I first heard about ReportCheck from its creator, John Norwood, at an industry conference. He's a nice guy, so when he suggested I take a look at his program, I said I would. I must admit, I didn't think it would make much of a difference in my practice. After all, we already were pretty quick about distributing quarterly reports.
My client service manager and I read through the program’s specs and features. One in particular seemed too good to be true. ReportCheck offered automatic reviews of all our clients' quarterly returns and would identify those with returns outside of acceptable parameters.
Really? Software that could actually do this could easily improve the integrity of our numbers and save us countless hours of review time.
So, we tried it and we liked it. We are now able to instantly identify client returns outside of pre-set ranges. With this information, we can either correct errors or delve into why a particular client has unexpectedly higher or lower returns.
When asked about his inspiration for creating ReportCheck, Mr. Norwood said "The idea of developing an automated error checking application for PortfolioCenter came from listening to the staff of an advisory firm in Phoenix describe their process for manually checking their reports for errors. They produced a trial print run and then all the staff retired to the conference room and reviewed all the reports, page by page, passing reports around the table to each person in the room. The whole process … took the better portion of a week each quarter."
In my opinion, ReportCheck hits a home run; it is easy, effective and reasonably priced. The cost is $1 per account per year, with a minimum fee of $1,000.
There is one downside though: ReportCheck only works with PortfolioCenter. If that's your portfolio accounting software, then get ReportCheck now. If not, you might want to convince Mr. Norwood to expand his offering.
Now it's your turn, do you have a favorite little program that has made a significant difference in your practice?
Sheryl Rowling, CPA/PFS is CEO of Total Rebalance Expert and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.