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Benefits of a risk & compliance operating system for an advisory firm

Anthony Stevens |

January 26, 2021
Benefits of a risk & compliance operating system for an advisory firm


Service delivery efficiency, client retention, revenue growth opportunities and client benchmarking – these are the four benefits for your staff and clients associated with implementing a GRC platform for your firm.  

Deciding to embark on this for your firm is perhaps not as big a deal as you first thought.

The concept should be familiar to all those in the accounting industry where we've seen accounting software shift to the cloud, and in doing so, become re-designed to be used by both businesses and their accountants - a platform connecting the value chain end-to-end.


Leading SaaS players like XeroIntuit and MYOB are now all designed this way. They drive efficiency in the interaction between advisor and client and ensure that both parties have access to the same data and innovation in a streamlined and cohesive manner.


In this article, I will unpack the benefits you can expect to achieve and what is at stake in implementing a modern GRC platform for your advisors and clients.


Service delivery efficiency

As they say, "...always sharpen the saw". Revenue growth is important but so is to continuously improve service delivery efficiency and improve margins. Outsourcing aspects of delivery to low-cost delivery centres around the world has been popular in the past. However, these strategies have typically yielded lower returns as they take a long time to set up and optimise, and more importantly, clients expect (nay, demand) that technology be integrated into service delivery models rather than just manual toil.


And so, as we enter this new decade, the solution is a software platform for your staff and clients that provides: 

  1. Streamlined access for your advisors to your clients' accounts (of course at their discretion) to help ensure things are running smoothly and provide outstanding service 

  2. All the functionality available at their disposal to better provide services related to risk and compliance 

  3. Embedded artificial intelligence to automate time-consuming manual tasks

  4. All the content and related updates they need including standards, laws, regulations, assessment templates, frameworks and control sets

  5. A way to share intellectual property (templates, control mappings etc.) exclusively with clients that is fully integrated with the functionality they need

  6. A system that is really easy to use making for happy staff and clients!


Ultimately, the benefits associated with killing spreadsheets alone are overwhelming in delivering obvious efficiency and staff satisfaction benefits. Also, because we believe in a system where content and functionality are integrated, this speeds up time-to-value, intellectual property re-use and is proven to improve productivity.


Our research and testimonials from current partners indicate benefits of up to 20% in margins using 6clicks.


Client retention and loyalty

Despite the many challenges in running a services business, it is no surprise that client retention is of greatest concern for most leaders. Without any explicit retention strategy, high levels of client churn can be inevitable given low (or no) barriers to switching providers.

Compounding this, is the fact that with staff attrition rates of around 20%, staff that leave your firm then become a magnet for clients on the fence that are open to an alternative. 


Like with frequent flyer miles in the airline industry, there is a solution to help address client loyalty and provide a degree of stickiness to help prevent churn - technology.

With a software platform in place used by you and your clients, your brand remains front-and-centre. Not just throughout the assessment engagement, but also as part of your clients' ongoing operations.

Your advisors are also more effectively embedded into your clients' operations providing them with opportunities to get closer to the challenges and opportunities they face every day.


New revenue opportunities

There has historically been a concern that software can result in the erosion of professional services revenue. However, in most cases, more opportunity results from innovation - a well-publicised and researched fact.


Here are some examples of how using a GRC platform like 6clicks provides increased top-line growth opportunities including:

  • Using anonymous and aggregate analytics as well as benchmarks from client engagements provides better insights for your client
  • Benefit from resale or referral fee advantages with client licensing of a platform like 6clicks - there is nothing better than annuity revenue to help smooth out the lumpy nature of services-based revenue

  • Use 6clicks to underpin new managed services offerings that would be inefficient to deliver manually

  • Quickly and more effectively identify opportunities to cross-sell and up-sell services to your clients based directly on their GRC needs


Client benchmarking and analytics

There is nothing better than to present a benchmark to your clients to engage them with insights as to how they are performing relative to their peers. These insights typically drive action, as no-one wants to be in the bottom left quadrant. Producing these sorts of client insights is typically left to the marketing department and the result is a 'client listening' exercise which is largely qualitative and commentary based. This can be useful, but is not ideal.


What's better, is data you can pull together on an aggregate and anonymous basis across your client portfolio to help your clients focus on the areas that matter most. And combined with your internal CRM or other customer information, a platform like 6clicks will be able to supercharge your sales and delivery capability.


A great place to start is a mobile risk review - an often overlooked part of the process that is so critical in today's market and easy to initiate across your client portfolio. You will very quickly pick up on some industry trends.



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About the author

Anthony Stevens is the CEO and a co-founder 6clicks, and also the author of Chasing Digital: A Playbook for the New Economy, co-founder of several start-ups, and former Partner and Chief Digital Officer at KPMG. Prior to KPMG, Anthony held executive leadership roles for publicly listed and private businesses, including Spotless Group.

Anthony has a Bachelor of Commerce, a Bachelor of Information Systems, and a Masters of Commercial Law from the University of Melbourne and was named Young Executive of the Year in 2011 by AFR BOSS.

Anthony Stevens

Written by Anthony Stevens

Ant Stevens is a luminary in the enterprise software industry, renowned as the CEO and Founder of 6clicks, where he spearheads the integration of artificial intelligence into their cybersecurity, risk and compliance platform. Ant has been instrumental developing software to support advisor and MSPs. Away from the complexities of cybersecurity and AI, Ant revels in the simplicity of nature. An avid camper, he cherishes time spent in the great outdoors with his family and beloved dog, Jack, exploring serene landscapes and disconnecting from the digital tether.