Advanced technologies boost efficiencies for family offices
Are you leveraging technology to improve your finance and accounting functions?
While you may be using accounting software or various databases to manage your family office finances and functions, this piecemeal method may not provide the functionality, consistency or consolidation necessary for reporting. Leveraging advanced technologies can create efficiencies and provide more opportunities for your family to examine investment activity and aggregate accounting systems, as well as automate bill paying and other functions.
For instance, ultra-affluent families need timely, accurate and complete transparency with respect to their investment portfolios. Unfortunately, too often, family office leadership is forced to rely on dated quarterly investment performance information. Working from separate Excel spreadsheets and proprietary reports from individual managers makes it difficult to consolidate the performance of all investments.
This lack of transparency and visibility across investment portfolios can frequently result in poor decision-making. Back-office operations is another area where technology could improve decision-making and operational efficiencies.
Key technology questions to weigh
What functions are dependent on your technology systems?
Deposit slips, investment statements, vendor bills and bank statements are just a few of the many accounting needs a family office must manage for multiple generations. Thus, it is critical to understand how and what technology is utilized within your family office. Compile an inventory of your existing information technology (IT) resources, including infrastructure, applications and security measures.
What are your goals?
You and your family members have a vision for your immediate investments and philanthropic efforts, but you should have an eye on your future legacy as well. Forward-looking strategic insight comes with complete understanding of your entire financial position. Take a close look at your IT platform and how it aligns with your needs. Accessibility, scalability and reliability are core needs.
How do you build a technology platform to meet your goals?
Accounting automation and consolidated financial reporting are just a couple of common areas family offices need to help make strategic near- and long-term decisions. An integrated platform built for family offices brings together key functions, including:
- Tax planning and compliance
- Bill paying
- Document management