Staying competitive and efficient in a fast-changing investor landscape are primary concerns when selecting fund accounting solutions designed for fund administration. Price is important, of course, but so too are economies of scale, the ability to produce creative, detailead and compelling reports without being limited by data access issues. In these terms, navigating the wide field of choices between products offered by vendors such as Advent Geneva (SS&C), AltaReturn / Allvue, Eze Software, FIS, FundCount, Pacific Fund Systems, and others can be a daunting and difficult task. The following four key factors are areas to focus on in your search as they are designed to help you measure the competition and decide exactly which product can best serve your business interests in the most comprehensive and useful way.
Rarely does any business plan, no matter the size of the firm, exclude the goal of expansion. Choosing fund accounting solutions then necessarily must include the factoring in of either the cost and disruption of a future replacement upgrade, or better, a package that is designed to accommodate a firm of literally any size or arrangement. With future growth and change in mind, the ideal accounting solution is software that is configured to manage private equity, hedge funds, mutual funds or any other type of fund configuration and type of investment. The industry isn’t homogeneous and neither are a firm’s ongoing needs, so to stay flexible, you may wish to look for a product that has been structured to account for the specific requirements that come with moving operations to places like Luxembourg, Singapore, Hong Kong, Caribbean or other offshore and even the United States. Your business can then be expanded to new products, locations and even structures without software issues hampering progress.
Import Data From Any Source
In a perfect world, data from any source could be imported to be accessed and used by your system at will. Unfortunately, in this world, formatting and other issues create a time consuming and expensive barrier that can interfere. FundCount’s exclusive ETL (extract transform load) Tool built into the system addresses these issues creating seamless access to any data source without the need for additional programming. Anyone with knowledge of Excel is able to create import routines or interfaces, or in some instances, ask FundCount to create these. There is no need to pay huge fees for the development of data import from custodian accounts, trading systems, etc… Additionally, there is no need to put business on hold over programming issues. It’s easy to see how vital this is to nailing down a competitive edge. Every day, week or month fund managers bring on board new clients along with data that must be migrated into the system. Cost, reliance on the vendor and waiting periods are completely eliminated, allowing for a seamless and comfortable transition for both you and the new client.
Exporting data can be done in much the same way with the same ease and cost advantage.
Control Over What And How You Report
Success in a fund administration business largely hinges on ability to report to the clients efficiently and effectively. Very often, companies face restrictions on what they can report and how they present the information due to in-house software limitations. Customization of reports has historically been costly and time-consuming for it can sometimes take weeks of managing requests, sessions with the programmers and then the actual programming in order to arrive at a workable solution. One value of FundCount is that it allows you, the user to choose from a huge number of reporting templates, carefully arranged by category, or quickly and easily customize your own. The intuitive library of FundCount reports, plus user customization can be the difference between sending your client a canned, lifeless data sheet of numbers and figures or skillfully-painted holistic view reporting package that allows you to highlight for them the added value you bring to the table.
The cost of software can, and often does, go well beyond the purchase price and user fees. If additional programming is needed, programmer fees and lost work hours can stack up quickly. FundCount focuses on automating and streamlining processes in order to eliminate the need for additional costly ad hoc adjustments and save thousands, or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of labor hours. The end result allows for the service of more funds, thus offering exponential cost efficiency.