Family Office Services Outsourcing: The Ultimate Audit Checklist

Finding the right outsourced family office service provider can be challenging enough, but once that decision is made, how do you know if you’ve made the right choice? And what steps can you take to ensure that your needs and goals are being met?

At Plumb we pride ourselves on providing clarity in accounting and stewardship in service for our high-net-worth bill pay and accounting clients (and their trusted advisors). This guides everything we do – from our seamless client onboarding process to our ongoing check-ins and accurate, customized reporting.

Here we take you through our top 5 recommendations for monitoring the effectiveness of your outsourced family office bill pay and accounting provider. Use this simple checklist to ensure that you are getting the service you need from your outsourced firm.

  1. Clarity

Working with an outsourced service – regardless of what that service is – should provide you with clarity. When it comes to bill pay and accounting, clarity is paramount. But what do we mean by clarity? It’s not just about having organized spreadsheets and balanced books. It’s about seeing the story behind the numbers: understanding where your money comes from, where it goes, and why. This clarity will help pave the way for successful wealth management and maintenance.

  1. Communication

A key component to any solid and productive relationship is communication. This is no different when thinking about your relationship with your outsourced service providers. Do you feel like you are kept up to date on everything you need to know about? Are your emails and calls responded to with urgency? Does the team working with you understand your goals, your needs, and your expectations? Are the updates and reports they provide clear and well-explained? If you answer “no” to any of these questions, you should address this with your outsourced firm to see what can be adjusted.

  1. Access

How easy is it for you to get the data and information that you need? Does your outsourced service provider have an app (like the Plumb proprietary bill pay app) that you can access anytime, from anywhere? What about customer support access? How much access do you have to the team handling your account?

  1. Comprehension

Do you feel that you understand what this outsourced service provider is responsible for, as well as any data and information that they are sharing with you? Are they sending updated and timely reports? Better yet, do you have access to a digital dashboard where you can view the data you need, in the way you want to view it?

  1. Peace of Mind

At the end of the day, are you able to relax and rest easy knowing that your bill pay and accounting needs are being met? That you don’t have to worry about keeping track of due dates and cash flow because your outsourced team is on top of it? The ultimate goal for any outsourced service provider is to alleviate the daily stress and worry their clients face. At Plumb, we want our clients to focus on the things in life they enjoy and love – and to leave the bill pay and accounting details up to us. We’ve got it covered.

Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to explore how Plumb’s expertise can elevate your bill pay and accounting experience. Let us tailor solutions to meet your unique financial goals, providing the specialized attention your wealth deserves.

Illuminating the Accounting of Art, Collectibles, and Luxury Assets

There are people who invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds or real estate; and then there are people who invest in more unique assets. These assets can range from photographs and paintings to jewelry and classic cars. More often than not, this is born out of a true love for these items. That they may hold extraordinarily high values is just the cherry on top.

With Plumb’s decades of experience helping high-net-worth clients and their trusted advisors with their bill pay and accounting needs, we are very familiar with the best practices of the reporting and accounting requirements related to these special assets.

Here are some of the ways we work with clients and their luxury assets:

Art or Car Collections

  • It is recommended that clients that have art or classic car collections should itemize every piece or vehicle in the collection.
  • These items may also be held in separate entities – especially if clients do a lot of buying and selling. We may recommend the use of Sage Intacct to make use of their dimensions for ease of tracking. Otherwise, we can utilize subaccounts in QuickBooks.
  • If a client loans a piece or a collection to a museum, a loan agreement is needed, and we will help coordinate with the insurance company. The museum is responsible for the insurance of the piece(s) while it’s in their possession, and when returned, the insurance again needs to be updated.
  • If an appraisal is conducted, we will coordinate with the appraiser to receive the report on both the inventory and assigned values.

Jewelry

  • Jewelry is not always itemized since most clients have a rider on their home policy up to a certain amount that can cover this type of asset. However, we recommend itemizing if clients have more valuable jewels or watches.
  • As with art or car collections, if the client requests an appraisal, we’ll receive the report directly from the appraiser.

At the end of the day, our goal is to accurately itemize these unique, luxury assets for insurance purposes, and they are tracked separately for accounting reasons. And our clients usually just want to ensure that they – and their children and grandchildren – can enjoy these magnificent possessions for a long time to come.

Take the Next Step Towards Financial Ease and Clarity: Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment and accounting services can help you accurately itemize and report on your luxury assets. Your peace of mind is our priority.

 

 

Protecting Wealth: The Plumb Difference in HNWI Bill Pay

Plumb Bill Pay and Family Office Accounting emerged from a realization of the distinct challenges faced by our business-owner and entrepreneurial clients. While relying on their company’s accounting team initially served them well, unforeseen circumstances like retirements or changes in personnel often led to gaps in effective bill payment and accounting management.

High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) possess distinctive bill pay and accounting requirements, setting them apart from the average individual.

Here are key aspects of the unique bill pay and accounting needs we address for HNWI clients:

  1. Complex Portfolios: HNWIs have an array of diverse investments, necessitating expertise in managing stocks, bonds, real estate, and private equity holdings. Plumb’s extensive experience in handling complex financial bills related to hedge funds and PE investments is showcased in this article.
  2. Privacy and Security: Prioritizing the protection of sensitive financial information is critical for HNWIs. Plumb ensures robust security measures, strict confidentiality, and discretion in all financial transactions. Delve deeper into our focus on these crucial elements in our dedicated article.
  3. Customization: Tailored solutions are imperative to meet the unique financial goals and preferences of HNWI clients. Plumb recognizes the need for customized financial reports, providing insights into specific goals through performance summaries, tax reports, and estate planning documents.
  4. Technology Forward: Utilizing cutting-edge tools is paramount for accuracy, efficiency, data accessibility, transparency, and long-term success. Plumb’s proprietary bill pay app embodies these qualities.
  5. Cash Flow Management: Managing cash flow for HNWIs is pivotal for meeting lifestyle needs and investment requirements. Plumb excels in handling complex bill payment and cash flow forecasting, especially in scenarios involving multiple income streams and investment accounts.
  6. Professional Guidance: Collaborating with teams of financial advisors, accountants, and estate planners is customary for HNWIs. Plumb seamlessly integrates with these teams, ensuring personalized guidance and effective service delivery.

Plumb stands as a proven and trusted partner in recognizing the need for specialized attention and services due to substantial wealth and complex financial portfolios. With decades of experience, we deeply understand and cater to high-net-worth clients’ unique bill pay and accounting requirements.

Discover the Plumb Advantage: Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to explore how Plumb’s expertise can elevate your bill pay and accounting experience. Let us tailor solutions to meet your unique financial goals, providing the specialized attention your wealth deserves.

Unlocking Time and Precision: Why High-Net-Worth Individuals Are Outsourcing Bill Payment

We get a lot of questions from clients who are considering outsourced bill pay, how it will benefit them, and how it benefits their financial world.

For decades, our dedicated team has been assisting high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families. In our extensive experience, we’ve consistently addressed common concerns about the benefits of outsourcing bill payment for our esteemed clients.

Here are the top 5 advantages of engaging a professional bill pay provider.

  1. Enhanced Accuracy: Timely and accurate bill payments are crucial for financial management. Professional bill payment services, such as Plumb, ensure precision and promptness, minimizing the risk of late fees or missed payments.
  2. Time Savings: Recognizing the hectic schedules of our clients, we understand the value of time. Delegating bill payment responsibilities to an expert HNW bill pay service provider frees up precious time for strategic financial planning, investment decisions, and overall enjoyment of life.
  3. Simplified Record-Keeping: Efficiency and accuracy thrive on organization. Outsourced bill pay services consolidate financial data, offering clear transaction records and simplified tax preparation. This leads to a transparent financial picture and more efficient financial management, empowering smarter decision-making.
  4. Reduced Stress: Managing numerous financial obligations can be stressful. Bill payment services alleviate this burden, allowing clients to enjoy greater peace of mind without concerns about missed payments.
  5. Enhanced Security: Security is paramount when handling financial transactions. Outsourced bill payment services employ advanced security measures, safeguarding sensitive financial information and protecting against potential threats.

Our expertise shines in the complex realm of managing high-net-worth clients’ financial affairs. With diverse investments, multiple assets, and constant financial responsibilities, the need for a professional and experienced outsourced bill pay provider becomes evident.

Our bill pay app and services offer effective and valuable solutions, streamlining financial management for high-net-worth individuals, families, and their financial management teams.

Take the Next Step Towards Financial Ease and Clarity: Experience the benefits of safe and streamlined financial management. Contact us at sales@thinkplumb.com to discuss how our outsourced bill payment services can enhance accuracy, save time, simplify record-keeping, reduce stress, and fortify the security of your financial transactions. Your peace of mind is our priority.

Plumb Shortlisted for 2 PAM Awards

Once again, Plumb is thrilled to have been shortlisted for two PAM (Private Asset Management) Awards:

  • Best General Ledger System
  • Best Partnership Accounting System

We congratulate our fellow nominees and thank the team at WithIntelligence and the PAM Awards for this honor.

 

PAM Awards Shortlist

Plumb delivers financial peace of mind by assisting high-net-worth individuals and family offices know where their money is going, so their trusted advisors can effectively manage it. We work in partnership with their team — including wealth, CPA, and other advisors — to provide the highest quality of data and financial reporting to establish a holistic view of their assets and financial holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

8 Tips for Navigating the Conversation: Outsourcing Bill Payment for High-Net-Worth Parents

Our Top 8 Tips for How to Talk to Your Parents About Outsourcing Their Bill Payment

When it comes to discussing financial matters with high-net-worth parents, the conversation can be more complex than with the average household. High-net-worth individuals often have multiple investments, assets, and financial complexities that require careful management. If you’re considering broaching the topic of outsourcing bill payment for your high-net-worth parents, it’s crucial to approach the conversation with sensitivity, respect, and a focus on their financial well-being.

  1. Understand Their Financial Landscape

Before initiating the conversation, take the time to thoroughly understand your parents’ financial situation. This includes their assets, investments, income sources, liabilities, and financial goals. High-net-worth individuals typically have diverse financial holdings, and it’s essential to grasp the big picture.

  1. Emphasize the Benefits

Highlight the advantages of outsourcing bill payment with an experienced and hands-on team like Plumb. Mention how it can optimize their financial management by ensuring that no payments are missed, preventing late fees, and streamlining record-keeping. Emphasize that not only can this free up their time for more strategic financial planning and investment decisions, but it will give them more time to enjoy their lives and do what they love – whether traveling, spending time with friends and family, or just relaxing.

  1. Address Their Concerns

Acknowledge that your parents may have concerns about relinquishing control over their financial affairs. Listen actively to their worries and address them one by one. Discuss how they can maintain oversight and retain decision-making authority while delegating routine tasks. At Plumb, we understand these concerns and hear them from prospective clients almost daily. In fact, we created our proprietary Bill Pay App specifically for our clients. Our app provides bill pay transparency and insights that we know our clients want. Read more about our app here.

  1. Present Professional Options

Research and present professional options for outsourcing bill payment, like Plumb. We have a proven outsourced bill pay solution, including a proprietary bill pay app, with high-touch customer support, and expert bill pay accountants who ensure bills are paid accurately and on time.

  1. Discuss Privacy and Security

Assure your parents that their privacy and financial security are paramount. Choose a service provider like Plumb with bank-level security and a strong track record of safeguarding sensitive financial information. Explain the robust security measures in place to protect their data – you can learn more about Plumb’s focus on confidentiality and security here.

  1. Transparency in Costs

Be transparent about the costs associated with outsourcing bill payment services or hiring financial advisors. At Plumb, we are very upfront with our fees and take the time needed to walk our clients through exactly what they can expect in return.

  1. Ensure a Comprehensive Approach

When discussing outsourcing, stress the importance of a comprehensive approach to financial management. Explain that the chosen service provider will work in tandem with your parents’ existing financial team, including accountants, attorneys, and investment advisors – just as we do here at Plumb.

  1. Offer Ongoing Support

After the decision is made, offer ongoing support to ensure a smooth transition, but work with a bill pay service provider who will make this an easy and pain-free change. You’ll also want to find a firm like Plumb who offers high-touch, full-access client support.

Broaching the subject of outsourcing bill payment for high-net-worth parents is a delicate but necessary conversation that can enhance their financial well-being and peace of mind. By approaching this topic with empathy, knowledge, and a focus on their specific needs, you can help your parents make informed decisions that optimize their financial management while respecting their autonomy and preferences. Ultimately, this can contribute to their financial security and their overall happiness.

Plumb delivers financial peace of mind by assisting high-net-worth individuals and family offices know where their money is going, so their trusted advisors can effectively manage it. We work in partnership with their team — including wealth, CPA, and other advisors — to provide the highest quality of data and financial reporting to establish a holistic view of their assets and financial holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

Plumb Shortlisted for 2 Citywealth Magic Circle Awards

Plumb is pleased and proud to announce that we’ve been shortlisted for two Citywealth Magic Circle Awards:

  • Technology Innovators of the Year
  • UNHW Private Client Services of the Year

The Magic Circle Awards recognize the accomplishments of professionals and firms working with high-net-worth individuals and families. The awards are presented in London in front of an esteemed audience comprised of over 400 professionals representing over 140 diverse organizations.

Following a rigorous submission process, the submissions are assessed and judged by a panel of private wealth advisors. Online voting is also open to the public, and counts for 10% of the final award vote.

Our proprietary Bill Pay App is a big reason we have been included in this shortlist. To learn more about our services and Bill Pay App, please watch this brief overview video and reach out to schedule a personal demo.

Plumb delivers financial peace of mind by assisting high-net-worth individuals and family offices know where their money is going, so their trusted advisors can effectively manage it. We work in partnership with their team — including wealth, CPA, and other advisors — to provide the highest quality of data and financial reporting to establish a holistic view of their assets and financial holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

Plumb Bill Pay App: Spotlight on the Dashboard

The Dashboard on the Plumb Bill Pay App is designed to provide a quick and easy overview of the bill pay essentials that matter most to you.

The Dashboard provides a snapshot of:

  • Pending and approved bills
  • Number of bills paid
  • Dollar amount of cash outflow
  • Monthly payment commitments
  • Balance snapshot that shows a balance of available funds in your main bill pay bank account

{For a sneak peak at the Dashboard of the Plumb Bill Pay App, please watch this brief video.}

At the top of the Dashboard, you can view:

  • Total number of bills pending approval and their related dollar amount
  • Total number of approved bills and their related dollar amount
  • Total number of bills Plumb has paid on your behalf
  • Total cash outflow

The calendar can be customized to view the timeframe you are interested in seeing.

The center section of the Dashboard is a graph that represents your monthly bill commitments. These commitments are your recurring or regular monthly payments. The graph depicts both your actual payments as well as your committed payments. You can see:

  • What has been paid
  • What is still left to be paid
  • The variance between what’s been paid and the commitments for that month

Want to see this in action? Watch this brief video about Commitments.

The dashboard also highlights a balance snapshot which provides a summary of bills pending approval as well as the available funds from your designated bank account.

If your balance is lower than the amount of your bills pending approval, there will be a notification with the amount of funding required.

To learn more about our services and Bill Pay App, please watch this brief overview video and reach out to schedule a personal demo.

Plumb delivers financial peace of mind by assisting high-net-worth individuals and family offices know where their money is going, so their trusted advisors can effectively manage it. We work in partnership with their team — including wealth, CPA, and other advisors — to provide the highest quality of data and financial reporting to establish a holistic view of their assets and financial holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

Plumb Bill Pay App: Spotlight on the Commitments Module

So – what exactly are Commitments?

Commitments are your recurring bills – whether monthly, quarterly, annually, or some other frequency.

Not only can you – or a trusted advisor – view the projected cash outflow from these recurring bills on the app, but you can drill down to see the details of each bill, including the specific entity, due date, payment status, and amount due.

{For a sneak peak at the Commitments Module of the Plumb Bill Pay App, please watch this brief video.}

Examples of recurring bills are items like property-related expenses:

  • Utilities
  • Mortgage payments
  • Insurance
  • Property taxes
  • Landscaping
  • Maintenance for amenities like pools and tennis courts
  • Homeowners’ association (HOA) dues

There are also dependent expenses like tuition, and personal bills like cell phones, credit cards, country club or gym memberships, DMV renewals, updated car registrations, and estimated tax payments — to name a few.

In fact, because we know how important it is for you to see when these bills are due, and to verify that they’ve been paid, you have the option to create your own Hot List.

This personalized selection can be reviewed independently or alongside all your commitments. Bills designated on your “Hot List” are easily identified with a star, ensuring they never slip through the cracks of your financial management.

To learn more about our services and Bill Pay App, please watch this brief overview video and reach out to schedule a personal demo.

Plumb delivers financial peace of mind by assisting high-net-worth individuals and family offices know where their money is going, so their trusted advisors can effectively manage it. We work in partnership with their team — including wealth, CPA, and other advisors — to provide the highest quality of data and financial reporting to establish a holistic view of their assets and financial holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.

 

 

Ensuring Bills Stay on Track and Deadlines are Never Missed

At Plumb we have a very intentional and trusted approach in place to ensure all client bills are paid on time.

Between our seamless process, our cutting-edge technology, and our tried-and-true best practices, one of the main priorities at Plumb is to ensure that client bills stay on track and deadlines are never missed.

Our Process

  • When we onboard new clients, we create an automated bill payment tracker for that client in our Bill Pay App. This essential tracker includes all necessary information about every bill – vendors, dollar amount, payment type, payment status, and due date.
  • When it comes time to issuing payment, we always have two sets of eyes on every bill. This crucial system allows us to ensure payment accuracy and prevent any bills from being missed.
  • We also help our clients set up auto-pay when and where it makes sense to do so, and part of our process also entails ensuring that these auto-payments come out of the designated accounts on time. There are several reasons why auto-payments may not be processed correctly, and it is our responsibility to confirm that these accounts are debited for the right amount at the right time.

Our Technology

  • Our Plumb Bill Pay team utilizes the Plumb Bill Pay app to check the bill pay tracker and to move bills through the payment workflow. The app has a clear and detailed list of bills for each client and each entity, vendor, amount owed, payment due date, whether the bill is recurring or not, and type of payment to be issued – whether ACH, wire, or check.
  • Our internal team is also alerted to deadlines as soon as they log into the app – which they do first thing in the morning, every day. Bills that need to be paid that week are highlighted in one way, while bills due that month are highlighted in another way. There is also an automated alert for any urgent payment needs.
  • The app automatically tallies all outgoing payments and matches it back to the invoice data. If there is an error, the Plumb team member will be alerted prior to payment being issued so that it can be resolved before it becomes a mistake.

Our Best Practices

While we are immensely proud of our proprietary Bill Pay App and the many ways it helps us ensure that bills are paid on time, we are still firm believers in our high-touch customer support.

If there are questions that arise, or issues that need to be discussed, our team will communicate directly with our clients or their trusted advisors to clarify, address, and resolve. Similarly, our team is always available to field questions and provide whatever bill pay support is needed.

Plumb delivers financial peace of mind by assisting high-net-worth individuals and family offices know where their money is going, so their trusted advisors can effectively manage it. We work in partnership with their team — including wealth, CPA, and other advisors — to provide the highest quality of data and financial reporting to establish a holistic view of their assets and financial holdings. We’d love to help answer any questions you may have. Feel free to schedule time to speak with Anneke Stender, our EVP, at your convenience.