Monthly Archives: February 2014

Emerging Technologies for Financial Services

David Campbell
By Technology

financial-navigator-emerging-technologiesTechnology has long played a key role in the financial services industry. Today, however, a number of new and rapidly accelerating trends are emerging that promise to usher in an entirely new paradigm. Information technology can no longer simply be an “add on” at the periphery of the business, but rather must be deeply embedded at its core. Here at Financial Navigator we are able to capitalize on the capabilities and opportunities that this changing environment presents and are positioned to deliver these technologies to our customers. If you are interested in learning more about these emerging technologies and how they affect your business and clients, we have identified some resources to help you.

Cloud Security Alliance (CSA)

The CSA promotes the use of best practices for providing security assurance within Cloud Computing, and provide education on the uses of Cloud Computing to help secure all other forms of computing. Key technologists from Financial Navigator are members of CSA. www.cloudsecurityalliance.org

American Institute of CPA’s (AICPA)

The AICPA sets ethical standards for the profession and U.S. auditing standards for audits of private companies, nonprofit organizations, federal, state and local governments. It develops and grades the Uniform CPA Examination and offers specialty credentials for CPAs who concentrate on personal financial planning; fraud and forensics; business valuation; and information technology. www.aicpa.org Following are some relevant technology articles: Service Organization Control (SOC) Reports Cloud Computing Resources

Cloud Accounting Institute (CAI)

The CAI is a clearinghouse of information on software as a service (SaaS) and cloud computing. CAI is dedicated to addressing the needs of accounting and finance professionals. In addition the CAI publishes case studies, white papers, a cloud accounting resource directory and research on cloud financials and accounting best practices. http://cloudaccountinginstitute.org

PCI Security Standards

The PCI Security Standards Council is an open global forum, launched in 2006, that is responsible for the development, management, education, and awareness of the PCI Security Standards, including the Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS), and PIN Transaction Security (PTS) requirements. Financial Navigator uses these standards as one of cornerstones in our data security strategy. www.pcisecuritystandards.org

SSAE-16

SSAE No. 16 is an attestation standard put forth by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) that addresses engagements undertaken by a service auditor for reporting on controls at organizations that provide services to user entities that are likely relevant to internal control over financial reporting. http://www.ssae16.org

Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)

Multifactor authentication (MFA) is a security system in which more than one form of authentication is implemented to verify the legitimacy of a transaction. The goal of MFA is to create a layered defense and make it more difficult for an unauthorized person to access a computer system or network. Financial Navigator will use MFA techniques both to protect our customers data access and internally to access our systems. This Wikipedia article provides a good overview of the important MFA technology. Visit our Resource Center for a wide array of resources for family office management.

Embracing Change

Kevin Whalen, CPA, CGMA, MST, MSRED

Scientists tell us that as human beings, we are pretty good at dealing with change. In large part that explains why humans are the dominant species on the planet after millions of years of evolution. However, change can still be hard. There is always a natural tendency to favor the old, familiar way of doing things.

Somehow, the new usually seems mysterious and foreboding. Fortunately, with a little effort, it often turns out to be easier and/or better.

Dealing with Change

If adapting to change is essential, then learning how to deal with it effectively is just as important. Again, the social scientists are helpful. They tell us that, as a species, humans are able to successfully adapt to change because of our superior communication skills.

It is worth thinking about this because we will all experience major changes in how we use computer technology. The next few years may even bring the most significant changes we have seen yet. As a company, we know our role is to embrace change and lead our clients through the maze of possibilities to a new solution that works best for them. We take that role seriously. While it can be extremely challenging at times to define and implement the best solution, we enjoy the challenge and work hard to handle it for you.

Using our Most Important Tool

To assist you in dealing with change as it occurs, we will be using the best tool we can: good, solid communication. We will communicate with you using the three most effective means available to us:

1. Quarterly Newsletters
fni-quarterly-newslettersFour times a year we summarize our thoughts and send you a short newsletter. The newsletter itself is intended for quick reading and has outlines of the topics we want to share. If a topic catches your attention, you can click through to the article to read in more detail.

2. Blog Posts
There are topics we want to address that should not wait for a quarterly newsletter. We cover those subjects with a post on our company blog. Those posts can occur at any time and are there for you to read whenever you want to get an update on our most recent thinking. Rest assured, our blog will not discuss the company picnic or other matters that might waste your valuable time.

3. Resource Center Materials
Some topics are complex and require in-depth material to address the issues properly. Those topics will be covered on our website’s Resource Center. As the sample below shows, there you can find short videos, recorded webinars, white papers and slide presentations that provide the needed detail. Review the list of topics and read only what is meaningful to you. Come back to the Resource Center as many times as needed to understand the topics. Share a link to the information with friends and colleagues.

Financial Navigator Resource Center

Financial Navigator Resource Center

What to Expect

The obvious question is: What changes should you expect?

The short answer is: Many aspects of how you use our tools and how we work with you will be changing over the next year. The option to move to “cloud computing” is certainly one of the major changes, but not the only one. How we work with brokers and custodians is changing. The way we provide our tech support and implementation services is also evolving. Almost everything we do will be undergoing some degree of change.

Do not worry. We will be there to help and will communicate with you each step of the way.

Let’s enjoy the journey together.