Replacement for Excel: Custom Software to Wow Clients and Financial Advisors

Valeo Financial Advisors had been using a manual, Excel-intensive process to create client investment reports. They wanted a replacement for Excel to provide better tools for their advisors and level up their reports to deliver best-in-class service for their clients.

They engaged us to craft a purpose-built and user-friendly system. The new web application reduced the report creation process from multiple days to a few hours. This provided advisors with a polished deliverable to share with their clients.

What We Did

Web Development, Full Stack Development, Product Discovery, DevOps Strategy & Implementation, User Validation, Product Strategy

Tech Stack

React, ASP.NET Core, Terraform, Azure, Cypress, Material Design System


Valeo Financial Advisors is one of the largest financial advisory firms in the Midwest and a Top 300 RIA Firm as evaluated by the Financial Times. Their professional advisors take a holistic approach to wealth management, considering factors such as insurance, taxes, cash flow, educational funding, and retirement.

Before our engagement, many of Valeo’s advisors joined the firm for the great culture and wealth management philosophy. However, they asked for more sophisticated tools for building reports. Valeo relied on a manual, Excel-intensive process to provide investment allocation reports for their clients. They wanted to provide modern investment reporting software for their advisors, freeing them to focus on the strategic nature of their work. Valeo also wanted to elevate the look and feel of their reports to deliver best-in-class service for their clients.

Striving to equip their advisors with industry-leading tools, Valeo engaged us to develop custom, user-friendly investment reporting software to replace their Excel solution. They knew the solution would require strong design and development capabilities, so they chose SEP as their one-stop shop.



Valeo had a vision for replacing the Excel solution with a user-friendly new tool but knew they needed to validate assumptions and clarify the product’s direction. We began with a week-long series of Discovery sessions. Valeo’s financial advisors participated in assessing risks and assumptions, narrowing in on possible solutions, and prioritizing needs. We then worked with key stakeholders to determine the product’s direction and develop a roadmap.

Collaborative Design and Development Approach

After initial Discovery, our designers and developers began prototyping solutions. Throughout our engagement, we worked closely with a group of financial advisors–the product’s end users. These users tested the product as we developed it to ensure a seamless user experience. We used continuous validation as we worked, getting feedback and iterating every time we encountered a risky workflow or technical item.

Reporting Process Improvements

The solution improved several specific pieces of the reporting process: data import, data analysis, report output, and trading.

  • Data Import: We reduced the steps required to import data from nine to one.
  • Data Analysis: We improved the data analysis process by delivering a purpose-built user experience, allowing advisors to immediately see the impact of changes to investment portfolios rather than jumping around in an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Report Output: We elevated the report output with thoughtful design and updated branding.
  • Trading: We automated investment trading that advisors perform once they receive client approval on proposed changes.


The custom software replacement for Excel reduced the report creation process from several days to a few hours, equipping advisors with a polished deliverable to share with their clients. This time-saving advantage enables advisors to spend their time on analysis and strategic advising rather than manual tasks.

After releasing the product, we have continued to maintain and evolve it. This allows Valeo to add features to the product and iterate as they receive feedback from users.

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