Questions to ask about a new IT system

Evaluating a complex software system can be difficult, but knowing the right questions to ask can be of great help. The following are the questions we suggest you ask when choosing a new system, regardless if it’s ours or not:

GENERAL:

  1. How long do you take to add a new feature for me?
  2. How long does it take to create a new report template? Can you guarantee a deadline?
  3. Do I have to pay extra for the updates and every extra feature?

SECURITY:

  1. Is the confidential information 100% secure and only accessible by me? How?
  2. Does the system run on a server vulnerable to viruses and other risks?
  3. Can I set meaningful user roles and permissions in detail?
  4. What kind of authentication methods do you use?
  5. Are relevant information changes logged for audit purposes?

FRONT OFFICE:

  1. How are client visits and calls tracked?
  2. How can relationship managers and assistants interact?
  3. How is the account opening process structured?
  4. Do you have an approval process to manage onboarding-related risks? Who can approve what?
  5. When is management involved in the account opening process?
  6. Can assistants track and manage outstanding issues (missing documents, expired ID,…) efficiently? How?
  7. Is the system rigid or exceptions can be made when required? How are those supervised?

COMPLIANCE:

  1. Am I fully protected against AML and other regulatory breaches? How?
  2. How do you handle transaction monitoring for AML purposes?
  3. Which name-checking services do you support?
  4. Are the name checks executed locally or does your system need to send confidential information to the service provider across the Internet?
  5. How are confidential documents stored?
  6. How are expired documents dates handled?
  7. Can the client’s riskiness determined automatically? How?
  8. How are contractual restrictions managed?

PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT:

  1. What kind of performance calculation is available?
  2. Which risk metrics are available?
  3. Are performance attribution and contribution calculated? How?
  4. How are orders transferred between portfolio managers and back office?
  5. How advanced is the target portfolio selection engine?
  6. Can I use model portfolios to manage accounts with complex restrictions?
  7. Is it possible to apply tactical overlays to strategic models?
  8. How are restrictions and their breaches handled?

BACK OFFICE:

  1. From which custodian banks can the system obtain electronic information automatically?
  2. How are transactions and positions provided by the bank checked and corrected?
  3. How are transactions and positions reconciled between the system and the bank?
  4. How do you deal with corporate actions?
  5. How are orders managed?
  6. How is order execution checked and evaluated?

FINANCE:

  1. Can I double-check fees charged by the banks?
  2. Can I calculate commissions from banks, third-party fund managers, product providers and brokers?
  3. Can I calculate revenue sharing figures for internal employees and client introducers?
  4. Can I calculate and invoice management fees?
  5. Are accounts subject to Stamp Duty and/or VAT determined automatically? How are these fees calculated?

We’ll be happy to answer these questions and any other you might have.

Just give us a call at +41 44 251 00 80 or write to info@fimax.ch