Financial advisors automate opinions

A national accounting and corporate advisory firm uses the Rulestar platform to automate its business reviews and lending opinions.

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About the Enterprise

This leading mid-tier accounting and corporate advisory firm has 92 partners and 740 staff in offices across all capital cities and major regional centres in Australia. One of their major revenue-generating activities is the provision of financial advice, commonly in the form of a “business review” or “pre-lending review”. Such opinions are often requested by banks and other lenders prior to granting business loans. Management at the firm sought to explore whether customized financial advice of that kind can be automated.

This is an indicative case study that illustrates what can be achieved by using Rulestar for automation.

The Challenge

The automation of financial advice is particularly challenging because the financial history, position and prospects of each business are so variable. Although the firm did have a template for their business and pre-lending reviews, it was incomplete and loaded with square brackets and drafting notes. For these reasons, their staff typically typed out each report manually, copying and pasting to cobble together bits and pieces from previous reviews done for other clients. This was an inefficient process, unsystematized and prone to errors.

Management was additionally skeptical that a document automation system could be used to automate advice that depends upon often complex numerical calculations. Much of the advice requires analyzing financial data to make calculations such as accounting ratios (eg, Current Ratio, Operating Margin, Debt Ratio, Growth Rates, etc). The solution would require the integration of financial calculations with document automation.

The Solution

Rulestar’s powerful calculation engine provided the solution needed for combining often complex financial calculations with automated advice. Hidden number fields were added to perform calculations in the background based on the user’s inputs. Optional content in the template document was then tagged and easily linked to the results of those hidden calculations.

In addition to automating the quantitative analysis, Rulestar’s flexible logic engine enabled the firm to automate the qualitative analysis. Checkbox fields were added to let users choose any desired combinations of descriptive statements. By applying logic to those options based on the quantitative analysis, the firm was able to ensure that only relevant commentary was available to be selected. You can learn more about logic on options in our Knowledge Base.

The Result

By using Rulestar, the firm was able to turn a complex, haphazard and error-prone task into a simple, streamlined process. The production of these valuable deliverables can now be delegated to more junior staff, with less supervision and review required from senior managers. This has boosted profit margins for the firm.

The automation not only assists with document compilation but also ensures that every calculation is performed every time, rather than relying upon humans who often overlook aspects of the analysis, especially when working in a rush or under pressure. The result is a reduction in risk exposure for the firm, even as returns have increased.

If you can think it, you can build it with Rulestar.

Logic should never be a limitation. With Rulestar, you can capture all of the knowledge and reasoning of subject-matter experts into an automated system.

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