A pain point for many family offices is manual work – processing large volumes of investment documents, ensuring approvals happen correctly but quickly, and tracking granular tasks.
At InfoGrate, we work with clients to find operational efficiencies. One strategy is to leverage tools you might already have to automate key processes that eat up an inordinate amount of your time.
We find that our clients often get many financial statements. While there are tools like Canoe and Arch for alternatives, there is still a gap when it comes to basic bank and brokerage statements. Content management tools can help. These tools offer workflows that can ingest a document, pull key tags out of the document, and file it with the appropriate details such as statement date, bank, entity, and account number. These tags make is easy to search and find what you need (as well as elucidate what is missing).
Another way to harness the power of workflows is the automation complex processes for our clients. Annual trust reviews are a great example – for this process, the client typically develops a complex checklist of items that need to be reviewed for their trust accounts every year. It is possible to create automation around this task. For example, you can take this checklist and turn it into a custom data entry form (i.e., a questionnaire). As the reviewer walks through this questionnaire, the workflow generates a task list based on how they answer the questions. For example, the user could answer the question, “Have the K1’s for the trust been received – yes or no?” If the user answers “no,” then the workflow adds an “obtain K1’s” task to the list. Users can also add supporting documentation (for example, if the K1’s have been received). At the end of the questionnaire, the workflow packages everything up – the tasks, status, and documents – and generates a packet in the form of a PDF. Finally, the workflow sends the packet through an approvals pipeline (such as to the investment team, the COO, legal, etc.). When the packet passes through this pipeline successfully, the workflow marks the packet with a “Final Approval” stamp, locks the trust review, and archives the PDF packet in the trust library with tags so it’s easily searchable.
It is important to note that automation and workflows are not unique to the Microsoft stack: there are other great tools such as Dropbox and Box for document management, using Zapier, GSuite’s Workflow, or KissFlow for workflows. At the end of the day, choosing a workflow tool involves a careful analysis of your wider tech stack and infrastructure as well as employee preferences. At InfoGrate, we can guide you through the process of implementing workflows in your organization. If you’d like to learn more, please email us at email@example.com.