New York / Dublin / London, 25th March, 2022
A proactive administrator will ensue the audit process runs smoothly for the manager, avoiding any last-minute panics and keeping the manager’s time as free as possible during this busy period, to focus on their portfolio and investors.
As audit time draws to a close, Centaur outlines five best practices to ensure a smooth and painless audit next time around.
The chances are your administrator has performed this process many times more than you and will be going through the same process with multiple clients concurrently. As a professional service firm, having processes bedded down and a client focused, proactive client service team ensures everything is covered and in hand.
In short, you should rely on your fund administrators with their experience, to communicate early, set timelines and assign roles and responsibilities. Ask that they drive a project plan and have periodic meetings or updates to communicate progress and any pain points nice and early. It is your audit, so you should have full transparency and confidence in the service you are receiving.
When you selected your administrator, you will have done so with some key criteria in mind, chief among them being the ability to partner and communicate effectively with you. You have chosen to outsource to have access to specialist expertise, experience and operational efficiency, so what help is all of this if your administrator is not effective at collaborating and realising these benefits for you?
Ensuring your partnering firms have operational centres in time zones that align with your working day is a big help. Additionally, it’s essential , that you feel there is a level of expertise you can rely on and continuity within the service team. Functionalised operations may be more cost effective for your administrator, but ask yourself, who really knows my funds and how we work? Who shows true ownership and will use their initiative and go the extra mile, or am I just another account to them?
These are important questions to ask to ensure you are working with the right administrator especially if your business has plans to grow and become more complex.
You offer only the highest service standards to your clients, so why would you settle for anything less than the best from your administrator? It is unfortunately true that not all service models are created equal and many ‘tech driven’ firms forget what it means to effectively service a client, becoming overly reliant on their underutilised technology and falling short on technical, industry expertise and client centricity.
So if you are not 100% comfortable in these key areas, you should be confirming with your administrator, well in advance of the audit, who is leading the team, what is their experience and their approach to staff continuity and succession planning for future audits.
- CLIENT SERVICE PHILOSOPHY
As part of your due diligence when assigning an administrator, it’s important to gain an understanding of the firm’s client service philosophy. Your fund administrator should be focused on collaboration with you, scheduling and managing the timing of the audit. Their role is to take the burden out of the audit process and be the main point of contact for all audit queries. As an example, prior to year-end, your administrator should liaise with the relevant audit firms to ensure all necessary pronouncements are included in the financial statement templates, preventing any last-minute surprises at the final review stage.
It is important to always review the audit process while the detail is still fresh in your mind. It is all too easy to move on and not make time to review what went well and what gave you cause for concern. Be open and honest with your administrator with this feedback. If they have done an excellent job, let them know so they understand what aspects of their service are important to you. If they need to improve, the issues need to be addressed to prevent the inevitable reoccurring again next time around.
WANT TO LEARN MORE?
Centaur has a client first culture and places client service and satisfaction at the heart of everything we do. To find out more and why Centaur has a 100% client retention rate, please get in touch and find how we can help your audit process: