Work Your Core: Benefits of SaaS Investment Accounting and Reporting

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1 Work Your Core: Benefits of SaaS Investment Accounting and Reporting

2 Work Your Core: Benefits of SaaS Investment Accounting and Reporting These firms are not marginalizing their in-house expertise or compliance oversight just the opposite. In this model, the technology provider assumes responsibility for the maintenance of the system, ensuring all regulatory and compliance updates are made seamlessly. The financial institutions are significantly reducing the number of timeconsuming, manual tasks that pull their teams away from meaningful, strategic activities that can increase revenue or drive growth. Managing sophisticated portfolios on a continuous overlapping 24-6 cycle globally, not only requires an unrelenting commitment but has placed significant burdens on in-house teams who must continuously endeavor to reconcile data from different markets, currencies and compliance rules just to meet the minimum reporting requirements. Today s financial institutions are required to do more with less in an environment of increasing regulations and economic uncertainty. As a result, one of the trends Princeton Financial Systems (Princeton) has seen across our clients worldwide is a shift toward SaaS solutions combined with outsourcing of the ongoing maintenance of the systems. Financial institutions are migrating from in-house, time consuming IT infrastructures that disrupt productivity and take away from core business focuses. Nearly 60% of Princeton s new clients over the past year have selected their SaaS investment accounting solution, compared to five years ago, when only 25% of new clients were selecting the SaaS solution. Given the increasing compliance burdens and competitive pressures placed on accounting departments and management teams, it s easy to understand why financial institutions are readily embracing a new approach to accounting systems. Outsourced SaaS accounting systems reduce cost and overhead while freeing up internal teams to focus on core business processes, such as reporting, analysis and exception management. Client Benefits of a SaaS Offering SaaS solutions provide global investors with a functionally robust investment accounting system and network managed services - without the costs associated with installing and maintaining a mission-critical application themselves. For example, epam, an outsourced version of our industry leading PAM Investment Accounting System, provides clients with a range of benefits including: n Lower total cost of ownership and a fully operational system in minimal time by using the Internet as a network backbone n Complete straight-through-processing by automating interfaces to front-office systems, market data vendors, custodian banks and third-party packages n Simple connectivity: with a simple Internet connection and familiar web browser, end users can securely access the PAM application remotely n Scalable standard and customized reporting: epam utilizes a multi-platform automated job scheduling system; reports can be accessed remotely or will be sent automatically to users n Enhanced overall process flows for your PAM system with the help of Princeton Financial Systems operational workflow services epam is a subscription service that allows users to perform all business functions in-house while outsourcing the IT functions to Princeton, which hosts PAM in its internal data

3 center. The data center is the cornerstone of Princeton s industry- standard platform, with the security and sustainability required by the most successful and compliant financial institutions. All system updates and maintenance are performed by Princeton, which assumes responsibility for hardware and software capitalization, network and applications management maintenance and set up, data back up and disaster recovery/business contingency provisions. This allows Princeton to provide clients a lowered total cost of ownership through a single source solution for a variable fee matching usage, size and scope. Not only are we managing a larger portfolio than our competitors but we are also doing it more efficiently and at a lower total cost. When we compared ourselves to other industry leading firms that manage smaller portfolios, we found that epam saved us 50% over the cost of running an internally hosted system. ~ Director of Investment Accounting of a large global health insurance group managing over $30 billion in assets, located in the mid-west U.S. Global Connectivity epam is currently used by 43 institutions, that add up to a total of $550 billion under management. In a typical month from a global client with operational locations in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pac a total of: n 24,000 Trades processed n 24,000 New security masters n 600,000 Lots n 500 Active trading portfolios With a simple connection and familiar web browser, end users can securely access the PAM application remotely with a Citrix plug-in and user s access from both MPLS and Internet. PAM offers seamless 24-hour support to all clients, regardless of time zone. The discriminating factor in this arena is not that Princeton offers this support but the quality of that support. Put another way, many companies have offered global support by outsourcing support organizations to providers with global reach. For example, horizontal market software vendors sometimes offer after-hours support via a third-party outsourcing arrangement (in India for example). However, experience has shown that this support is often subpar, given the lack of product expertise. Princeton s epam team is responsive, dedicated and understands our business. If there is a complication, it gets corrected in an effective non-intrusive timely manner. We don t see them as customer support we see them as our PAM IT experts and a crucial part of our daily operations. ~ Director of Investment Accounting of a large global health insurance group located in the mid-west United States. The best SaaS vendors, on the other hand, gained global sales expertise by locating their own sales and support offices proximally to the client locales, such as support activities in the UK or the Netherlands to support European clients, or in Singapore to support Pacific Rim clients. This global quality of service model has become increasingly valuable in servicing multinational clients with global presence, as well as local clients anywhere across the globe. Clients also have the option of Princeton s private cloud, which ensures proper bandwidth by connecting through the user s environment. Operating system maintenance and security are managed by Princeton who consistently upgrades and maintains all patch levels, enabling the client to focus on their core competencies. Princeton routinely conducts its own active security scanning to augment external scanning. epam must also submit to external audits to ensure policies and procedures are in keeping with industry practices. In Princeton s case, epam must also pass rigorous audits from its parent company, State Street, who often holds Princeton to higher standards than external audit agencies. These audits ensure that Princeton has strict and demonstrable procedures in place for running the operation. The audits also verify such things as separation of employee accessible systems from client accessible systems, in order to protect clients from employees. Princeton makes the results of testing, certification, and audit results available to their clients for review.

4 Industry Recognition The SaaS solution from Princeton offers a full range of data center services, such as hardware and network maintenance, installation of new releases and program updates, nightly backups, and data recovery. As a result of recent changes to the AICPA SAS 70 controls examinations, in 2011 Princeton transitioned its independent auditing of controls to the SSAE 16 (SOC 1) requirements. The SOC 1 report covers controls relevant to the hosting of the epam application, as epam is used by clients in relation to their financial reporting. For Service Organization Controls relating to the AICPA Trust Principals, Princeton also engages an independent audit firm to review and test controls around Security, Confidentiality, Availability and Processing Integrity. These audit results are published annually in the form of a SOC2 report. Both SOC1 and SOC 2 reports are available to Princeton clients. Ensuring the auditors are [satisfied] is one of our top priorities but at the same time we need a system that allows us to consistently manage our portfolio by enabling us to leverage any new offerings and products current on the market. epam gave us the delicate balance between deep detailed regulatory functionality and timely and flexible market offerings. ~ Head of Business Systems of a North American insurance group. Recovery Princeton maintains a 24-hour disaster recovery (DR) hot site in Kansas City, MO. The hot site raises the bar for speed and efficiency in Princeton s ability to recover data on behalf of their SaaS clients, client support, development, and business operations. Enterprise backup in Kansas City is possible with over 95 servers connected over a gigabit Ethernet, and point-to-point telecommunications to replicate SaaS production and critical data from Princeton to Kansas City periodically throughout the day. Production data is backed up in three ways: electronically in the Princeton data center, electronically as backups in Kansas City, and live as replicated production data in Kansas City. Both licensed and SaaS clients have the comfort of knowing that the same DR technology and site being used to protect SaaS clients critical data is also being used to ensure the continuity of Princeton s client support and other critical development and business functions in the event of a disaster. Princeton also regularly participates in various types of recovery tests. Disaster recovery processes and procedures are frequently conducted at regular intervals at recovery facilities to ensure that Princeton maintains a ready state of preparedness. Regular testing enables us to continually improve our processes and revise or update our continuity plan as warranted. Continual evaluations have allowed Princeton to update and revise as necessary any facet of the recovery plan as seen fit. So not only is the Company continually improving its product, Princeton is also improving its ability to maintain normal business. epam gave our team flexibility and eliminated away concerns of data loss, operational roadblocks and server access. Everything we need to carry out daily operations is available to us as long as we have a secure internet connection. ~ Director of Investment Accounting and Reporting of a global insurance group located in the northeast United States. Summary With the increasing need for flexible and dynamic solutions and the on-going market volatility, organizations are seeking efficient, hassle free solutions that enable them to focus on crucial daily operations and cut down on overall internal IT costs. Reducing team members, servers, upgrade and testing man-hours, enables Princeton s clients to run lean and mean. Princeton s industry experts understand the market needs and are at the forefront of IT innovation and advancements; consistently striving to provide top-tier client service and product enhancements.

5 CASE STUDY 1 Making the Case for epam: A Global Health Insurance Group Enhances Productivity n Client Demographic: Located in the mid-west United States, One of the world s largest and most diversified health and well-being companies serving more than 75 million people globally and participating in every aspect of health care financing and delivery. Ranked first in their industry for innovation and currently managing a $30 billion global portfolio. The workplace for IT professionals has grown increasingly more complex. With the dynamic nature of technology and the complexities of financial accounting, many IT teams are being overwhelmed with a litany of work that pull them in multiple directions. In order to refocus and hone in on core competencies, a major global health insurance group serving over 75 million people worldwide and controlling a 30 billion dollar portfolio, decided to select epam as their PAM implementation choice. n Cost: Prior to epam implementation, the group s IT team comprised of 6 staff members was managing a $1 billion portfolio. With epam implemented the group was able to manage the $1 billion portfolio with two team members and now, 10 years later, the portfolio has grown to $30 billion and the IT team is now staffed with 5 members. With epam, the firm is able to effectively manage 30 times the original portfolio, with fewer team members. epam streamlined their operations, reduced their overall IT costs and allowed team members to avoid the timely and technical aspects of running an investment portfolio accounting system in-house. Not only are we managing a larger portfolio than our competitors but we are also doing it more efficiently and at a lower total cost. When we compared ourselves to other industry leading firms that manage smaller portfolios, we found that epam saved us 50% over the cost of running an internally hosted system, said the Director of Investment Accounting. n Flexibility: The global health insurance group is consistently evolving with the industry, mostly through acquisitions and takeovers, naturally leading to a number of internal accounting and reporting changes that need to be done by their IT team. Updating an in-house investment portfolio accounting system, which would typically take a majority of the team a burdensome number of hours, is now completely handled by the Princeton s epam IT team. The group supplies Princeton s epam team with the new information on the acquisition, which is then used for all upgrades and patching to the platform. The implementation of epam allowed for complete flexibility and seamless transition through the numerous acquisitions. Anytime the global health insurance group changed an aspect of their business epam stayed consistent. The seamless service epam and the epam team provide allowed the firm s team to focus on their direct goals and not spend costly hours doing IT upgrades. n Global Connectivity: The global health insurance group takes great pride in their employees and recognizes the importance of their personal lives. With the flexibility of epam, the group s IT team is able work anywhere a secure internet connection can be found. If a team member needs to be home for a family issue, he or she can do so and still stay connected and on task with the overall IT team goals. epam s global connectivity allowed the team to be as dynamic as possible, with business across the globe staying on task and connected is never an issue. n Support: The Princeton epam team is seen as a natural extension of the global health insurance group s internal IT team. According the group s Director of Investment Accounting, Princeton s epam team is responsive, dedicated and they understand our business. If there ever is a complication, it gets corrected in an effective non-intrusive timely manner. We don t see them as customer support we see them as our PAM IT experts and a crucial part of our daily operations.

6 CASE STUDY 2 Making the Case for epam: A Global Health Insurance Group Saves Man Hours With Robust Testing & Makes DR Plan a Possibility With epam n Client Demographic: Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Delaware. Nationally employing more than 20,000 people and provide health, dental, vision and supplemental health products and services to 34.4 million customers. Currently managing a $4 billion complex portfolio. A global health insurance group, managing a complex $4 billion portfolio, looked to epam as a solution to avoiding costly man hours associated with testing. The group also needed a flexible and dynamic solution that could be the foundation in their disaster recovery plan. n Testing: The global health insurance group needed a solution that could keep their IT team on task and strategically focused. Using an in-house solution would have forced the group to undertake all testing, upgrades and patch work. The countless hours needed to perform these tasks would have distracted the group from their core goals and taken away from the bottom line of the global health insurance group. epam enabled an 11 member team to run the complex portfolio and stay focused on the vital tasks at hand. Princeton s testing included validating business cases, ensuring regulatory compliance and that the entire system solution was integrated and functioning effectively. Without epam our team would easily be twice the size it currently is and a large majority of our time would be spent consistently testing the upgrades crucial to our daily operations. epam allows us to stay focused on the mission critical tasks, increasing our oveall team productivity, said the Director of Investment Accounting and Reporting. n Disaster Recovery: The vital foundation of all DR plans is connectivity; can my team get access to all our information without being in the office? The global health insurance group harnessed epam for its global connectivity and flexible, secure log in features. By constructing a DR plan that allows its employees to get access to their vital tasks from any location, the global health insurance group is enabled to press on with daily operations regardless of the situation with the main office. epam gave our team flexibility and eliminated concerns of data loss, operational roadblocks and server access. Everything we need to carry out daily operations is available to us as long as we have a secure internet connection, said the Director of Investment Accounting and Reporting.

7 CASE STUDY 3 Making the Case for epam: A North American Insurance Group Navigated through Runoff with epam Client Demographic: A North American insurance group functioning in runoff, acquired in 2007, currently managing a $3 billion portfolio. Current objective over the past eight years has been on successfully winding down their current books of business from 125,000 dispositions in 2003 to less than 7,000 today. A North American insurance group that is currently in run-off, a termination provision in a reinsurance contract stipulating that the reinsurer shall remain liable for loss under each reinsured policy in force until its expiration date, looked to epam as a cost effective, flexible solution for their ongoing organizational reduction. n Dynamic Needs: Due to its runoff position, regulatory support was a top priority for picking a solution. Regulatory scrutiny is extremely high for firms in runoff, which forces the firm to be consistently organized and up-to-date on all reporting. The group chose epam due to its enhanced regulatory offerings and extensive audit trail. The product offers consistency which leads to a stronger audit trail. The extreme detail epam offers, allows the firm to show the auditors segmentation of duties, which makes the auditors job and the overall audit less time consuming. Ensuring the auditors are happy is one of our top priorities but at the same time we need a system that allows us to consistently manage our portfolio by allowing us to leverage any new offerings and products current on the market. epam gave us the delicate balance between deep detailed regulatory functionality and timely and flexible market offerings, said the Head of Business Systems. n Scaling Down: In 2003 the firm had over 6000 people, 10 of which were members of the IT team. Today, due to the runoff, the firm has 200 people, 3 of which are now on the IT team. With a team of 10 people, the firm managed a $5 billion portfolio and now with a team of 3 and epam they are managing a $3 billion portfolio with significantly less staff. This overall staff reduction, due to the implementation of epam, has allowed the firm to consistently meet its scale down requirements each year. n Pricing: epam effective pricing was also a major decision for the group. The switch to epam allowed the group to eliminate three of their servers and costly IT servicing hours. With all upgrades, patching and trouble shooting done by the Princeton epam team, the firm could focus on running lean, saving overall IT expenses. Princeton Financial Systems

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