January 10, 2012 Ken Jacobsen

Family Office Management

Family office companies manage the holdings and assets of a single wealthy family that can include not only a diverse portfolio of investments, but also extensive lifestyle and personal property. A growing number of these family offices are seeking better systems to manage their wealth, and for good reason.

Management of finances for multiple properties and companies can get quite complex. Because most offices start out small and grow organically, many are struggling with low-end systems such as QuickBooks or Excel spreadsheet processes. This approach often creates errors and leaves out important information. Family members usually desire a consolidated bookkeeping system and a GAAP-compliant financial system to make their lives easier.

Family members now also require financial data to be available on-demand, anytime and anywhere they need access. Remote and mobile access to financial data is now becoming the norm where just a few years ago, families relied on snail mail packets of financial information– a process that was both labor intensive and expensive.

In response, many family offices are now breaking down their islands of information and implementing fully-integrated accounting, CRM, dashboards and portal applications. Offices are now considering all of their enterprise data, instead of just pieces. This includes financial and portfolio data, as well as electronic documents, email and more.

Some of the technology services which have become critically important to family office organizations:

  • Portals. These are vital components of the solution — and we’ve been able to deliver them to clients. Web-based portals allow family members to access data anytime, anywhere.
  • Security. These affluent clients often have complex hierarchies and unique privacy needs — even within the family unit. Complicated security models can be built based on numerous factors such as ownership percentage and partnership participation.
  • Segregated data. With so many partnerships and companies, the family members often want to view the cash pool and draw from it.
  • Online storage and retrieval. Though quite wealthy, these families don’t necessarily want to invest heavily in software to support the office. The ability to scan images and documents for backup were once deemed too costly. Now, affordable solutions exist.
  • Consolidated information. With so many contracts, partnership agreements, investments and assets, it used to be difficult to unite information and report on it. Our solution is quite broad; it reduces the number of unique systems and creates data that can be easily seen and reported on.
  • CRM. This component tracks relationships and the activities around those relationships. Now, when a family member calls the office, they can obtain a history of what they’ve been told. Assorted companies and investment managers also contact the family office; a good solution will track the correspondence and activities of all those meetings, phone calls, conference calls and emails.

Meeting the Demands of Family Office Management 

  • Microsoft Dynamics offers an excellent financial hub and operation engine, which can include integration with Advent and other portfolio management systems. WE have SFO clients running both Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central for accounting.
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Sales and Service (CRM) can be used to manage relationships, correspondence, communication, art work, and activities and items unique to family offices.
  • Solver and Microsoft Power BI dashboards can provide family members with a centralized portal solution to access their financial, operational, investment and CRM data.
  • Microsoft SharePoint can serve as the document storage, search capability and retrieval purposes.

There is no denying that family finances get complicated whether we like it or not. Make sure you have a solution in place that will simplify and organize your financial data. Contact us at The TM Group for more information today.