Ten challenges Global Asset Managers face with accounting software

Discover the 10 Challenges Portfolio Adviser see as the key challenges and opportunities for global asset managers in 2016 and how these relate to the accounting software selection process.
28.01.2016

Recently Portfolio Adviser released a blog article about the ten challenges facing global asset managers. Nigel Watson, Sales Director of VAM Funds, talked about what he sees as the key challenges and opportunities for global asset managers in 2016. The same ten challenges also impact on finance directors working for fund management organisations, when going through the accounting software selection process. Find out here.

Recently Portfolio Adviser released a blog article about the ten challenges facing global asset managers. Nigel Watson, Sales Director of VAM Funds, talked about what he sees as the key challenges and opportunities for global asset managers in 2016.

The article titled ‘Ten challenges facing global asset managers’ mentions the following ten challenges:

• Regulation
• Price transparency
• Client support
• The rise and rise of technology
• Multi-channel communications
• Delivering robust quality products
• Being a partner, not just a product provider
• Alignment of industry practices and decision-making processes
• Managing expectations in a lower return/higher risk world
• Having a clear business strategy

The same ten challenges also impact on finance directors working for fund management organisations, when going through the accounting software selection process.

Regulation
If an asset manager doesn’t comply with the regulations in some jurisdictions then it can have implications on the ability to freely promote its funds. It’s the same for an accounting solution, there are regulations that need to be upheld. For instance global accounting software needs to be compliant with regulations such as GAAP, IFRS, and SOX.

Price transparency 
It is a must that asset managers provide charging structures that suit their clients. Of course, every company has their budget when purchasing an accounting software product. At Oakley we make sure that you have a clear understanding of costs and expectations that we uphold as your partner.

Client support
Asset managers’ clients seem to be becoming more demanding with the levels of support that is expected. We can see this through the increase of depth and scope of the information that advisers require. At Oakley, our Sage 200 and Sage 300 ERP support service is based in the UK. Our team is able to offer you a maximum 4-hour response time, however around 95% of client’ issues are responded to within 30 minutes and are often resolved immediately. With over 30 years’ experience and knowledge of Sage ERP solutions, we will ensure that you will be back up and running in no time.

The rise and rise of technology 
Asset managers must embrace new technology to continue to be competitive within their sector. The same can be said for the finance directors leading the companies’ accounts. Accounting software helps automate and reduce the time taken to get access to vital accounts information. For example Business Intelligence delivers reports virtually at the click of a button.

Multi – channel communications
Email has been the main means of communications for decades now but to be honest it is no longer as effective with people being bombarded by emails every day and many people just scanning the subject line. If it doesn’t catch their attention, it’s going into the trash folder. A CRM system is vital to keeping track of what communications have been received.
CRM brings together business units by providing information on many things such as; profitable customers, contact history, full lead cycle management from initial enquiry through to becoming an established customer and support cases.

Delivering robust quality products
Global asset managers are expected to offer robust infrastructure and products that are based in well-regulated jurisdictions, also to offer daily dealing, clean and transparent pricing requirements that are considered by clients. For asset managers that are looking to grow their business, Sage 200 or Sage 300 ERP are likely to be considered as options. With Sage 200 being a UK product from Sage UK, this solution is designed predominately for UK businesses in mind. Sage 300 ERP on the other hand is an International Solution which combines powerful financial modules, business intelligence and CRM giving you the ability to report across organisations, with multi-currency reports and multi company consolidations.

Being a partner, not just a product provider
In any fund management business, the foundation of the business is the high quality investment products but asset managers need to do more than just provide good funds. Here at Oakley, we look to continually increase client relations as we take great pride in our close working relationships with clients of all sizes. We have built up a portfolio of clients across sectors including a number of leading financial services organisations that find our approach matches their objectives.

Alignment of industry practices and decision-making processes
Asset managers/finance directors need to consider the way they market and sell their products, to ensure that they are aligned with this different approach. When talking about an accounting solution, Business Intelligence (BI) represents the tools and systems that play a key role in the strategic planning process of the corporation. These systems allow a company to gather, store, access and analyse corporate data to aid in decision-making. Process-based workflow is where the business process model demands that a number of applications and/or different parts of a business work together to carry out a specific business process.

Managing expectations in a lower return/higher risk world
In terms of asset managers within the income and capital growth, they need to be careful as investors’ expectations are not based on assumptions that perhaps do not apply to today’s investment environment and economic cycle. Risk is absolutely fundamental to investing; for investors such as finance directors, the trouble is figuring out just where the risk really lies and what the differences are between low risk and high risk. This can affect the decision making when looking at an accounting solution as the finance directors’ need to take into consideration whether investing a lot of money into a project will or will not eventually turn into a big return for the business.

Having a clear business strategy
With asset/fund management being in an increasingly competitive sector, businesses without a clear strategy are unlikely to succeed. Having a detailed business plan with clear goals and strategies are essential if you want to succeed in business. A business has to have the understanding of the target markets, segments by distribution channels and investor type. But this needs to be backed up by the data which a modern accounting solution such as Sage ERP can deliver.

If you would like to talk to Oakley about our accounting software solutions for fund management organisations feel free to get in touch today.