What is an Accounting Repository?
Traditional accounting packages include both the ability and function to calculate accounting results as well as the ability to store and report accounting results. For example, most accounting packages will calculate journal entries and update ledger accounts and then store the full history of those journal entries and ledgers in tables or objects within the same system which can then be retrieved at any time.
On-prem, traditional accounting software solutions served the industry well when there were no other additional systems for reporting and both the software, and the data remained on systems in-house. However, with the creation of, and now broad transition to SaaS-based solutions, the centralization of accounting data has presented a variety of issues.
With the advent of modern systems like SaaS-based accounting software solutions, it now is beneficial and necessary for long-term growth to separate the calculation of accounting results from the storage of accounting results. For Fund administrators, having separate accounting storage can mitigate vendor risk so that you can make your accounting data portable in the event you need to change your underlying accounting calculation engine. Further, most fund administrators have not one, but multiple accounting engines, sometimes serving the same fund. Having a central repository allows a fund administrator to present a unified, consistent view across all of a fund’s reports.
A major issue is that with the use of third-party providers and the management of accounting data by multiple providers, it has become increasingly necessary to store, manage the books and reports from accounting repositories that are separate from the accounting engine. Thus, the critical data that the hedge funds and alternative investment fund rely on for the firm’s Net Asset Value, Profit and Loss and so many other calculations is now off-prem which causes a variety of issues.
Potential Con’s of Pure SaaS-Based Accounting Solutions:
- Lack of Software Capabilities, Functionality, and Specialized Tools
- Lack of Data Management and Access
- Security and Privacy Concerns
- Compliance Concerns
- Disaster Recovery Concerns
How SaaS-Based Accounting Software Handles Stored Data
In this blog post, we’ll address issues #1 and #2 – according to our clients, these are the two major issues they have with SaaS-Based Accounting Solutions, particularly from a time and effort perspective. Initially, SaaS-Based software and Cloud-Based software, in general, has nearly countless benefits including those we listed above. However, in the case of accounting solutions, in many cases, the SaaS-Based solutions do not mirror the traditional on-prem solutions from a capability and functionality standpoint. For example, in previous implementations of an accounting engine, in most cases, the consumer of the data had much greater control with an on-prem implementation because:
- The data was typically stored and queried from a locally installed relational database
- The licensor of the software had control over the ultimate extraction of data
- In contrast when leveraging a SaaS solution or Non-relational Database provider
- The storage of data is now centralized and controlled by the SaaS provider
- The licensor/service receiver has much less control of the data
- Some data models are bespoke and unique (other word) to the provider and notoriously difficult to query
- Sharing of data is difficult and at the mercy of the provider rather than in full control of the consumer
SaaS-Based accounting solutions often lack the functionality and capabilities of traditional accounting software. Performing calculations, retrieving data, and reporting are often cumbersome, difficult, and can cause critical errors.
Operational Challenges of SaaS-Based Solutions
We discussed the mismatch that often occurs when funds move from an on-prem accounting solution to a SaaS-Based accounting solution including the change in functionality and software capabilities. However, even the storing and retrieval of accounting data often poses problems for funds. For example, in our work we see the following issues consistently with SaaS providers:
- Difficulties of Storing Accounting Data offline
- Mapping your provider’s configuration of the chart of accounts and general ledger to your representation of a general ledger
- Maintaining and reconciling your accounting repository to your accounting software
- Dealing with entry time differences and synchronizing updates between the accounting software and the accounting repository
These can all be mitigated with the right toolset to automate and guide you through the process. RyanEyes walks you through the process of integrating disparate sets of books. It has built-in tools to capture other data sources and easily join them to your existing data sources. Finally, it can process unformatted data as an ongoing process and turn it into formatted datasets that can be joined with your core accounting data.
The Benefits of RyanEyes Software as an Accounting Repository
Separating the accounting repository into a separate system allows the primary consumer of accounting data including Asset Manager, Hedge Funds, and Fund Administrators to provide immediate unrestricted but secure access to end-users. Even storing accounting data within Snowflake/ Redshift or an online version of MS SQL or Oracle allows the consumer much greater control over end reporting.
The Benefits of leveraging RyanEyes to retain, store and maintain your data includes:
- You have full control over the reporting of accounting results. Accounting results can be enriched from outside sources with minimal effort
- It is much easier to change your accounting engine by having an accounting repository. Clients do not need to worry about retaining their accounting history when they switch platforms
- You have an accounting repository which also means that you have a common accounting model to map to other accounting systems in case you need to interface with them
- You have a cloud-based accounting repository that allows you to stage the accounting repository for clients to deliver the full accounting dataset to clients. No longer are you delivering reports to clients, but you are delivering a full underlying dataset to clients that allows them to query against your accounting data
Fund Administrators have struggled for years with the transition from on-prem accounting software to SaaS-Based solutions. The solutions have different capabilities and functionality, the data is stored differently, and accessing the data to maintain critical ledgers, calculations and reports have become cumbersome, time-consuming, and fraught with errors.
Leveraging an accounting solution that allows fund administrators to build a best-of-breed solution including having an accounting repository outside of their core portfolio accounting engine allows them to reduce risk, save time, and scale client delivery. RyanEyes has developed unique methodologies and tools to make this much less daunting and a feasible solution. Storing, calculating, and reporting with RyanEyes provides users more control and predictability versus SaaS-based solutions.
To Learn More About How to Leverage the Accounting Repository for your Firm – Contact Us, We Are Happy to Help – 1 (347) 759 0105.
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