Category Archives: Services

Financial Navigator, Inc. moved to bigger office!

Kevin Whalen, CPA, CGMA, MST, MSRED

With the success of our new Polaris product and recent additions to our staff, FNI’s need for expanded office space is apparent. In response, we are pleased to announce that, as of May 16, 2016, Financial Navigator will move its corporate offices to the following location:

275 Saratoga Avenue (Map)
Suite 260
Santa Clara, CA  95050

In addition to providing more space for our staff, this building is closer to San Jose International Airport and will also offer a shorter commute for about 2/3 of our employees.

Our phone numbers and email will not change so, except for “snail mail,” you can continue to contact us as you always have in the past. If you need to send us something by U.S. mail or express delivery service, please use the above address after May 13.

We anticipate no interruption in our Customer Support services during the transition. However, we recognize that the unexpected can occur. Therefore, we ask for your patience if any difficulties arise and we apologize in advance for any inconvenience.

Everyone at FNI is excited about our new home. We are confident it will help us to serve our clients even better.  

Please come visit us if you are in the Silicon Valley area! It would be great to see you here.

9 Essential Steps in Selecting a Software Solution

Manu Goyal, CFA

With the right software solution, a family office can substantially increase productivity and efficiency. Before selecting a solution provider, however, it is very important that the family office take the time to understand its internal requirements. The following nine-step guide will help make the selection process of family office software easier and more successful.

1. Establish Your Business Objectives

Every family office has different needs. Identifying your business objectives is critical to ensuring you get the technology system most suited to your needs.

2. Prioritize

Review the objectives you defined in Step 1 to establish which are most important. What must you have right away? What can wait?  This prioritization will form the blueprint for the Needs Analysis checklist you will prepare in Step 4.

3. Learn What Is Available

Search the Internet using keywords like ‘family office software‘ or ‘family office technology.’ Make notes of providers’ strengths and where you see a fit for your practice. Ask friends in the industry for recommendations.

4. Complete a Needs Analysis

A Needs Analysis is a detailed list of the specific features and functionalities you need. Classify each feature or function as ‘must have,’ ‘should have,’ or ‘nice to have.’

5. Determine if You Need an In-House or Outsourced Solution

What kind of solution will work for your family office – one that is housed completely within your office (in-house), one that is completely off site (outsourced), or something in between? Understand the trade-offs for each alternative, bearing in mind the strengths and culture of your operations.

6. Share Your Needs Analysis

Send your Needs Analysis to the providers identified in Step 3, above. Ask for a comparison between your requirements and their solution. Providers will appreciate your clear roadmap. Encourage them to reach out to you if they need clarification.

7. Narrow Your List of Potential Providers

Start by eliminating firms that cannot meet your requirements. Next, cut those who do not support the service model (in-house or outsourced) of your choice. Other factors like costs can also help you narrow the field. Your goal is to arrive at a short list of three providers.

8. Conduct an In-depth Evaluation of Your Short-Listed Providers

With the shortlist, you are ready to evaluate each solution in depth. Request a product demonstration from each provider. During each demo, keep your Needs Analysis with you to determine how closely the product matches it.

9. Partner With the Best Provider

Recognize that no solution is perfect and each product will have its own strengths. Involve your core staff to determine the best fit for your organization.

This nine-step process is based on decades of our work with family offices and accounting firms such as yours.

You can read a more detailed, six-page article on our Resource Center under the topic: Selecting a Solution Provider.

Ready for Assignment!

Rosalina Lopez
By Services

oneview-sleevesStaff turnover, illness or even a special project can cause your accounting department to fall behind on its regular work. More recently, the strains of tax season may have resulted in work backing up in your office. The recovery process from this situation can be arduous, often characterized by late reports, late nights, coffee-stained errors and burned-out personnel. Such stress can be exhausting as staff members struggle to manage their ongoing workload while also catching up on the backlog.

It does not have to be that way. There is a painless solution for getting back to normal: Outsource the excess to Financial Navigator’s experts until you get back on schedule. After all, FNI is not just a software company. With our technical support and outsource services, we offer a complete solution for all our clients’ accounting and financial reporting needs.

Why Now?

Today, the process of outsourcing data management work is simpler than ever:

  • Sharing computer files is quick and easy.
  • Most investment data is available online from electronic sources.
  • The work can be performed remotely, so there is no disruption in your offices.

Who Can Help?

You could hire additional staff but, if the problem is only temporary, that would make no sense. Alternatively, AccounTemps could provide someone competent, as could your outside accounting firm. However, neither would have much experience with your accounting system. Consequently, an experienced person in your office would have to train the newcomer, meaning neither one would be very productive for at least a couple days. Only Financial Navigator’s experienced staff can step in and get to work with minimal instruction.

The FNI Advantage

In addition to providing seasoned accounting professionals with extensive relevant experience, FNI’s outsource services provide the following important benefits:

  • Efficiency – There is no learning curve. Our in-house accountants are already expert users of Financial Navigator software, so you don’t waste time training them.
  • Flexibility – Engagements are tailored to your needs and can be for as long or as short a time period as you require.
  • Confidentiality – Your license agreement with FNI already includes our commitment to the confidentiality of your information. You can rely on us to keep your sensitive data private.
  • Cost effectiveness – Our in-house accountants use their intimate knowledge of the software to provide great value to you at competitive rates.

In short, think of Financial Navigator as an extension of your own staff, ready to pitch in and provide relief when the work starts to pile up. Just give us a call. Our team is ready to go to work for you!