Financial Services Firms: Kill Three Birds With One Stone
The thousands of financial services firms in the US each do something a little differently depending on where they are, who they serve, and what philosophy they follow. Despite the exciting variety in the industry, though, these firms tend to suffer from the same kinds of problems.
We will explore what those problems are and how to solve them in the next section. But let’s start with their origin. So many financial services firms have the same issues because they have the same accounting software. It’s adequate but under-powered, and in many cases it’s the same software the firm started with (QuickBooks is a likely culprit). Firms eventually outgrow their accounting software, but if they fail to upgrade, it creates a disparity between what they need and what they have. That disparity is common amongst firms of many different shapes and sizes, and all have these same three problems.
3 Problems that Plague Financial Services Firms
We help financial services firms optimize their accounting, which means we hear extensively about the accounting issues that firms struggle with. Here are the top three:
- Inefficient Close – The monthly close process should ideally take 5 days or fewer to complete. But at many firms, it lasts for 15-20 days each month because the data takes so long to collect, organize, and administer. Accountants waste weeks of valuable time on the close process, but that’s better than leaving the close unfinished and the books in total turmoil.
- Outdated Metrics – The best decisions take into account the latest data. When that isn’t available, though, decision makers may reference numbers that are weeks or months old – so old they’ve become inaccurate or irrelevant. Sometimes it’s clear when data has expired, other times it isn’t. Either way, this is the only data available at too many firms, to the great detriment of decision making.
- Poor Reporting – Portfolio reports give firms a vital perspective into their performance, good and bad. But they require extensive work to complete. With accountants already occupied with closing the monthly books or tracking down better metrics, there’s little time or energy left for the heavy lifting that portfolio reporting requires.
The bad news is that most firms suffer from all three of these problems at some point or to some degree. The good news is that they have a universal solution: Sage Intacct.
By implementing a robust, cloud-based financial management solution that handles all of the accounting along with the finer points of finance, firms gain a tool to fix all their problems. The close runs like clockwork, updated metrics arrive on demand, and reports burst with insights. And this is just the start. If you’re ready to see what your financial services firm is really capable of, unshackle yourself from the current accounting software and work with Sage Intacct instead. Equation Technologies would be happy to set up a demo. Contact us to find a time.