Reporting ranks as one of the highest priorities for a family office. Anyone who trusts another party with their financial well-being will want to know what their investments and expenses look like. They will expect to see accurate, updated, in-depth breakdowns of the numbers on a regular basis or on-demand. Reports not only give people visibility into their financial life, they reveal how the family office has been managing money and how successful they’ve been. Family office accountants must be willing, able, and enthusiastic to prepare reports about anything and everything. Unfortunately, enthusiasm doesn’t make the process any easier.
Reporting also ranks as one of the biggest headaches for a family office. Finding, integrating, analyzing, and presenting the financial data included in reports can be a time- and labor-intensive endeavor. There may be missing data or human errors that undermine the reports. Yet even when the final product is perfect, the amount of work required can be an ongoing distraction to the detriment of other things.
What’s the solution? Better accounting software. The reason reporting takes so much time and input in the first place is because the system handling the financial data is outdated, under-powered, or poorly suited. Sage Intacct, on the other hand, offers all the financial management features a family office requires – along with powerful reporting capabilities that transform everything for the better. Here are four ways in particular that Sage Intacct optimizes reporting for everyone involved:
- Dimensional Reporting – In contrast to a hard-coded chart of accountants, Sage Intacct lets accountants tag transactions with various “Dimensions” like location, vendor, item, or class. Dimensions make it simple to clearly identify how a single transaction fits into a broader accounting scheme. And once every transaction has been tagged with Dimensions, reporting is simply a matter of identifying which Dimensions to display. That is to say, reports don’t need to be created because they can be requested instead. Dimensions make it easier than ever to slice and dice data, efficiently and precisely, for the purposes of reporting specifically or accounting generally.
- 360-Degree Visibility – Traditional reports are static documents, so the minute they get created they start to become irrelevant. Sage Intacct solves this problem with dashboards. An accountant creates a dashboard with the metrics and numbers someone wants to see, then those numbers automatically update in real-time as new data enters the system. Dashboards enhance visibility into whatever the client desires while reducing reporting requests since people already have the info they want.
- Strict Access Controls – Sage Intacct’s ability to efficiently create reports and automatically update/distribute data comes accompanied by strict access controls so that only authorized parties have access. Access controls are important for confidentiality and security, but they are good for efficiency too. Instead of creating many individual reports, accountants can save time by building a collective report with access controls tailored to each user.
- Drill Down Capabilities – Reports often raise more questions than they answer because people can see the final figures but not the data behind them. It’s part of what makes family office reporting a burden. Sage Intacct relieves that burden by turning reports into dynamic documents where users can drill down into the metrics until they reach the transaction-level data. The result is fewer calls and emails sent to the family office for explanations. Transparency also builds confidence in the work of the family office.
Family offices can’t neglect their reporting requirements, but they can’t be overwhelmed by them either. Anywhere that reporting feels like a difficult obstacle or unwelcome obligation needs to consider a change. Start with a closer look at Sage Intacct – a leading financial management solution with standout reporting capabilities that blend innovative features with intuitive controls. Get a demo by contacting RSM.