November 20, 2012

Family Offices Spend Third of Time on Financial Reporting: FOX Study

Done well, reports enable families to make well-informed decisions about their future

Accounting and financial reporting consume nearly one-third of the average family office’s time, according to a new report from Family Office Exchange.

Financial Reporting in the Family Office: Elevating the Conversation,” which was developed by FOX in conjunction with Advent Software, includes these key findings:

  • 80% of family offices provide clients with quarterly financial reports.
  • 51% provide a consolidated annual report.
  • 67% still provide clients with hard copy reports even as family offices are increasingly exploring secure online solutions for the distribution of financial information.

Also included in the report are several case studies suggesting that the most successful reporting ties the numbers back to family goals by taking into consideration such things as client objectives, audience sophistication, timing and preferred method of delivery.

“The challenge is to show how the numbers are relevant to the client’s goals in a manner that accounts for their learning style, preference for information and financial literacy,” FOX founder and chief executive Sara Hamilton said in a statement.

“Effective financial reporting is a matter of communication.”

This is a point FOX has been trying to get across in addressing what its family office members perceive as an information gap between family members and office trustees.

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