The mobile device trend in financial services is not confined just to CRMs or form-filling software. There are also transcribers. These are useful to advisors. Studies have shown that when you finish a meeting with a client, you could forget almost 25% of the details of the meeting if you can’t jot your notes down within an hour or so. If the notes include tasks to perform, there could be delays or, even worse, errors.

One company, Copytalk (, offers a smartphone application that permits its users to capture details, task assignments, notes, etc. The user has the choice of getting the transcribed notes sent to a specific e-mail address or having those notes deposited directly into CRM software. For the busy professional who may be jumping from one meeting to another, this is an efficient, quick and accurate way to capture notes, thoughts, drafts of e-mails and tasks. The cost of Copytalk is $79.95 per month (as of this writing).

Compare this with the cost of having a staff member type in the same information. Most people can type at 40 to 50 words a minute. But a person can dictate the same information at a spoken rate of 200 to 250 words a minute. Using a dictation service can allow an advisory firm to save thousands of dollars over the course of a year and increase its efficiency, productivity and capacity for clients without necessarily spending more. Such software frees the owner of a firm to focus on higher level tasks. Put simply, it is better time and resource management.

Still, when advisors choose mobile solutions, they also have to look at data security. Hardly a week goes by that we do not hear about a breach of security. Hackers from all over the world are intruding in cloud-based data. In the financial services profession, there are a number of standards for data security, such as the rules set by Finra, the SEC and even the FDIC. At the very least, a cloud product should have 256-bit encryption with intrusion detection systems and U.S.-based servers that are constantly monitored. Then, with multiple password authentications, you can be reasonably assured that your data is safe.

It is common sense to inquire about the security of a particular software vendor. With mobile solutions, it is even more important to have high levels of security. Not all vendors provide the same security protocols. Cisco’s annual security report ( claimed in January that 99% of all malware in 2013 targeted Android devices. The phones were targeted for internal data often protected only by four-digit pass codes. Cloud software accessed by the same phone, however, is highly secure if it meets or exceeds federal encryption standards. The newer smartphone operating systems are addressing this security concern as well, and as more software companies offer mobile solutions, the issue of security is likely to be at the top of their agenda. 

David L. Lawrence is founder and president of, a consulting firm that provides financial practices, broker-dealers and independent firms with comprehensive, profit-driven efficiency consulting and resources. He is also the author of The Efficient Practice: Transform and Optimize Your Financial Practice for Greater Profits and Success, available at and other book retailers.

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