Meeting the Accounting Needs of High Net-Worth Families

A combination of hard work, wise decisions, careful investments, and discipline have likely made your family’s wealth what it is today. You may feel overwhelmed by the responsibility and the amount of administration that are demanded by your assets. Finding a trustworthy, skilled team that can support High Net-Worth Families, may be difficult. You might be unsettled and concerned with the thought of putting aspects of your family’s hard-earned wealth in the hands of someone outside the family—but you don’t have to be.

It is true that effectively coordinating accounting with legal considerations and tax preparation requires a sophisticated and specialized team. There can be issues if there are not clear channels of communication among the different service providers. But there is a solution that supports full cooperation among the different services. And specialties that are involved with management and accounting aspects of your family’s wealth. A family office is the solution that provides you with both the information you need and the peace of mind that you long for.

Why Should Someone Manage your Accounting/Services?

High net worth families usually need someone to take over the daunting task of accounting and related tasks, such as paying bills, managing trusts, and tracking the value of key assets. Having a team with specialized knowledge that is outside of the family and has no conflicting interests can be very beneficial to all members and generations of your family. Especially since the accounting needs tend to grow more complex over time. Having someone managing your accounting will also make it easier for the family to treat their assets wisely, increase accountability among family members, and stay cognizant of the value of family assets. In addition, an accounting specialist has the training, skills, and access to the tools needed to do a thorough job of handing your accounting and related services.

What is a Family Office?

A family office handles your financial information, from bills to legal agreements to brokerage statements. They combine multiple skills and specialties into one office, including financial, legal, and tax professionals. They are a dedicated staff whose job is to manage your wealth. Which can include trusts, philanthropy, and audits. They may bring in outside specialists with additional skills as needed. A family office will make sure that all of your financial issues are handled and accounted for accurately. Either under general accounting principles or according to any governing documents (trusts, LLCs, estate gifting plans, and the like). A family office will also keep your financial information secure, organized, safe, and private. Your team will handle your family’s financial affairs with the same level of organization and professionalism that is typically seen with commercial businesses.

How Could a Family Office Help with Accounting?

Skilled professionals will maintain all of your accounting needs, while keeping tax and legal issues in sight. This includes services such as bookkeeping, bill paying, special report preparation, and financial statement preparation. A family office can provides bill paying, itemized list of what is due with any necessary documentation. And waiting for your authorization before payment is initiated. This enables you to keep track of your expenses, while eliminating the worry of something falling through the cracks.

They can also handle tasks such as travel planning, medical services, household staff, payroll, and even transportation. They organize and track your income and expenses tailored to your family’s needs. A family office can keep you abreast of your financials through what is called a “goldilocks” report. Thus you are provided with the appropriate amount of information. Not too much, not too little, but rather just enough for you to know where your cash is coming from and where it is going. Supplemental reports can also be provided, with information specific to certain family members, properties, or assets. You can be kept apprised of your current worth, including a list of all assets and their worth, and what is owed. The right family office will provide you with the information and levels of detail that you request. In some instances, different family members may need access to different types of information, and a family office can handle that with ease.

Family offices can also offer you a tailored package of coordinated services to meet your unique needs and challenges. Most family offices offer the same basic group of primary services. From an accounting perspective, that may include investments, planning, charitable giving, trusteeships, lifestyle management, and risk management. One client may primarily require assistance with bill paying and taxes, while another needs help with just about everything. Because of varying levels of need, family offices often offer different scales of service. Family offices can also offer special services for tax projects or financial accounting. These include forensic accounting, managing the affairs of those who can longer handle them on their own, and litigation support. The can also handle out of the ordinary needs, too.

Why Use a Family Office Instead of Other Professionals?

You could contract legal services, financial services, accountants, and tax professionals separately, but this has an inherent weakness. Providers may be in different cities or even different states. This would allow all to communicate effectively and share necessary data. And information needs to be shared when dealing with complicated issues such as

  • Ensuring generational continuity with family trusts
  • Achieving tax-efficient philanthropy
  • Estate planning
  • Managing the complex interrelationships among the financial, legal, and tax aspects of wealth

Family offices are much easier to work with and communicate with. Especially when compared to dealing with different offices handling legal, tax, and financial information. And over time they become familiar with the goals and challenges faced in connection with your family’s finances. Allowing everyone to coordinate their efforts much better than separate providers would be able to. Ultimately, this benefits your family’s peace of mind as well as your investments.

In addition, the services of lawyers, accountants, and tax professionals can add up by the minute, and delays due to a lack of communication only add to your bill. With a family office, there are economies of scale that can save in terms of fees and expenses compared to acquiring such services separately. In short, hiring a single team to manage your wealth is a better use of your money. Family offices, can be on the lookout for financial opportunities that a single provider with a much narrower focus might never be aware of. The complexities of communicating across multiple service providers could make such opportunities very difficult to take advantage of.

Another benefit of using a family office is the long-term relationship of trust that is formed between the client and the office. Since so much of the information that a family office deals with can be deeply personal, it is good to have a solid relationship built with the team that is handling those private details. You also benefit from comradery that develops among the team that handles your financial affairs. Engaging with a family office does not always mean that the services of outside specialists will not be needed. For example, a trusted accountant or lawyer can still work alongside of the family office team. Allowing you to keep a long-term working relationship with a trusted service provider.

FBO Services

You can trust FBO services to provide unparalleled financial management of your family’s wealth. We provide industrial strength accounting, extremely knowledgeable tax preparation, and expert legal advice — all in one office, all on the same team, all focused on your needs.

Our team has extensive experience in their areas of specialization. In fact, our president and founder, Joe Roskos, has taxation and accounting experience that spans decades. For more than twenty years, he headed Joseph W. Roskos & Co., the successor to the Pew Family Business Office, which was later sold to the Bryn Mawr Bank Corporation.

The members of Joe’s highly educated and experienced team cooperate diligently to support you and your family’s busy professional and personal lives by handling the oversight of your wealth. We invite you to visit our office so we can personally show you our commitment to client satisfaction and strong work ethic. Accounting is far too critical to your family’s wealth to be handled haphazardly. Accurate accounting services requires careful and close cooperation with both tax and legal professionals. That simply cannot be achieved by hiring separate service providers, but it can be achieved by engaging FBO Services as your family office.

Contact FBO Services today to discuss your family’s unique needs and find out how we may be able to greatly simplify even the most complex aspects of the financial management of your family’s wealth while providing stress-free, comprehensive accounting services.