We have written several times before about why Sage Intacct is not just an appropriate but an ideal financial management solution for family offices.
- Making processes perfect at family offices
- FamilySight transforming family offices
- Sage Intacct helps family offices
But we have yet to address one of the most compelling aspects of Sage Intacct from a family office perspective: Dimensions.
Dimensions are data that you can “tag” to transactions rather than entering those transactions into a traditional chart of accounts. Dimensions can indicate the person, location, fund, project or any other information relevant to a transaction. It works similarly to describing a transaction rather than hard-coding it, which makes this approach to accounting easier to manage and, by removing the code, easier to understand as well.
Sage Intacct did not invent the concept of dimensional accounting. Rather, it made dimensional accounting more accessible and more dynamic, allowing any organization to quickly get on board with this alternative approach and start seeing the impact just as rapidly.
Family offices benefit from using Dimensions in multiple ways, including improving upon one of their biggest responsibilities: investment tracking.
Using Dimensions for Investment Tracking
Sage Intacct created Dimensions to be as flexible and user-friendly as possible. You can tag any transaction with dimensions, including transactions related to various investment vehicles. What’s more, you can tag them with 8 Dimensions: location, department, project, customer, vendor, employee, item, and class. Many of those do not align exactly with the work that family offices do, but you have the freedom to create dimensions for any classification: family member, philanthropic effort, etc.
Tagging investment transactions with Dimensions makes the information in those transactions easier to organize, retrieve, and analyze. Rather than having important investment data lost in a labyrinth-like chart of accounts, there’s a simple system of reference to make granular financial data and high-level investment insights equally easy to find for whatever purpose.
Benefits of Dimensions for Investment Tracking
The advantages of tracking investments with Dimensions compared to the alternatives become apparent immediately, amplify with time, and have a major impact on what a family office can accomplish. Just a few examples include:
- Better Tracking, Less Time – Dimensions let you slice, dice, and filter investment data with ease compared to organizing and reconciling the data inside Excel. Yet despite taking vastly less time, tracking with Dimensions offers a more accurate and updated picture of investment performance.
- More Data Made Easy – Sage Intacct has an integration with KnowLedger, a popular product among family offices for connecting the general ledger to various outside sources. Dimensions are a simple and scalable way of keeping rising amounts of data from becoming disorganized and disconnected.
- K1 Reconciliation Upgrades – The K1 reconciliation process comes with significant reporting requirements and high expectations for accuracy and transparency. Dimensions make it fast to retrieve all the data necessary to both improve and expedite the reconciliation process.
- User-Defined Books – Transactions tagged with Dimensions allow users to create books with specific definitions built around those Dimensions and start getting customized perspectives to track costs, assess the fair market value, make fair market adjustments, or whatever else.
- Powerful Reporting – Reporting becomes as simple as identifying what Dimensions you want to include in the document in what format. Having summary- and detail-level data on investments available almost on demand means that no question goes unanswered and no trend gets overlooked.
Getting Started With Dimensions
Reaping all the rewards of what Dimensions can do take two pieces. First, Sage Intacct itself. Family offices will need a partner to implement the solution and tailor it to their needs. Second, experts in investment tracking who can show family offices how Dimensions fit into their existing workflows and responsibilities while adding new capabilities along the way, for investment tracking and beyond.
Enlist a partner with equal experience serving family offices and supporting Sage Intacct – Contact RSM.