Financial Management

January 15, 2021

Software Solutions for Family Offices: 4 Ways to Take Your Firm to the Next Level

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There are now an estimated 7,000 family office firms in the U.S., managing an estimated $6 trillion dollars, with more than two-thirds of the firms established in just the last decade. The demand for family offices is growing, as is competition within the industry. In part one of our series highlighting software solutions for family offices, we’ve got four ideas to help take your family office financial firm to the next level.

1 – Adopt the next generation of family office software

Many Family Office firms start operations using an entry-level accounting package like QuickBooks. One of the biggest challenges family offices face when using accounting software that has a linear, hard-coded chart of accounts is that they need separate QuickBooks files for each client and each entity. With separate entities in separate databases, consolidations become slow and tedious and largely a manual task. Monthly closing can take weeks.

We’ve seen family office firms that were using a dozen or more instances of QuickBooks to manage their client assets. And, to supplement the deficient financial reporting capabilities, they were relying on myriad, complex and error-prone spreadsheets. Obtaining a clear, quick, consolidated picture of the family’s assets and financial position was difficult and time consuming.

Sage Intacct is an ideal solution for multi-family office financial firms. It combines an intelligent, dimensional general ledger with powerful dashboard and financial reporting capabilities. It has robust multi-entity functionalities, including the ability to consolidate hundreds of entities in real time.

2 – Simplify financials break down complexities

Most accounting software applications use a hard-coded linear-type structure for the chart of accounts (think segments). For example, to track three locations, five projects and five customers, you’d need 75 account code combinations — and you’d end up with a complicated, unmanageable chart of accounts. And adding new locations, business lines or customers could also force you to add hundreds of additional accounts. This quickly becomes unwieldly and greatly complicates month-end closing and makes consolidations virtually impossible.

Sage Intacct has robust multi-entity capabilities and a dimensional chart of accounts. This means you have one Sage Intacct environment managing multiple entities, and you can shrink your chart of accounts dramatically. With Sage Intacct, you can consolidate all entities in seconds – and monthly closings shrink from weeks to just a few hours. We’ll talk much more about the power of dimensions in upcoming posts.

In addition to the natural GL account, Sage Intacct includes eight dimensions that come out-of-the-box. You can add more dimensions as needed (think about the Class field in QuickBooks) and there’s no limit to the number of dimensions you can have. Further, you can easily relabel and repurpose dimensions to fit the way your office does business.

3 – A reunion of metrics that matter

Data visibility is a high priority for every financial firm, and family offices are no exception.

With Sage Intacct, you can configure customized dashboards that deliver deep visibility and quick access to the financial and operational metrics that matter to your family office firm.

The dashboards are role-based and allow you to view data including stock and bond holdings, private equity funds, and overall assets under management (AUM) — complete with direction indicators (think big green and red arrows). In your configurable dashboards, you can include graphs can displaying helpful information such as the investment mix and portfolio trends over time. When you need more than a quick look, clicking on any value allows you to drill into underlying transactions.

In addition to dashboards, Sage Intacct offers real time access to the financial reports that matter to your family office firm. With Sage Intacct software for family firms, you’re in control — and in the know — with effortless reporting across multiple entities, assets, and currencies. Data held in portfolio management platforms, such as Addepar and Solovis, is easily included in your financial reports thanks to the open APIs that are part of Sage Intacct. With all critical client data in one secure application, you can shorten reporting cycles, streamline compliance, and easily demonstrate your financial stewardship

Using Sage Intacct’s ability to handle statistical accounts and collect nonfinancial data, dashboards and reports can quickly provide family office execs with detailed data and metrics that enable them to monitor their clients’ performance and address issues and opportunities by exception.

4 – Extend your family with a trusted partner

Sage Intacct delivers powerful capabilities of specific value to family office firms. But to truly increase the value of your portfolio, you need to give a skilled partner a seat at the table. A partner that understands your industry and understands how put the software to work for you.

BT Partners has a proven track record of helping large and small family office firms capitalize on their software investments. Our industry knowledge combined with our comprehensive discovery and implementation processes help you maximize the value of Sage Intacct.

Welcome to the family

With responsibilities including diverse and complex portfolio management, investment planning, philanthropy opportunities, legacy guidance, lifestyle goals, and office administration family office firms require an all-in-one cloud accounting software solution that simplifies and streamlines operations. Sage Intacct is that solution and BT Partners can bring it home for you.

We’d love to answer your questions and help you understand how we can help your organization make the best decisions for your family office software. Call us at (847) 205-5015.

References/Sources

* Leave, Hillary. How Many Family Offices are there in the United States? Retrieved January, 2021 from https://www.familyoffice.com/insights/how-many-family-offices-are-there-united-states

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