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5 Ways to Greater Efficiency: How to Help Boost Your Firm’s Strategic Vision & Profitability with the Latest Accounting Technology

Stopping the ripple effect. Industry leaders frequently cite efficiency and adaptability as among their greatest corporate challenges. Corporate pressure for operational efficiency and workflow automation seems to grow exponentially every day. Yet, senior executives may not be close enough to their firm’s operational processes to understand the warning signs of an aging accounting platform, such as increased manual processing and lack of timely global coverage, among other issues.

The true implications of outdated technology become evident when the risk mitigation of your legacy accounting platform fails and exposes your firm to potentially unknown (and potentially limitless) financial risk and inefficiency.

From the front to the back office, deploying an automated workflow and exception processing solution can help a firm mitigate risk and become more efficient overall. With an innovative accounting solution, your firm can make smarter strategic decisions, eradicate operational deficiencies and increase employee bandwidth and growth, all of which can act as a catalyst in growing your assets efficiently.

With efficiency in mind, you should look for these five key features when upgrading your accounting technology:

1) Automated Operational Workflows
With the increasing exchange of information and constantly changing market conditions, companies must keep pace with processing, storing and distributing multiple views of data across the organization. These increased demands on operations are exposing organizations to greater risk for error and are magnifying deficient operational processes. Investing in an accounting technology solution can streamline front- to back-office workflows, easily identify processing exceptions and reduce your operational exposure.

Streamlining your operational process. It’s no secret that manual processing decreases efficiency and consumes resources. An effective investment accounting solution should provide your firm with:

  • Efficient processing with real-time exception notification
  • Automated exception resolution
  • Tangible operational metrics
  • Strong data management foundation
     

For example, Eagle’s operational dashboards and controls provide firms with a snapshot of their operational health at any given moment across multiple business lines. And Eagle’s unique automatic roll back and replay capabilities does all the unwinding for you, without the need for manual intervention. When a maturity or corporate action has been processed or your books have been closed, roll back replay will correct and “catch up,” from accounting all the way to performance measurement.

Boost your back-office efficiency. Automated and structured operational workflows provide your back office with the tools to:

  • Quickly identify and resolve exceptions across your enterprise
  • Provide operational transparency, enabling your firm to focus on strategic initiatives
  • Increase firm-wide collaboration, strengthening your connection to internal and external clients
     

2) The Single Transaction Set: One input, multiple views
One size doesn’t fit all. Most of us would agree that an innovative accounting solution should provide organizations with the ability to process a single set of transactions, provide multiple basis and multi-currency functionality and support straight-through processing.

However, not all systems are created equal. Your accounting solution should support multiple views of a consistent set of data. In turn, your solution should be multi-purpose, giving you the ability to either consume data or provide data out for consumption. Your data should be available to use for either accounting or portfolio management purposes. Finally, your solution should support multiple reporting views of a consistent set of data. In other words, your data should be able to stand on its own, regardless of its end use.

Your data, your choice. A truly integrated portfolio management solution provides you with choices: a high-powered accounting engine, or perhaps a source-specific data warehouse or operational data store. Either way, you have choices as to how you take the data to create your ABOR and IBOR views.

For example, you may need a portfolio management solution with the flexibility to provide views of your accounting data, as well as store and integrate external data for a firm-wide view. Another scenario could be a shift in your strategy to take on or increase your corporate acquisitions. Your portfolio management solution should give you the choice to either convert on business acquisitions, or integrate the source, defining each acquisition as a specific source to provide firm-wide views of the data, which can then be used as source data for respective ABOR and IBOR.

The freedom and flexibility to use your data for accounting or portfolio management. The ability to look at the same data in many ways bridges the gap between the perspectives and needs of front-, middle-, and back-office users, each of whom look at the same data through different lenses.

Why does this flexibility matter? Your portfolio managers may need start-of-day positions to make timely investment decisions, for example, while your accounting team continues to process transactions globally. With Eagle’s integrated platform, you can store data, letting you view ABOR, IBOR or other investment management data when you need to. By combining and consolidating data, your firm can get a more complete view of its investment strategies, exposure, look-through, performance and risk—helping you to make well-informed decisions.

Bridging the front to back office gap. The ability to store several accounting books and provide multiple portfolio management views of data is a key component of boosting company-wide operational efficiency. The ideal solution should give you more than one portfolio management view of your data, without first requiring that every transaction pass through your accounting systems. By offering different investment mechanisms to view your data, Eagle’s stored data gives you numerous views from one or many enterprise-wide sources, from any moment in time.

3) Auditability
Creating an audit trail. Risk, compliance and regulatory demands require accounting systems that can enable you to create an audit trail quickly and easily. You should be able to easily provide the right information at the right time to external users and clients.

Highlighting the data path. Data needs to be fully tracked and recorded to support audit controls. Well-defined user roles and responsibilities can also significantly shorten the audit process. An accounting solution that provides robust audit functionality enables user-friendly interfaces as well as automated audit reports, eliminating the need to provide hundreds of manual reports for an audit. The growing list of industry regulations makes full data transparency and flexibility a requirement.

Consider the availability and auditability of your data:

  • Can you trace your original data sources?
  • Can you see the changes in your data, i.e., old vs. new values?
  • Are you able to track who did what and when?
  • Are you able to do “as of” reporting with effective date data?
  • How readily accessible is this information?
  • Do you feel comfortable and confident in your data to provide auditors system access?
  • Can your system provide granular user management designed specifically for audit requests?
     

With a secure, hosted solution firms can quickly access their own information and reports to support auditors. Eagle’s accounting solution provides you with robust audit tracking and reporting capabilities, granular user security and access, as well as real-time audit tracking and metrics.

4) Supporting a Global Landscape
Follow the sun. In today’s ever changing global landscape, the demand for robust workflows designed to support a global operation is at an all-time high. Organizations are constantly searching for global operations nirvana: the perfect integration of workflow and processes that keep your firm unified, lean and efficient across multiple time zones.

A comprehensive global solution will enable your firm to feed one data set to multiple locations around the world and process a variety of currencies and asset classes with ease. With Eagle, you can create discrete IBORs by region, letting you maintain multiple regional start-of-day books of record.

To function properly (and profitably), global financial institutions must have fully integrated business processes. Distinct workflow and exception processes such as back-dated transactions or reference data changes must operate without dependencies on lock-down batch processes, mandated system downtimes, and with full transaction and reporting transparency.

Your solution should possess the characteristics that enable your firm to be adaptable, efficient and aligned with your corporate vision. Your platform needs to provide no system downtime, real-time processing, and multiple stored views of positional and transactional data, while also being able to calculate performance on the fly.

Identifying these key components will paint a clearer picture of your global landscape. By providing multiple views of data that satisfy and support distinct multi-regional processes, your firm will have an efficient exception-based workflow that will provide organizational transparency.

5) Accelerated Deployment.
Hit the ground running. Pre-fabricated, off-the-shelf, supported interfaces can help firms implement and use their new accounting solution quickly and efficiently from day one. Benefits of a standardized deployment include:

  • Rapid tactical immersion into the accounting solution (accelerating time to value)
  • Proven and efficient workflows
  • Increased focus on strategic initiatives instead of exception processing
  • Ability to use existing data interfaces with proven industry data sources
     

On the cloud, you’re still in control. Standard configurations that can be deployed over the cloud—for example, via Eagle ACCESSSM—provide greater flexibility and remove burdensome infrastructure technology costs. These higher costs, typically associated with more stringent security standards, can be reduced through a cloud-based solution’s variable cost model.

A secure, cloud-based solution also offers these advantages:

  • Your software and hardware is managed, maintained and upgraded by the vendor
  • The ability to outsource many of the risks and costs of operating mission critical applications in-house
  • The solution should enable you to focus on your core business
  • Global availability and access
     

In many cases, a hosted, secure, cloud-based solution offers greater efficiencies and a lower, more stabilized cost structure. This stability gives firms a way to reduce their IT footprint and redeploy resources where needed. In turn, these resources have increased exposure to growth opportunities, and enhanced focus on strategic initiatives.

Prescribed Accounting. Outdated accounting systems can create a ripple effect of inefficiencies throughout an organization—increasing the likelihood of exposing your firm to a host of unknown financial and operational risks. There are two critical first steps that need to be addressed when evaluating your current legacy accounting platform:

  • Identify the operational pain points and inefficiencies
  • Define and communicate your operational success criteria
     

The proper identification and a prescriptive solution to address the above components will put you on the right track to achieve your corporate goals.

Find your solution. Today’s industrial-strength accounting solutions push technological boundaries, providing firms with the tools to do more in less time and for less cost. These efficiency gains run across an organization and affect every area of a firm. The right accounting solution enables management to make smarter strategic decisions and in turn, collaborate more easily across the organization to help their business become more profitable.

One accounting platform for your multiple lines of business. A comprehensive solution incorporates a workflow-oriented, process-by-exception accounting platform. More efficient workflows can better support your regulatory, industry and operational requirements, while helping you stay a step ahead of your competition.

A truly cutting-edge investment accounting solution can help your firm mitigate risk by identifying exceptions earlier and reducing operational errors, while providing the clarity and transparency required to make more informed investment decisions.

Your accounting system should support multiple lines of business on a single platform and provide you with:

  • Automated operational workflows and real-time exception processes
  • A single transaction set of data (in support of an IBOR and ABOR view of data)
  • A clear picture of your global landscape with multiple views of data (to satisfy and support distinct multi-regional processes)
  • Cloud deployment for rapid immersion and delivery of standard configurations and upgrades
  • Data on demand: stored data that provides detailed information and reporting and satisfies current regulatory requirements
     

Contact Eagle Investment Systems to find out how your firm can grow its assets more efficiently with the latest accounting solutions.
 

 

 

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