InvestmentAssets – Endowment Funds Management
Inglewood Park Cemetery, an Endowment Care cemetery, is located in the state of California, and handles approximately $70M in investments monies. Inglewood Park Cemetery, and its sister company, Park Lawn Cemetery, each have several funds in addition to the State required Endowment Care Fund, the earnings from which are used to maintain the cemetery grounds and facilities. The other funds include Commodities and Services purchased in advance by their clients, the earnings from which offset the price increases over time. Jacqueline Gonzalez, Vice President of Fund Management, works directly with the Companies’ Investment Committee in managing these investments.
Inglewood Park Cemetery used to leverage AS400 CCMS software, which had a General Ledger (GL) package designed for cemeteries. This meant that any asset reporting had to be processed manually using Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Jacqui recalls, “This worked fine in the ‘80s when we had just 4-5 investment managers and 10 investment portfolios, but we’ve grown into a well-diversified operation with thousands of investments, such as equities, real estate, fixed income, mortgage backed securities, and much more, across our 42 portfolios.”
Their month-end and year-end processes became very tedious to get through. It used to take them a full month to get through month-end processing, reporting and reconciliations. They were also very prone to error when dealing with their manual processes. “What we put in, we got out, and too much of our time was dedicated to checking and reconciling reports.” Jacqui shares.
The volume of work required to handle monthly amortizations and interest accruals made it necessary for those entries to be captured on a year-end basis. Due to the manual reporting of investments, the preparation for the yearly audits was extremely time-consuming. Jacqui shares, “Our auditors needed to do more testing on our investment holdings to make sure the information we were using was accurate.”
ICAN Software Solutions came to Inglewood Park Cemetery’s aid and everything has since changed. The cemetery went live on Microsoft Dynamics GP with ICAN InvestmentAssets in 2012 and they now have complete and accurate tracking and history of each investment holding, complete with customizations specific to their industry and so much more.
Closing books each month is now accomplished in approximately 10 days. “We can pull monthly amortizations, interest, and income accruals. The reconciliation process is so smooth, it takes literally a push of a button to initiate a reconciliation report back to our statements.” Jacqui continues, “I’m still amazed and still enjoy learning all the ways ICAN InvestmentAssets is able to help us.”