If you’re in the market for new fund management software, you’ve most likely been presented with many options and different pieces of functionality. It probably seems like learning a new system–and, more importantly, learning how to make a system improve your business–can seem like a daunting task.
One suggestion: Simplify.
If you’re moving away from using spreadsheets or an older legacy system, you may not need the Rolls Royce of fund management software right away. The beauty of most fund management systems available today is that you can invest in a simple system now and continually upgrade as your needs change and your proficiency grows. This way, you don’t have to scrap it for an entirely new system when you’re ready to move up.
For example, if you need a new system to manage fundraising, start with a centralized contact management database. With this type of system, you can keep track of all the potential investors you know and, more importantly, each conversation you’ve had with them. This way, even if you’re a smaller team of just two or three people, you avoid calling a prospect when a colleague is already in contact with them.
This type of fund management software can be easily rolled out, can usually be accessed from anywhere, and can provide robust functionality such as tracking the sources of your capital and your progress towards your target fund size. Then, as your proficiency with the system grows, you can add more complex functionality such as automatically generating and numbering PPMs, or integrating a portal through which you can securely distribute documents and track individuals’ logins and download history.
Setting up new software for portfolio management can be more complex than for fundraising, but there are still simple ways to get started in portfolio management. Using a portfolio management system allows you to easily track deals in your universe (or tracking funds if you’re a fund of funds). The software will allow you to narrow down to the deals that match your firm’s strategy, investment model, or to the deals that have performed well in the past. This lets you see your pipeline clearly and determine how much capital you need to allocate to each deal or fund. Later on, you can extend your portfolio management functionality to include things like metric tracking and custom reporting that can create most of your quarterly reports with the click of a button.
As a general rule, we recommend that if you don’t know exactly what you need, start small and build out functionality as you go along. This usually leads to better adoption among your team members and a better understanding of your system. It can also be a cost-effective way to get started while you learn what your software is capable of, and what you need out of it.
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