BST Awards 2018: Best Portfolio Accounting Platform—SimCorp

Mittal Shah, Martin Bayfield, and Christina Bendall

Portfolio accounting is a core function that all buy-side firms need to manage efficiently, accurately and transparently, irrespective of their size, location and investment strategies. And now that large numbers of asset managers operate on a global scale, many are feeling the pressure of keeping up to speed with the evolving regulatory landscape and multinational accounting regimes. SimCorp, a familiar name to the investment management community, has dedicated the best part of 50 years to tackling buy-side challenges, putting portfolio accounting at the forefront of its mission. Thanks to the development of its accounting book of record (ABOR) and growing coverage of global accounting rules, the provider has returned to the winners’ circle at the Buy-Side Technology Awards, taking home the best portfolio accounting platform award for the second consecutive year. 

At the core of SimCorp Dimension’s accounting functions lies its ABOR. The platform provides buy-side clients with a consolidated view of position-keeping across traditional and alternative asset classes. Significant features include its broad coverage of regional accounting frameworks, currencies, statutory reporting obligations, and tax requirements. Among those supported include Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAPs), as well as IFRS 9 and IFRS 17. 

Paul Ravenscroft, product portfolio manager at SimCorp, explains that regional factors can be used to build and update multiple books of record through a single set of transactions. This cross-border fluency using an integrated platform enables clients to operate on a global scale, minimizing accounting breaks and eliminating data duplication. Dimension further provides a transparent picture of the accounting data at each point in the investment management lifecycle, providing clients with the flexibility to access regional views and drill down to the origins of transactions at any time. “One system, end-to-end, makes it very easy to tie it back,” says Ravenscroft. “The most granular level of detail exists in the system, so you can always drill back down to that.”

Over the past year, SimCorp has focused on developing its support for multinational firms involved in intercompany trading, where the platform can track the deferral, amortization and currency of the parent company, avoiding additional foreign-exchange costs or added inefficiencies. More recently, SimCorp has developed support for US-GAAP premium amortization for call options and the German Investment Tax Reform Act, which came into force at the start of this year. Looking forward, the firm aims to continue building out its accounting functionality by developing support for the Common Expected Credit Loss model and delivering phase two of its IFRS 9 support. 

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