You are ready to adopt a software suite for your family office in order to address growing technological need and to stay competitive and efficient in a fast-changing investor landscape. The good news is you will find you are spoiled for choice. There are a large number of developers and providers ready to offer robust solutions that will more or less meet your basic needs. The bad news is, you will find you are spoiled for choice. If you are searching for family office software, you are no doubt familiar with vendors like SEI Archway, AltaReturn, Eton Solutions, Addepar or Asset Vantage. Following, however, are four key areas where you need to pay close attention when assessing each product as honest evaluation of them can quickly narrow down your options, making your decision easier.
Privacy is an important consideration for many administrators who don’t want Amazon or other cloud providers gaining access to their data – not to mention governments. FundCount gives you the option of storing all your data on your own premises so that you and you alone have access and control over it. Company experts will set it all up and even integrate it with your in house and legacy systems. Of course, if you so desire, cloud options are also available.
Every quarter, as company earnings roll in, financial news focuses on earnings surprises. Traditional accounting methods have their limitations and one of them is they are closed-book systems. Earnings can be estimated, but not until the books are closed can they be “known”. There are run around solutions to this, but they are cumbersome and seriously time consuming, as in weeks and months, and they offer opportunities for error. FundCount takes a leading approach as an early-adopter giving their clients an edge by using continuous accounting methodology. Be sure to check with any vendor you are considering to be sure they provide this innovative approach before making a decision.
What continuous accounting brings to the table is a real-time look at your business not restrained by the traditionally rigid accounting calendar, taking all the guesswork out of the days in between quarterly reports. Decision making, in which the real world doesn’t allow the luxury of waiting, need no longer be hampered and can be based on what is right now, and not on what was at the time of the last report. In today’s quick-changing climate, this can be crucial.
The ability to in a day or less create specialized reports is of little use if the data output is of questionable integrity. Traditional accounting methods compile inputs into separate ledgers – general, sales and purchase. When the reporting process draws info from different ledgers, it’s easy to see how the output can be skewed and less than reliable. Unified accounting uses a single book, which means that all report output comes from a single source – the general ledger.
FundCount’s unified accounting system offers flexibility others may not be able to offer as it is multi-book, which means that the books don’t have to be closed and reports can be drawn from a time period of your choosing.
No Asset Class Left Behind
Family offices are the most sophisticated investment shops out there. Most investment firms specialize to a certain degree, but family-owned asset types are limited only by the imagination. A lot of providers offer most, if not all asset classes. Take a careful look though when doing your due diligence as many are weak in one area or another. Sometimes weaknesses in various asset class areas are made up for by creating placeholder fields and workarounds. Reporting can suffer in these instances as different asset classes have unique functionalities and features which must be carefully accounted for to assess them properly. FundCount has exhaustively accounted for each and every asset class ensuring that all are meticulously gauged and represented. FundCount also offers the user flexibility, allowing for customization of fields and attributes of different asset classes. This will become important when it comes to charting and generating various specialized reports on the underlying asset.