Disruptive technology provides both opportunities and challenges. Opportunities to upend old, and perhaps tedious and cumbersome practices. Challenges in that if you don’t keep up, you get left behind. This carries over even into the field of accounting – especially software. Staying out in front of the pack requires a deeper look at the available choices than what first meets the eye. For instance, price comparison may not be as straightforward as it first appears. Scalability, data accessibility and professional-level presentation of client reports and more are factors to also be considered.
A fairly wide range of choices are available. Advent Geneva (SS&C), AltaReturn / Allvue, Eze Software, FIS, FundCount, Pacific Fund Systems are all firms that focus in one degree or another on the accounting and other software needs for fund administration. This makes your task of selecting the right solution for your needs more challenging. This guide is designed to help you focus your attention on those areas you may not as yet have considered, but which help suss out best value for your operation.
Ability to grow
If yours is like most businesses, you don’t plan to stay the same size forever. A good place to start when choosing a new accounting software package then is scalability. Can it seamlessly manage the demands that come with more clients and more business? When considering the cost-benefit tradeoffs surrounding this question, keep in mind the future cost in terms of both dollars and in turmoil from future upgrades. Ideally, the solution you may wish to focus on is one that is configured to manage all current and future aspects of your business, including hedge funds, private equity, mutual funds and any other area you could potentially expand into in the future. In this way you are only limited by business interest, not technology. The ability to stay flexible is important in an industry where the winds can shift.
Moving operations is another consideration here. Local regulations and methodologies vary and your system must be able to account for those differences without requiring cumbersome fixes and work-arounds in order for your organization to remain spry.
The internet and Wi-Fi industries have settled on established protocol so that you can log on using virtually any internet-ready device. Unfortunately, the financial industry isn’t quite there yet. Data still comes in many shapes and forms, presenting a dilemma when it comes to importing. FundCount has its own exclusive tool that automates the process – Extract Transform Load (ETL). ETL is built into the FundCount system creating smooth access to any data source. ETL doesn’t require additional programming and anyone with Excel knowledge can use it to develop interfaces with data sources and import routines. For clients who run into anything unusual or unique in some way, FundCount technicians can help. Built-in tools export data in similar fashion.
As new clients come on board, new client data must be migrated into your system. This is a key area you will want to explore when evaluating a new system. If it doesn’t have a clearcut way of extracting, formatting and importing data from sources such as your bank, equity market feeds, labor outlays or programming work-arounds will be an additional expense added to your total cost calculations.
Control over reporting data and function
Other than system integrity, there is perhaps no other area more important to a fund administration business than reporting. The ability to have up-to-date information for decision making and be able to present it to the client in a meaningful, professional and persuasive way can mean the difference between being a first-tier firm or a backwater office.
Software capability can provide you with the slick, professional, flexible tools you need, or it can be that thing that hinders you from doing your job in the way you want to due to built-in limitations. Flexibility factors in a wide portfolio of readily available reporting packages that give you control and choice over look and feel. It also includes, importantly, customization. Undoubtably, you know best how to present your data and you aren’t going to want to wait around for software engineers to program your vision.
FundCount has integrated customizable reporting templates designed to give you a starting point, but not limit you. It also has a large, intuitive library of reports and a wide range of professionally-developed holistic packages that incorporate with your own logo, colors, font and more that you can individualize.
When calculating the price, be aware that the costs can stretch beyond the basic purchase price and associated user fees. When crunching the numbers, you will need to account for down time while the new system is being installed, transition costs, such as time for your office workers to learn the new system. There may also be programming fees for such things as integration with legacy and other systems.
FundCount has an experienced and dedicated implementation team that prioritizes cost efficiency among other areas. They do this by automating and streamlining processes, such as workflow, eliminating the need for adjustments. This can save thousands and thousands of hours and eliminate processes that have in the past been tedious and maybe even overbearing, making for a happier office environment as well as one that eliminates unnecessary labor costs.