Financial has partnered with Dalton Education to create a first-to-market Certified Military Financial Advisor™(CMFA) certification, the companies said.

The certification is earned through a mix of training and learning development modules typically completed over the course of 40-50 hours. The program is designed to teach a deep understanding of the unique life circumstances and the benefits available to veterans, active duty military, reserve and National Guard members and their families.

CMFA certification is available exclusively to Ameriprise advisers through June 2024. After that, the certification will be available to all qualifying advisers in the industry. The program will be run with Dalton Education, an education solutions provider for financial services professionals.

Wolters Kluwer Launches Plan Design Summary Tool on

Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory U.S. announced a new plan design summary  tool available on its site, the information and software solutions company said in a press release. The new tool enables retirement service plan providers to track plan installation processes and deliver recommendations to plan sponsors during installation via ftwPortal Pro, a portal that provides users with secure, two-way access to plan documents, forms and other data.

The plan design tool was designed to streamline retirement plan installations and save users time, the company said. The tool features a detailed tracking log designed to help management stay informed during various steps of the plan installation process.

The tool’s global and plan-level dashboards will enable customers to view all plans and relevant data points. Users will also be able to create unlimited plan design templates based on their service model and available plan designs.

“Having developed this tool based on customer feedback, the Plan Design Summary is designed to simplify the complex installation process, which involves many parties and several stages,” Holly Roussel-Godfrey, senior technology project and program manager for Wolters Kluwer’s, said in a press release.