IFA Dataflow handles millions of income fee transactions per year for many of the largest Wealth Management firms in the UK.
Our clients send us dozens of Excel files every working day. These files come from providers with fee data for our wealth manager customers.
Our task is to import that data into our client’s back office systems, and each provider has a different way of presenting the data as they originate from different systems.
The data processing consists of reordering data, translating data, deleting unnecessary data, adding data to the file and sending the data to the client’s back-office systems in the required format.
Over the years, we have tried various approaches, each with pros and cons. We reveal below what we have learned over the years for the hundreds of income reconciliation teams working on this every day.
Initially, we started processing the data manually because the volume was small, and we needed to discover whether the volumes would grow in both numbers and variations.
However, it quickly became apparent that being a cut-and-paste wizard was time-consuming, laborious and prone to error. One of our customers was manually processing 50-60 files a day. It just is not the work that people like to do, and it’s detailed, intensive work. Therefore unintentional mistakes occur.
We needed a simpler, less manually intensive way to process the files. So we started to write macros in MS Visual Basic, which were held on an xlsm workbook.
This was a much quicker process. You just opened the file, clicked the right macro button and saved the new file as a csv file. The problem is that only a few people are proficient at writing VB macros.
We trained one person, but then we created a situation where we depended on that person. We had an issue if that person was absent due to holidays or sick leave. If they left, we couldn’t understand how the macro was written and when we needed to make changes, we had difficulty doing it.
Finally, we decided to dump all our macros and invest in building a database solution with an intuitive front end that was extremely easy to write new code. Wealth Managers receive similar files, so we could reuse that code and tailor it to that specific customer’s back office system.
The best feature of this system is that you can put multiple files from different providers in a folder, and the system will just go through the files one by one, identify them, execute the correct instructions on that file and output to that customer’s back office system.
The speed is incredible, and the accuracy is 100% every single time. The process is fully automatic.
The best part is that training a new starter to write instructions takes only an hour.
The system has a series of tools that are all point-and-click. Using these tools in combination means that the tasks we can perform are virtually limitless. And when we acquire a new client, we can attach the existing instruction sets and get them up and live immediately.
If you want to learn more about IFA Dataflow, book a time slot here for a no-obligation chat , and we’ll show you how it works.