Over the past two years, financial markets have entered an unexpected and relentless period of rapid volatility and transformation that has created increased demands on executives of wealth and asset management companies.
Consider the pressure on the financial leader: you need to create efficient and innovative ways to deliver higher value to customers. You need to meet growing expectations by delivering digitally-centric experiences. And you must meet increasingly stringent compliance frameworks, regulatory standards, and cybersecurity requirements. Here are the three trends you need to be ready to tackle in 2022 to meet those goals.
1. The rapid acceleration of digital transformation
Across all areas of the economy, we are seeing continued waves of disruption at countless levels – from the COVID-19 pandemic and inflation to supply chain bottlenecks and job uncertainties. And when working with tech-savvy Millennials, digital transformation should be a fundamental requirement for wealth and asset management companies. One of the pillars of digital transformation is simply the ability to provide a single, digitized source of truth for financial accounts. This allows the business to grow and provide better information and better service to customers.
Accurate information must be available 24/7 – regardless of technology systems or databases – to those who need to make informed decisions. A modern and flexible financial accounting system can meet the current and future digitization needs of your business.
How to respond
- Automate and streamline manual financial processes and workflows.
- Develop financial reports that describe the overall health of your business in addition to a clear view of your company’s general ledger data.
- Access real-time consolidated dashboard views of financial data for funds, customers, locations, assets or currencies.
- Benefit from the scalability, collaboration and flexibility in the workplace / home office that cloud-based platforms offer.
2. The efficiency mandate
As generational wealth continues to shift, margins continue to shrink. Younger, tech-savvy investors want frictionless investment platforms and technologies that emphasize speed and efficiency. At the same time, a growing number of lower-cost passive investment vehicles are driving down costs further. As a result, wealth and asset management companies need to create more effective organizations that rely less on manual efforts. You need to increase the operational efficiency of your team without increasing headcount or piling up additional expenses from third parties to help with core processes.
How to respond
- Speed up your closing processes by automating routine accounting.
- Reduce audit times while providing clear audit trails and direct auditor access to reports.
- Distribute overhead costs correctly throughout the organization.
- Manage GAAP compliance and audit trails on existing systems more effectively.
- Provide secure, cloud-based access to those who need it, wherever they work.
3. The evolution of cybersecurity threats
The growing volume and severity of security threats are prompting tighter regulatory oversight of how wealth and asset management companies store and share Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and other financial data. Plus, large organizations aren’t the only ones exposed to cybersecurity threats. The point is, family offices that manage the wealth and assets of very high net worth individuals can be an even more attractive target – and face even greater risks. Companies that take a reactive approach – and only do the bare minimum – risk the kind of reputational damage they might not recover from. On the other hand, staying ahead of evolving compliance requirements allows you to protect customer data – and your company’s reputation – at all times.
How to respond
- Streamline compliance efforts.
- Establish and maintain more granular audit trails.
- Limit access to data through configurable permissions, so users see only the data they need.
- Use cloud-based security protocols and fully redundant servers.
- Deploy a solution that meets the most stringent security requirements: SSAE 18 SOC 1 Type II audits performed twice a year; SOC 2 Type II-audited; biometric access controls for production data; and 128-bit encryption for all data transmissions.
A modern cloud-based financial management platform may not solve all challenges, but it is a centerpiece of the digitalization puzzle. The right accounting platform not only helps you mitigate risk, but also prevent it.
Sustaining a business is a big goal, but we can start by eliminating the daily financial rush. The good financial accounting system puts an end to daily fires. Your team can stop manually finding and standardizing data in Excel. They can stop wasting time on outdated reports. They can stop implementing patchwork security protocols. Instead, they can focus on the strategic analysis – and the value your customers expect and deserve.