How to Automate Your Family Office Reporting [A List of Tools]

Feb 23, 2021

Tools That Can Help You Create Consolidated Financial Reports for Your High-Net-Worth Clients

Wealth management professionals are hungry for a more efficient way to run financial reports.

A way that helps them control the narrative of their client’s financial story using reports that are unique, but intertwined. A way that lets them co-mingle accounting and investment detail, without pulling data from multiple systems. A way that minimizes the reliance on a single individual to prepare spreadsheet-based reporting, and opens the door to collaboration. A way that reduces manual touchpoints, which ultimately reduces errors.

That said, there’s a lot of information out there when it comes to client reporting for high-net-worth families and individuals. What types of reports to provide, client reporting best practices, even client reporting examples.

But the real question is how. How do you create recurring client reports in a way that doesn’t involve spreadsheets, institutional knowledge and dependency on manual processes?

Having spent time on the SEI Family Office Services Client Relations team and, more recently, as a Relationship Manager and de facto client training guru, I’ve done my fair share of reporting consultations and implementations for our family office clients. With those experiences top of mind, here’s a list of tools that exist within the Archway PlatformSM that can help you automate your client reporting process.

Tools to Help You Automate Your Family Office Reporting
  1. Report Library
  2. Report Packaging and Branding Tool
  3. Report Scheduling Tool
  4. Report Delivery Tool

1. Report Library

If you work for or advise a wealthy family, chances are you know the pain of stitching together reports from multiple systems. A balance sheet from the accounting system, a performance report or two from the portfolio management tool, a private equity overview that you built in Excel and a collection of statements downloaded from various custodians and investment managers.

There’s no flow. Each report is formatted different than the next. The naming conventions and asset categories vary from source to source. And you’re tasked with compiling all of it together into some semblance of a cohesive report package every quarter.

Here’s the catch: your job doesn’t have to be this hard.

SEI’s family office software solution is built to provide a seamless reporting experience for your end-clients and internal stakeholders.

But to do that, we have to start with the database. Enter the Archway Platform’s core general ledger.

Now you might be thinking, why is the general ledger so important?

It’s important because this means that as the platform is receiving nightly financial data – think investment buy/sell activity, account balances and dividend/interest payments – from external data sources, the system is normalizing the data and automatically booking the journal entries to the general ledger.

Now extrapolate that out to the other wealth operations your firm performs: bill payment, invoicing, cash management, transferring and gifting of assets, trust accounting and other business functions. As each of these tasks is being performed, the system is filing away the accounting records for reporting purposes.

So, when it comes time to configure a report package, whether it be for an individual, a household or an internal employee, you’re able to leverage that complete set of accounting and investment data. This gives you the opportunity to build custom report packages that can span from traditional financials like balance sheets and income statements to allocation and exposure reports, performance analyses, alternative investment summaries, holdings snapshots and other financial reports.

And while the Archway Platform’s report library offers hundreds of reporting options, we also give you the ability to include third-party documents like market research, commentary and disclosure statements – all of which can be cleanly packaged together alongside system-generated reports.

2. Report Packaging and Branding Tool

To really automate the report preparation process, you need a report packaging tool, which is to say a tool that lets you pre-configure a collection of reports, divide them into user-defined sections, put them into a specific order, apply your own branding and then save all of these selections to use on a recurring basis.

In the Archway Platform, you can set up as many report packages as needed.

As an example, you could create a unique set of financial reports for each generation:

  • Gen 1 – A report package for the family office principal that provides a holistic view of the family’s finances and delivers insights into investment strategies, manager performance and net worth
  • Gen 2 – A report package that is distributed to his children representing their pro-rata share of the family’s assets alongside their personal household expenses and portfolio performance
  • Gen 3 – A report package that is distributed to his grandchildren representing their trusts and personal assets

As an extension of these packages, we oftentimes see clients create a “client-facing version” and an “internal QA version.”

This allows family offices to create a polished, professional report package for the end-client and a detailed, line-by-line report package for their internal reporting analysts. In turn, the family office can make sure that the visual, client-friendly reports are an accurate representation of the underlying (but not so pretty) detail.

Plus, by housing your report operations inside of a centralized tool, you minimize the impact of employee turnover and loss of institutional knowledge. If someone takes a leave of absence or departs entirely, you can still access the report packages within the Archway Platform, which means your quarterly reporting can continue to roll out uninterrupted.

3. Report Scheduling Tool

If you have access to an extensive library of reports and you’ve gone through the process of creating pre-defined report packages, you certainly don’t want to have to manually kick off each report package when quarter-end rolls around.

The Archway Platform’s report scheduling tool eliminates those extra clicks, thus creating more efficiency for you and your team. Specifically, the tool can be used to create recurring report schedules based on dates and rolling calendar periods.

As a result, you can produce multiple report packages at a frequency of your choosing through a one-time setup.

4. Report Delivery Tool

The obvious benefit of a report delivery tool is that it electronically sends the reports for you.

The less obvious benefit is that report delivery tools aren’t limited to the physical distribution of reports. In fact, report delivery can be broadened to include digital reporting tools and online document portals.

The Archway Client Portal can be used for all of the above. Whether you’re simply seeking a secure way to share reporting documents or an interactive reporting experience, the Archway Client Portal can be tailored to meet the needs of your firm and your clients.

Additionally, the Archway Platform’s report delivery tool can help automate the report review process.

Using integrated workflow capabilities, the Archway Platform can be configured such that once reporting has been run and passed through a preliminary review, a notification can be sent via text or email to a designated user for final approval. Once approved, reports can be made available to clients in the client portal or sent electronically.

It’s also worth noting that the same report delivery tool can be used to deliver operational reports directly to an internal server so that extended teams within your organization can access system-generated files and reports.

For example, if your family office oversees multiple households, each with their own executive assistant that is responsible for managing their respective household’s budget, you could set up a budgeting report to populate out into a shared folder.

In making the report available via an internal server, you don’t necessarily need to give ancillary employees access to the Archway Platform, but you can still enable them to leverage the data, make changes and resubmit to an authorized system user for upload back into the system.


The benefits of report automation aren’t limited to client reporting.

Using the same tools that automate the client reporting process, you can also automate internal management reporting on a daily, weekly or monthly schedule. Here are a few examples of what that might look like:

  • Daily Reporting: This can be as simple as cash balance and cash activity queries delivered into your team’s inboxes each morning that depict the prior day’s inflows and outflows.
  • Weekly Reporting: This frequency of reporting tends to include more traditional management-style reports, like reconciliation audit reports that help you confirm reconciliation tasks have been completed or AP/AR reports that help you quickly identify what bills or invoices are outstanding.
  • Monthly Reporting: On a monthly basis, many clients leverage the Archway Platform’s automated reporting tools to proactively identify latent prices and performance outliers to isolate and address any errors prior to the end of the quarter.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Archway Platform’s reporting automation tools, schedule a call with a member of our team or take a tour of the Archway Platform.

 

Reporting Automation Demo


Marissa Frizzell

 

Marissa Frizzell
Sales Director – SEI Family Office Services

Having been with SEI since 2012, Marissa is currently a member of the Business Development team where she serves as a client advocate and focuses on building relationships with current and prospective system users. In this role, she is responsible for educating clients on SEI's full suite of family office solutions and ensuring that each client leverages the right combination of products and services for their firm. She also leads the firm’s IMMERSION User Conference series and provides ad-hoc client training. Prior to her current role, Marissa formed the SEI Family Office Services Training team where she was instrumental in developing the New Hire Online Training, evolving the firm’s online product documentation and enhancement notices and managing the Client Support Portal. Marissa also held positions on SEI's Implementation and Client Relations Support teams.

Marissa holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from the Lacy School of Business at Butler University. Outside of SEI, Marissa enjoys volunteering in the community as a member of the Junior League of Indianapolis, attending Butler Basketball games and traveling with her husband.

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Marissa Frizzell

Marissa Frizzell

Sales Director
SEI Family Office Services