To create some consistency in performance reporting, the CFA Institute has helped to establish Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS). While the process has primarily been adopted by institutional advisors so far, it appears some RIAs are deciding that in an era of increasing competition, actually being willing to stand by a performance track record and be accountable for it can be an effective differentiator - especially in a world where standardization of investment process and technology to implement model portfolios consistently for clients really does make it feasible to do so.
Ultimately, it remains to be seen how widespread the trend of RIAs adopting GIPS compliant reporting will become, especially since the costs are not trivial - in terms of both staff time, necessary technology infrastructure, along with consulting and even third-party verification. But arguably it doesn't take a lot of advisors choosing to do so before the pressure is on everyone else to go through with it as well; few advisors will want to be in a competitive position for a client as "the only one" who isn't willing to share their performance track record, where a lack of transparency and unwillingness to be accountable for results can easily be interpreted as hiding poor performance. On the other hand, the reality is that some advisors may find that once a consistent performance reporting standard is applied, their results really aren't competitive... which itself may be an interesting force that impacts the industry in the coming years as well!