buyer's guide: mutual fund prospectus technology checklist...feb 20, 2018  · e-book...

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E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Crical features and capabilies of your next cloud reporng soluon Is this guide for you? This e-book is an introducon to cloud services for investment company prospectus reporng. It offers a comprehensive view of the top seven requirements for selecng your next reporng soluon.

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Page 1: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

E-BOOK

Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities of your next cloud reporting solution

Is this guide for you?This e-book is an introduction to cloud services for investment company prospectus reporting. It offers a comprehensive view of the top seven requirements for selecting your next reporting solution.

Page 2: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

I. Introduction

III. Next steps

Table of contents

II. Checklist for mutual fund prospectus software

• Maintain integrity with central data storage

• Establish a single location for prospectus development

• Connect fund information across the entire prospectus for easy updates

• Enable collaboration with universal access

• Maintain reporting consistency across all literature

• Support regulatory filing

• Create a repeatable, sustainable framework

Page 3: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

I. Introduction

Investment firms face expectations from multiple internal and external influences to increase efficiencies, reduce operating expenses, and improve the quality of reported data. In the process of developing a mutual fund prospectus, firms can meet all three expectations.

For most firms, the prospectus presents a unique challenge—it is a legal document, a financial statement, and a consumer-facing educational piece all in one. Multiple teams must collaborate precisely in order to successfully produce it.

However, many firms rely on general one-size-fits-all software and third-party printers to produce this critical document—introducing costly, inefficient, and unpredictable elements into an otherwise managed process.

Given the increasing demands for profitability, funds are growing, and so is the data needed to manage them. According to Chartis Research, “The explosion of data threatens to overwhelm current approaches to the issue.”

The right software will alleviate much of this burden. The software—and the provider you select—should consolidate work, reduce cost, and minimize the effort required for compliance.

Page 4: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

II. Checklist for mutual fund prospectus software

This checklist includes key features and capabilities that mutual fund prospectus technology should include.

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The current practice for managing prospectus data at many firms involves multiple contributing departments that use manual processes to collect, input, and consolidate data in spreadsheets. Information is supplied from desktops, emails, outputs from other systems, and personal spreadsheets. Multiply this process by dozens or even hundreds of mutual fund filings a year, and filing teams become overwhelmed.

For prospectus filers, data integrity is maintained easily with a centralized solution that pulls relevant financial and performance data from existing systems, desktops, and emails. This data can be aggregated for shareholder reports and regulatory filings.

Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

Choose a technology that efficiently collects, consolidates, and integrates both structured and unstructured data into acentralized cloud platform. By housing all reporting information in one place, financial and legal teams have immediate access to accurate data—expediting all reporting processes.

Maintain integrity with central data storage

Page 6: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

Many firms continue to create the prospectus using desktop software developed 30 years ago and send it off to be completed by expensive third-party printers. Legal and financial reporting teams use this software for functions beyond its intended use—assembling prospectuses in pieces and extracting data from various departments, systems, servers, individual hard drives, and even email attachments.

In contrast, cloud solutions provide a central location for development that supports multiple document types and incorporates workflow and XBRL tagging or EDGARization. This reduces the manual effort needed to locate and consolidate disparate types of reporting information.

Establish a single location for prospectus development

Look for a technology that reduces low-value, manual work. A single location for prospectus development allows contributors to input information directly into a template that connects data and text. With the time saved, financial reporting, compliance, and legal teams can focus on analyzing data, interpreting performance, and crafting the plain language narrative required by the SEC.

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Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

Page 7: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

The information that makes up a prospectus changes often. An update in one place—a word, a name, a date, a number—must also be reflected throughout all related documents. Deadlines must accommodate internal and external review and print production schedules. As a result, last-minute changes to documents in production with financial printers are costly and prone to manual error.

Best-in-class reporting solutions manage the complex relationships between data and documents by connecting information. Changes applied to data and text automatically update throughout all prospectus outputs. A change made to financial data or text no longer needs to be manually identified and edited everywhere it occurs.

Connect fund information across the entire prospectus for easy updates

Choose a technology that enables automatic updates of text or data when changes are made to the source. For example, legal teams can instantly update common language—including credit, market, and other risk descriptions—across all prospectuses. This information source is available for use in multiple prospectuses, fund books and fact sheets, or marketing presentations.

Page 8: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

Many individuals edit a prospectus, and numerous versions are created before it is filed. The checks and balances required to maintain data integrity and regulatory transparency make for a lengthy review process.

Cloud solutions offer collaboration among cross-functional teams, mutual fund families, and legal entities in the same document. For example, while one user may correctly calculates fees, another ensures legal language is presented in plain English. Team members access, comment, assign tasks, edit, and review regardless of their locations.

Enable collaboration with universal access

Select a technology that allows reviewers to work on multiple prospectuses simultaneously. With a cloud platform, compliance,legal, and outside auditors draft and review in one document—prospectus production no longer stalls while drafts are circulated through email for comment, discussion, and final changes. Document formatting and design are preserved during the review process, eliminating last-minute graphic updates with printers.

Page 9: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

Maintain reporting consistency across all literature

A single fund generates anywhere from 8–10 core documents, generally including a summary prospectus report, fund books, fact sheets, marketing presentations, sales literature, and advertising. An error in any one of these documents may lead to a regulatory reprimand or penalty. The loss of reputation and investor confidence from this scenario could be far more costly than any fine from the SEC.

Purpose-built platforms produce multiple document types and connect information across all documents in a fund's literature library to reduce the risk of costly errors. Gain peace of mind as changes made to data and text automatically update within reports, charts, and presentations.

Pick a technology that enables users to develop and maintain all mutual fund literature in the same application as the prospectus. A cloud platform maintains a single library of spreadsheets, documents, and presentations to share disclosure language across multiple fund documents and reports, ensuring consistency across all mutual fund filings and outputs.

Page 10: Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist...Feb 20, 2018  · E-BOOK Buyer's Guide: Mutual Fund Prospectus Technology Checklist Critical features and capabilities

Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

Choose a technology that supports and integrates XBRL tagging and EDGAR requirements. Beyond the time and cost savings of conducting XBRL tagging throughout the drafting process, cloud platforms help maintain consistency of all narrative and reporting data. When reporting information connects across all outputs, rest assured that your prospectuses are in line with your SEC filing.

Support regulatory filing

Many investment companies experience version control issues throughout the drafting and review process. From a regulatory perspective, the need to conduct XBRL tagging separately from the narrative draft adds time and cost to the process.

Cloud reporting platforms give users the power to develop XBRL tagging directly alongside prospectus development and offer EDGARization with just a click. Best-of-breed providers also offer full support for XBRL outsourcing, elimi-nating the need to manage tagging in-house.

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Mutual fund prospectus technology should help you:

Create a repeatable, sustainable framework

As soon as one prospectus is developed or updated, the next reporting cycle begins. In a purpose-built platform, starting from scratch is not necessary with every new period. Cloud platforms give users to ability to roll forward into the next reporting cycle, with the associated frameworks intact.

Select a technology that supports an easily repeatable and sustainable roll forward process. When all data is stored in the same place, it connects immediately with a new mutual fund report. With a best-in-class solution, XBRL mapping and tagging stays in place with each revision.

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Next steps

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This guide provides a list of requirements to expect from a potential reporting platform, but platform selection is only half of the picture.

Services offered by the providers also need to be considered. From assisting with the integration of new technology

into existing processes, to comprehensive XBRL tagging services, you need a provider that ensures your team optimizes

the software's full range of features and functionality.

Keep in mind, an investment in technology can be undermined by inefficiencies in process. This white paper on process

improvement in prospectus development provides helpful tips that may assist in your holistic evaluation.

Begin your due diligence by requesting demos from providers that offer solutions meeting the criteria outlined in

this checklist. Contact Workiva today to schedule a demo of Wdesk.

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About WorkivaWorkiva (NYSE:WK) delivers Wdesk, an intuitive cloud platform that modernizes how people work within thousands of organizations, including over 70 percent of the 500 largest U.S. corporations by total revenue. Wdesk is built upon a datamanagement engine, offering controlled collaboration, data connections, granular permissions, and a full audit trail. Wdesk helps mitigate risk, improves productivity, and gives users confidence in their data-driven decisions. For more information, visit workiva.com.