As the portfolio management and reporting landscape changes, more affordable back-office software options are available to RIA firms with less than $100 million in AUM. However, now firms are faced with the challenge of choosing from many well-priced solutions.
The right back-office software can make a huge difference in your business’s operations. If you choose the right solution, your business can earn ROI quickly. If you choose a solution that’s a poor fit for your company, your business may struggle to adopt it.
However, if your portfolio management and reporting solution has the following seven features, it’s far more likely to work well for your business.
Automated Trading & Rebalancing
Technology analyzes much more data much faster than humans can, which is why automated trading and rebalancing is a must-have in your portfolio management solution. In fact, automated trading is one of the reasons that tech-savvy financial advisors grow their number of clients by 5% more than typical advisors, and their assets under management by 9-10% more.
Ensure the system you choose can automate the majority of your trading and rebalancing tasks, while also allowing for intricate customizations that cater to your clients’ needs. Some solutions come with trading built in, others take an open architecture approach allowing you to select the best solution to fit your need in this area. Many custodians also provide basic rebalancing solutions at little to no cost that can help meet your firm’s needs in single-custodian back office.
Given the concerning state of cybersecurity today, your back-office software provider should prioritize safety. In particular, your solution should have:
Comprehensive data policies that enable the masking or elimination of personally identifiable information (PII), Limited account relationships that promise the least invasive connections with financial institutions and no ability to view account information, and Secure software architecture that uses cutting-edge cloud technology to uphold robust security standards.
With these high standards, your back-office software should be able to withstand any attempts to steal client data.
Client account aggregation is an expected amenity among the modern client, although only a third of advisors offer this benefit now.
Ensure your software lets clients link their favorite third-party accounts by means of online login credentials. Your software should also add relevant data from these outside accounts into high-level reports for your clients’ convenience.
As Aite analyst Meghna Mukerjee notes, “The view of the client needs to be all-encompassing.” Expedient, thorough, and on-demand reporting provides both RIAs and their clients a transparent and well-rounded view into account activity.
Your portfolio management solution should provide comprehensive reporting capabilities, including configurable reports, real-time web-access, and easy printing for clients still accustomed to a paper based experience. You want to be able to strike a balance between simple understandability and confidence balanced against transparency and detail.
Back-office software should simplify the trivial tasks you complete each day. Streamlined billing is another feature that your solution must provide. You shouldn’t be running audit reports in excel or going through a 20-step checklist every time you need to bill a client.
Your back-office software should enable you to add new clients quickly, then generate billing reports and invoices with ease. The software should also allow you to manage multiple custom fee structures in a single, user-friendly interface.
Don’t forget clients’ top needs when choosing your portfolio management solution. The transparency that digital solutions provide is a big reason that 40% to 45% of affluent consumers changed to a digitally led primary wealth management firm from 2013 to 2015.
Ensure your chosen software provides clients with easy access to their account information, reports, and invoices. Oftentimes, clients expect the transparency and accessibility, even though they may not use the portal everyday. For firms who want to take the digital experience a step further, a modern PMR partner will have the technology to enable you to tailor your digital experience beyond the out-of-box options to match your narrative and review process. With advances in technology today, you should be able to achieve this without breaking the bank.
Finally, don’t underestimate the value of a user-friendly interface.
A portfolio management solution may have all of the must-have features listed above, but if the user interface is difficult to navigate, you and your team will waste countless hours trying to use your new investment. You want a tool that’s as easy to use as it is automated, not one that overburdens you with unnecessary bells and whistles, making it difficult to complete core tasks.
Once you’ve completed your research and found a solution that fits your firm’s needs, it’s time to step back and watch the ROI come pouring in.
Need help finding back-office software with each of these seven features? Look no further.