Simplicity FAQ

What is the difference between the Fact-find layout and the Database layout?
Many users still prefer to see both partners on one screen. It is also easier to transpose core information from a hand written fact-find onto an equivalent layout rather than a detailed database record.

However, for a more detailed entry of client information, we strongly recommend entering via the Client Database as there is no limit to the numbers of policies, pensions, properties, mortgages, investments and children. Remember that you can click between the partnered clients by using F5 and F6 to select the previous or next client in the group.

The Client Group Concept
The key concept within the application is that of the “Client Group”. Each client record is its own self-contained entity. A Client Group allows the user to create collections of individual client records into logical groups of clients. For example, there could be many type of groups such as the following:

  • A family group
  • Co-workers within a business
  • Members of the same pension scheme
  • A social group (e.g. a cricket team)
  • An IFA defined category (e.g. High net worth or post code)

There is no limit to the Client/Group concept. Clients can exist within any group and a single client record can exist in any number of Client Groups simultaneously. The number of clients within any group is also unlimited.

The members within a client group can be added or removed at any time. This makes dealing with marriages, separations and divorce a very simple matter.

How do I Start a New Client or Group?

Option A (Where the client fact-find has not yet been started)

Click on the ‘page’ icon at the top/left of the screen.
Create New Client or Group (or ALT and F then New)

Click on New Group or press ALT and N on the keyboard.
Enter the Group name (you can have more than one the same).
Enter Title, Forename(s) and Surname and click on Store.
To add another client to the click Group Add to Current Group or you can enter a new Independent Client.
If you tick Select Active Client after Close you will go straight to the highlighted fact-find when you Close.

Option B (Where the client fact-find already exists)

Click on "Edit" and "Group Management" to create a "New" group.

Having created the group, double click on the names in the right-hand table to bring them into the group. If this is a family group do not tick the "Non-Family" box. The first client listed will be seen as Life 1 and the second one deemed to be Life 2.

How do I Print a Blank Fact-Find?
Click on the Reports icon on the Outlook bar (on the left) and click on the Documents Library tab.

The first time you do this, we recommend that you tick the default Client Fact Find and the click on Edit which puts the blank form on screen. You can then ENTER YOUR COMPANY NAME (and even add you logo if you have one). You name also needs to go at the bottom of page 1 – or the name of your network if applicable.

Also scroll down to the Declarations Page (page 14) when your name and or network name also need to be added in several places.

Remember that you are using Microsoft Word,. So now use Alt F and Save As to save the amended fact find as your own fact-find WITH A NEW NAME. If in doubt, it should be saved in the Simplicity folder which is in CCL Software area, normally within Program Files on your C Drive. However, on a network installation, the Simplicity folder may be in a different location.

Now use Browse to select the fact-find design you require then tick “Blank Fact-Find” and then click on “Print All Selected Items”. Alternatively, click on Edit again and print from Word. Or you can click
To print a Fact-Find with client data, simply select the Group and Client at the top left of the screen, tick the selected Fact-Find form, DO NOT tick Blank Fact-Find. Now click on the Magnifying Glass button below Edit and the fact-Find will be created on the screen. This can then be printed as a Word document if required.

Remember, all completed fact-finds and reports are saved automatically in the correspondence File when you exit from the document.

What is the Client Overview for?
If you want to provide a quick assessment of a client’s financial planning needs without putting too much detail into the database record, the Overview allows your client to just enter totals for Income, Expenditure, Assets, Pension funds, life policies and Debts and then provide a Synopsis report highlighting the potential shortfall on protection, pension income, and IHT liability.

The calculation processes are identical to the full Shortfall reports but are completely separate. Any information available from the client record will be offered as totals but can be overwritten for illustration purposes without affecting the underlying data.

When completed, click on the image symbol on the task bar at the top left of the screen to print the one-page synopsis report from this information.

Are there any compulsory fields on the system?
There are no mandatory fields in the CCL fact-find. However in order to produce accurate information on financial planning areas certain information is needed as indicated below.

Personal Details
The minimum information needed to store a record is Name, Known As, Sex and Date of Birth. The Known As or Salutation is used as the Client Name for both all Policies and in letters.

Employment Details
It is obviously essential that you enter the earnings of any employed person.

Tax Code
The system calculates tax based on a tax code if entered or defaults to the normal age related personal allowances if you do not. K codes are entered after the numbers, so 200K not K200.

Future Requirements/ Protection Planning – Enter here any details on employer based life or health cover, as well as your own or the client’s view on how many years their income should be maintained in the event of premature death. A default based on retirement age and the current level of disposable income is built in.

Future Requirements/ Pension Planning – Set a preferred age of retirement; whether or not you wish state pension income to be included in the pension shortfall calculation and whether or not you are a member of an occupational pension scheme.

How Do I Export Clients?
To move a file from the ‘host’ computer to, say, a laptop, go to the Synopsis & Notes area and click on File and Export Clients.

This is also used to email a fact-find to a client who has the Client Review software.

Click on the Group (or Groups by also using the CTRL key) and click on Export Client(s). You must type in a File Name and select Temporary Export then you should select Hard Disk or Email and then click on Export Now.

If you exported to Hard Disk, the file created is now within the Simplicity folder and can be attached to an email, put on an external disk, pen drive ready to import on another computer (e.g. your laptop). To return a file, Export from the Laptop and Import back to the host computer, which will update the host computer with any amendments.

While the file is exported, the host computer can still view or print the client file, but cannot alter the client data.

How Do I Add To a List?
The Simplicity database uses a number of Data Lists in the form of ‘drop-down menus”. As an example, if you go to Fact-Find, Existing Policies and click to Add a new item, then Life, the next box shown is Provider. If you click on the down-arrow to the right, you will now see a list of all the product providers. If, instead, you type into this box, N then O, Norwich Union will appear. However if you have an entry that is not listed, continue to type (e.g. Nottingham Life) and this will be permanently added to the list when you exit this screen.

These ‘addable lists’ are used throughout the database. If you see a flashing cursor on clicking in a list box, it is editable.

How Do I Enter a Unitised Investment?
Click to Add a new item then pick Unitised from the drop-down list. In the box below, start to enter the name of the Company, and then do the same with Investment Type, and enter the Account or Policy Number (if known).

The tab will then jump to Commencement Date, (please take care to enter the correct date here). Enter the B/O Spread (if known) and the Current Valuation Date. This can be updated later if not known.

Store the record at this point. If this is a new company on the system, you will not have any funds listed, click on Fund Management and re-enter the name of the company at the top of the page together with the name of the first fund being entered. Enter the current price of the fund and the date (defaults to today’s date). Then click on Add.

If there is more than one fund, continue this process with the other funds then close this page to return to the investment record.

Click on Show Initial Funds and click on Add New. The available funds are now shown the current price will be shown when selected

Enter the original units purchased and override the price with the original price. When you press Store the cost and quantity areas are shown in grey and are only alterable by going back to Initial Funds and clicking on "Edit".

If you want to add or withdraw money from the investment you click on Show Transactions and then Add. Select the fund, enter quantity of units (enter withdrawals as a minus figure) and enter the price applicable on the date of the transaction. Click on Store to update both current value and quantity based on the latest price quoted.

What information is needed on Pensions to produce fund and income projections at retirement?
The fields for Pension contracts differ depending on the type of Pension selected and nothing is written in stone. You can vary Growth, Charges and even Bid/Offer Spread.

Although there are no 'mandatory' fields when entering data, certain fields are required to obtain projected benefits on Pensions Shortfall. For instance, we need either a Start Date or a Last Valuation Date and a Retirement Age.

If contributions are being quoted in percentage terms, they must be related to an employer and therefore a salary. If it is not possible to relate the percentage contribution to an income, then show it in monetary terms.

All pension entered should be CURRENT and not marked as PAID UP because, even if contributions have ceased, the fund remains invested and will grow. So as long as you quote the last valuation figure and the date of the valuation, the system will roll up the value.

See below for how to enter details of a discontinued or closed Final Salary Scheme.

Click on Shortfall & Liabilities and Pension to assess the future pension income.

Here you can alter the Retirement Age at the top of the screen, change Growth, Charges and Bid/Offer Spread on proposed new pensions. You can suggest contributions levels to eradicate a shortfall by clicking on Shortfall at the bottom of the screen or suggest an affordable contribution by clicking Proposed and entering Single, Annual or Monthly.

Predictions are shown in figures (Income Required and Shortfall) and as a Pie Chart and all elements can be altered. E.g. is income to be Fixed or Escalating, are you Taking a Lump Sum, are contributions Net or Gross and what is the level of the Widows Pension?

How do I enter details for a closed Final Salary Scheme or when an employee leaves?
First you need to go to the Client Database and the Existing Pensions screen. Now highlight the Final Salary scheme and click on Pension Status and mark it as closed. This will maintain the record but remove the valuation from the Pension Shortfall Analysis.

Next select to Add a new Item.

On Type of Pension, click Preserved Benefit and Pension Status is Current.

Now enter the Name of the Scheme (e.g. Shell Oil) and Membership Number, if known.

Scheme Entry Date is for record purposes only.

On Income Payable Per Annum, if you have not been given the income by the provider, you will need to calculate this as follows.

Annual Salary at Leaving Date x Years of Service / 60 or 80 (depending on scheme)

e.g. £22,700 X 11 / 80 = £3,121 and this is the number you enter.

Enter the annual Indexation Rate and Valuation Date. This is normally the date on the statement from the provider or the date of leaving the employment. However, if not known, enter today’s date.

Retirement Age should now be confirmed and the Guaranteed Minimum Pension percentage.

Select Taking Lump Sum (Yes or No). This is normally No and will default to that if not entered.

And finally, enter the Early Retirement Penalty percentage if known.

How is the Final Salary basis calculated?
Across the top of the Pensions Shortfall Analysis, you will see Current Income (from the Employment Details screen), Indexed at xx% (from the Income & Expenditure / Current Income screen), Retirement Age (variable here), the calculated Final Salary using these figures, the Percentage of Income Required at Retirement (from the Income & Expenditure / Expenditure at Retirements screen) and the calculated Target Income at Retirement.

How do I Print a Report?
Click on the Reports icon and then select the Client Summary tab.

Click on the pages required or Select All and then the magnifying glass button
to see a Client Report produced on-screen ready for printing in Word. image

Reports can be edited on-screen, printed and will be automatically filed in the client’s correspondence folder on exiting.

Your system also includes a range of suitability paragraphs that can be added to a report or used to create a letter using Insert then File.

You can edit or add to these paragraphs as you wish, using Word.

How do I operate the Search and Mail-Merge
The Search dialogue allows you to specify up to 10 individual Search Fields that will allow the very finest of control over the results returned. The results of each search can be Printed, Mail Merged to letters or emailed. Furthermore, Search patterns can be saved, using the Disk icon on the bottom left, for later recall.

Search Parameters
Each Search Parameter is a combination of:

A Search Field         The area of data are you are searching.
An Operator            The range of criteria to be matched to client data.
Operands                The criteria that the client data must match.

Up to 10 Search Parameters may be specified, although you will usually use no more than 2 or 3 at any one time. You ban use the X button on the left of the Search Parameter to quickly clear the whole parameter.

There is a number of options from Range (e.g. 30 to 50), > (Greater Than), = (Equal to) or any combination (e.g. =>).

If the Range operator has been chosen, you will have a From and To or enter a single value in the First Operand column for the remainder. If the filed is Policy Provider, then select = as the Operator and then use the drop-down to select the provider to be searched. The ‘Operand Help’ area at the top of the screen will give help on the values expected in the Operand columns.

Search Results
The Search Result list now shown is a list of each client that matched the criteria specified in the Search Parameters. You have the option of selecting and excluding any individual client from this list. The results list can be printed using the Print toolbar button. You can also select any number of client records and use the Email button to send each selected client an email. The email addresses will be placed in the BCC (Blank Carbon Copy) field of the Outlook email message so that each recipient will not be able to see the addresses of the other email recipients.

Open & Store
The Store button can be used to save the Search Parameters and the Search Results for a particular search operation or use Open to recall previously stored parameters.

Mail Merge
This uses Microsoft Word to perform a mail merge operation of all listed clients. After the Mail Merge button has been pressed a document will be created in Microsoft Word that has two fields from the Simplicity database inserted into it which are NameAndAddress and Salutation. Today’s Date is entered automatically but can be edited. Fields can be move within the document as you wish to fit your letterhead design.

Then you can either create the document by typing it, or you can use the Insert / File option to insert pre-written letters or Insert / Picture to insert graphics. Once the document is ready to print you have two options.

            Merge to New Document image           or          Merge to Printer image

The Merge to New Document function will display each letter as it will be printed for each client. This allows you to check formatting. The whole batch of letters can now be printed using the Print function of Word.

The Merge to Printer option will skip the ‘preview on screen’ option and send the finished documents directly to the printer.

Search Options - Families or Individuals
These two options relate to the Mail Merge option. E.g. You have a client group named Jones and you perform a search and both Mr David Jones and Mrs Mary Jones match the search criteria. In the Results List you’ll be able to see both clients listed, but when you Mail Merge, if you select “Mail Merge Families” you will send just one letter to Mr & Mrs Jones whereas “Mail Merge Individuals” sends two letters - one to David and one to Mary.

How do I incorporate Suitability Paragraphs into Letter and Reports?
There are two ‘Folders’ installed inside your Simplicity directory called Explanations and Recommendations containing Word documents that you can edit, add to or amend as you wish and then append to your Client Reports produced within Simplicity or create letters.

For ease of use, you may wish to copy these folders into another directory to suit the way your system is set up. To check which is the default directory, you should do the following.

Load your Microsoft Word program.
Click on Tools and then Options
Select File Locations and check the folder against the item marked “Documents”.

You can either put the Explanations and Recommendations folders in this location


Modify the file location to the folder name where the folders are currently placed.

To add any paragraph to a report, having created the document on screen, simply place the cursor where the paragraph is to go and, if using the keyboard, press the following keys.

Press ALT and I (together)
Then press L
Then click on the folder
Then double click on the paragraph

Alternatively, if using a mouse -
Click on Insert
Then click on Files
Then click on the folder
Then double click on the paragraph

Please note that these are all functions of Microsoft Word and are not part of Simplicity.

How do I use the Calculators?
A simple but effective way of dealing with requirements like paying off a mortgage early or assessing the savings by increasing repayments.

Select the Mortgage Calculator.

Then click on Amortisation and scroll down to see how much interest is paid.

Increase the Monthly Payment and then delete the Fixed Term and exit the box to see the system re-calculate the term.

Click on Amortisation and scroll down to see how much interest has now been saved.

You can also enter a new Fixed Term (e.g. 72 months) and delete the Monthly Payment. If you now exit that box, the new repayment will be calculated.

You could also add the outstanding credit card debts to the Balance Outstanding and then delete the Monthly Payment to allow the system to re-calculate and see how consolidation would affect the overall interest costs.

NOTE – None of the above changes the original record – we are just playing with numbers.

There are also calculators for Taxation, Debts and Investments.



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