The story of human progress is a story of tools that make our work more possible and make it easier. Bartleby, the Scrivener, written by Herman Melville, is a story of a man who wiled away his days meticulously copying documents in a law office by hand. Most of us today don’t remember, but the Xerox machine rendered Bartleby’s job obsolete – thank goodness. Today, that trend toward efficiency and automation continues.
Too Much Time Wasted on Manual Processes
FundCount has recently revisited a comprehensive study performed by the Family Wealth Report, which looked at the accounting and investment challenges faced by family offices. At the time, it was discovered that 20% of the workweek by SFO and MFO staff was being wasted on manual processes. The reasons for this were many, but can be summed up by two major factors; reliance on non-specialist accounting and other back-office tools, and legal entity complexities, which present a particular challenge to those tools that are not specifically designed for such complex structures.
The new FundCount study just out, found that this problem has not only not gone away, but it has been exacerbated. Now, as much as 42% of the workweek is spent on such tedium. The reasons for this lack of progress appear to be due to an increase in various complexities that put a greater strain on systems.
Technology Saves Time and Money
Unsurprisingly, firms that have taken advantage of technological breakthroughs in the industry and that use the latest tools that are up to the task at hand, now fare better than those who have yet to upgrade their back-office systems. Significantly so. “Some respondents reported that as little as 5% of FTEs’ hours were being expended on manual tasks as their institution had invested in the most modern and family office model-specific technologies to handle these tasks,” according to the report.
Senior-level professionals, owners and founders from family offices were interviewed and surveyed and findings provide invaluable insight into current family office operations, including technological hurdles they face, staffing issues, and strength and weaknesses in their critical systems.
Get your free copy of Family Office Efficiency in Accounting and Investment Analysis: Industry Update now and check how your office measures up to peer networks in addition to giving yourself a valuable benchmark for your back-office accounting and reporting operations
Get your free copy of Family Office Efficiency in Accounting and Investment Analysis: Industry Update now!