10 questions to ask when choosing an outsourced fund document automation service

Creating documents such as fund factsheets or quarterly investment reports manually is a huge drain on resources and is prone to human error. What’s more, it’s a major headache for the fund marketer tasked with collecting all the necessary information and getting it approved by the relevant stakeholders.

Therefore, it’s not surprising that many fund marketers are looking to outsource and automate their fund document production. But how do you know which provider to choose?

To help you make this crucial decision, we’ve compiled a list of 10 questions to ask to determine if the service you’re considering is the right fit for your company.

1. Will the end product match our brand?

For your fund documents to be truly effective they have to be in line with your company branding – featuring your logo, company colours and preferred fonts. This is crucial from a marketing perspective and to ensure your customers receive documents in a format they expect – adding to a pleasant user experience.

Asking your potential fund factsheet provider if they can produce your documents in line with your branding is thus a good place to start when deciding who to outsource your document production to. Make sure that whoever you choose can guarantee that the end product will match your branding 100%.

2. What are the visuals like?

In addition to ensuring your documents match your company branding you’ll also want to make sure they contain high-quality visuals. Data visualisation is the key to turning the information in the business into insight – and you want to provide your investors with clear, easy to understand tables, graphs and other visual elements.

This means you need to look for a provider that has the ability to provide hi-res, print ready documents.

3. How will data accuracy be ensured?

Complete, error free data is the bedrock of a high-quality fund document. Data errors in your document can have dire consequences for your company including fines for non-compliance with regulatory requirements and a loss of trust from your investors.

Therefore, you need to ensure that the outsource document provider you choose has checks and controls in place to ensure only accurate information gets published.

4. How easy will it be for us to fix any data issues?

Following on from the previous question, it is also a good idea to ask any potential fund document provider how easy it will be for you to amend any data errors that might occur.

Mistakes sometimes do happen, and it is important to have a process in place to fix these as quickly as possible, with minimum impact on your document production process.

5. What level of automation is available?

Automating your fund document production can greatly improve the quality of the documents produced as it removes the potential for human error. What’s more it usually also means that documents can be produced much faster and at a lower cost.

When choosing an outsourced fund document production service, you’ll want to check that they’ll be using an automated process, and how much of the production process will be automated as this will have a big impact on cost and efficiency.

6. How much involvement will my company have in the process?

A common concern when outsourcing any business service is that you will lose control over and visibility into the process. To eradicate this concern – ask your fund document provider how much input you will be able to have during your document production process. 

7. Is support for multiple languages available?

If your company is serving various international markets, you’ll likely need your fund documents produced in multiple languages.

In this choosing a provider that offers built-in translation and localisation features will be of great advantage to you, so make sure to ask this question before you make your final decision.

8. How would we need to supply our data?

Ideally you would want a fund document provider that can accept your fund data in the format you would like to supply it – as opposed to you having to change your business processes to match their requirements.

Some fund document automation providers, like Kurtosys for example, will allow you to import your data in various formats, either through their APIs or custom data loaders built to meet your business’ unique needs.

9. In what format will we receive our documents and can you provide automatic distribution?

To enable you to use your final produced documents in all the ways you need to you have to ensure that you’ll receive them in a suitable format, which is why we urge you to ask this question early on in the decision-making process.

What’s more, some providers might offer automatic document distribution to services like FundInfo that could further ease your burden as you’ll no longer have to manually send your data to these service providers.

10. Is the service scalable?

As a fund marketer you are likely working hard at growing your company, so you want to choose a fund document provider that is able to grow with you.

For this reason, it’s crucial to ask your potential service provider whether they can deal with producing fund documents at scale, and even more importantly, if they can do so efficiently and cost effectively.

Ready to decide?

By choosing the right outsourced fund document automation service provider for your business’ needs your company can benefit greatly. So make sure to ask these questions before you make your decision to ensure you choose a provider that ticks all your boxes.