Author Archives: Eddie Sempek

Eddie Sempek serves as Orion's Chief Innovation Officer. He has worked in several roles at Orion and now oversees the team of tech consultants. He enjoys helping firms in their strategic planning and implementation of technology.
Auditing Placeholder Transactions

As an advisor, you rely daily on accurate transaction data flowing from custodians into Orion. But what happens when that data hits a roadblock? In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to navigate this scenario and locate the information you need.

What is a Placeholder Transaction Audit?

A Placeholder Transaction Audit is a report that contains a list of transactions that have been created in Orion to bring daily positions into balance.

For example, when the necessary transactions to bring a position into balance are not received, one of Orion’s data analysts will create a manual placeholder transaction in order to balance the position. When that happens, a communication will be sent from Orion to your firm’s data reconciliation contact to request the missing information.

Viewing the Placeholder Transaction Audit
The Placeholder Transaction Audit is located inside of the Reconciliation Status Application. Once there, click on Placeholder Transaction Audit, which can be located on the left side of the screen.

1118-OAS-10/29/2019

Best Practices for Data Maintenance

The Orion onboarding process includes an extensive client audit to ensure all your data is captured and downloading properly within Orion’s technology. But what happens after the initial onboarding? It’s important that you are continuing to audit your data on a regular basis to ensure accuracy. Here are some best practices for maintaining your new accounts after the onboarding process is complete.

After The Initial Client Audit

Orion provides an “Advisor Best Practices” document that is a good starting point for creating a checklist of steps to take as new accounts start downloading into our system. There are various things you will want to check, update, and assign to the new account in order to make sure it is handled properly from day one. This document focuses on updating the “Household” information, ensuring the correct billing specs are assigned, as well as how to prepare the account for quarter-end statements. You can download the document here, or find it within the “Assist Me” tool.

Utilizing Audits Within Orion

Within Orion, there are various methods of running audits to verify the accuracy of your clients’ information in Orion. The first place is the “Query” app. In the app, there are a variety of queries you can run from a full client audit file to more specific account level settings. You also have the capability to “favorite” these queries for ease of access in the future. In addition, in other apps (i.e. Portfolio Audit, Billing Audit, etc.) there are also queries you can utilize. Remember, queries can be added to your checklist for weekly, monthly, or quarterly audits.

Resources

A few of the resources available to you have been listed above. However, there are countless resources you can access within Orion, including – starting with our “Support” app, “Assist Me” tool, and the “Query” app. The list doesn’t stop there. You also have access to all of the in-house Subject Matter Experts in each area for additional Orion assistance.
For questions or more information, please contact us.
1079-OAS-10/23/2019

Excluding an Account From Performance

Have you ever wondered how to remove an account or asset from your managed performance number? Perhaps the account was strictly cash, or maybe it was not actively managed by the advisor. Maybe an asset was a legacy position that you were not actively managing. Whatever the reason, in this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how.

Is it actively managed?

If the account or position is not actively managed, why include it with the managed portion’s performance? This is an all-too-common scenario seen in the Orion system. Orion has a simple all-or-nothing switch to flip that will tell the system whether or not to include the account, asset, or product in all reporting and performance functionality.

Since Orion is considered a “managed entity platform”, the “Managed” checkbox was designed to allow the advisor to separate the two. Here’s how to navigate to this setting at either the account, asset, or product level:

  • Account: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > locate desired account > right click on the account in the grid > Edit Account(s) > check/uncheck the Managed checkbox
  • Asset: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > locate desired account > right click on the account in the grid > Assets > right click on the desired asset > Edit Asset(s) > check/uncheck the Managed checkbox
  • Product: Products & Prices app > click Search Local Products from left sidebar > enter the product name, ID, or ticker symbol > Refresh Grid > right click on desired product > Edit Product(s) > check/uncheck the Managed checkbox

Need to see the account but exclude it from performance?

Orion has developed unmanaged override settings at the account, asset, and product level to allow you to designate exactly what part of the reporting and performance system you want an entity excluded from. The overrides include the following options: Performance, Activity Summary, Allocation, Portfolio Detail, and Tax Detail.

Checking any combination of the individual checkboxes tells the system to consider the entity “managed” for that specific reporting or performance functionality. For example, to remove the entity from only the performance calculation, but have it included for all other reporting functionality, simply uncheck the “Performance” box, while leaving the others checked.

To navigate to this setting at either the account, asset, or product level, use the following:

  • Account: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > locate desired account > right click on the account in the grid > Edit Account(s) > on the left sidebar, under Options, select Settings > click on the Reports section > click the drop box next to Unmanaged assets inclusion
  • Asset: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > locate desired account > right click on the account in the grid > Assets > located desired asset > right click and select Edit Asset(s) > on the left sidebar, under Options, select Settings > click on the Reports section > click the drop box next to Unmanaged assets inclusion
  • Product: Products & Prices app > click Search Local Products from left sidebar > enter the product name, ID, or ticker symbol > Refresh Grid > right click on desired product > Edit Product(s) > on the left sidebar, under Options, select Settings > click on the Reports section > click the drop box next to Unmanaged assets inclusion

If you have a question or need additional help, email the Performance team at performance@orionadvisor.com.

1040-OAS-10/15/2019

Recalculating Live Bills

Have you ever wondered how to fix or rerun a client’s bill? With Orion’s technology, you have the ability to recalculate a client’s bill to reflect changes such as an updated fee schedule, updated asset exclusion, change of billing settings, and more. In this week’s Tech Tip, we will discuss two ways to rerun a client’s bill – prior to creating fee files or after creating fee files.

Prior to Creating Fee Files

If fee files have not yet been created, you can make edits and recalculate a client’s bill within their bill instance. Once fee files are created, the bill is set to “Complete” status, and you will no longer have the ability to alter bills.

When in the bill instance, you can right click on the applicable household to make the necessary edits. Alternatively, you can make edits in the Billing Audit app. If you are not able to make edits, it could be that your database is in Billing Lockdown. To remove the lockdown, go to the Bill Generator > Bill Instance > Actions > Lockdown Maintenance.

After you have made the necessary edits, right click on the household in the instance and click Delete Selected Bill. This will put the bill into “Not Generated” status. You will then be able to regenerate the bill based on the changes you made by right-clicking on the household and clicking on Generate Selected. If you have multiple households that you’d like to recalculate, you can select multiple households to delete and regenerate them at the same time by clicking on Step 1, Generate All. It’s important to note that if you are recalculating a bill for a household that is related to other households, it will delete all applicable households in the relationship. That way, you can regenerate them together at the same time, ensuring they will aggregate correctly.

After recalculating a bill, we recommend clicking Create on Step 2 Review Bills to make a new set of audit files. This process can be completed as many times as needed until the bills are accurate.

After Creating Fee Files

After fee files are created, the bill instance is set to “Complete” status, and you are unable to make changes or recalculate the bills inside the instance. If you have not uploaded your fee file and you would like to make changes to bills, Orion’s SME Billing team can reset your fee files. This will enable you to recalculate bills in your instance. If you have uploaded the fee file and collected the fees at the custodian, it is a best practice to recalculate a household’s bill through the Recalculate Bill tool. It’s important to note that recalculating a bill overrides the original bill as if it never existed, so please run an original invoice if necessary prior to recalculating.

Simply navigate to the Bill Generator app within the Bill Instance tab. Click Actions and select Recalculate Bill.

If you are recalculating a household that is related to another, you must recalculate all households together through the import. This will ensure the correct aggregate value is used. To recalculate a single household, select the Household radio button, search for the applicable household, select the applicable Bill in the dropdown, and click Recalculate. You will then be directed into a new bill instance for this household. Here you can create a set of audit files to review as well as a fee file as you would in a regular bill.

To recalculate multiple households at the same time, select the Import Re-runs from List radio button. Click Download File Template and enter in the applicable Bill IDs that are associated with the original bill for each household in column A of the spreadsheet. You can find the Bill IDs by navigating into your original bill instance and locating the Bill ID column toward the right hand side of the grid.

Once the template is complete, save the spreadsheet, click Select File to Import, and select the template spreadsheet. After the Bill IDs appear, click Recalculate.

For more information, contact the Billing Team at billing@orionadvisor.com.

0993-OAS-10/1/2019

Displaying Quarterly Reports From Integration Partners

As quarter end approaches, you may need to pull together a variety of reports before meeting with clients. For your convenience, we offer integration support for quarterly reports, specifically, with eMoney and Wealth Access. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to run a quarterly report batch and link it to your preferred integration partner, eMoney or Wealth Access.

What?

Making sure your quarterly reports are clean and accurate is an important part of the client experience. By making a quarterly report batch, eMoney and Wealth Access can display your reports within a preferred integration portal.

How?

Making a quarterly report batch available to your preferred integration partner is relatively simple:

  1.       In the Report Batch app, set the Report Batch Visibility to Household.
  2.       The reports will be available for your preferred integration partner to access.

   

For eMoney, this will automatically give the eMoney system access to the Orion reports. For Wealth Access, you will need to tell the system to import the Report Batch documents. You can reach out to Wealth Access for instructions on how to do this. The image below is the Wealth Access menu.

It’s important to note that each integration partner interacts with these reports differently. For instance, eMoney displays the reports as download links directly to Orion, so they don’t actually store the reports, while Wealth Access actually downloads the reports to their system.

If you want to remove any reports from eMoney, you can update the visibility status of the report from Household to Advisor. For Wealth Access, you will need to manually remove the reports from the Wealth Access system, since they downloaded the reports.

If you have any questions or need help setting up partner integrations please contact integrations@orionadvisor.com.

0966-OAS-9/24/2019

 

 

Refresh Account Start Dates Immediately With This Custom Query

When working with your client’s important data, it’s critical that you have the ability to provide the most accurate picture of holdings, performance, and account history at any given moment. When updating client information, there are several processes in Orion’s system that will automatically refresh overnight, but what if you want to see an update even sooner?  

What?

Occasionally, you may need to update a client’s account start date. After entering your client’s new information, the Orion system will refresh the account data overnight. Did you know you also have the option to push an update and refresh the data automatically? Using the “Account Start Update” query (7719) you can ensure your client’s account is updated immediately.

Why?

This query can be useful when you create or re-activate an account and you want to see that account’s data appear on the same day in the Client Portal, Household Overview or on Reports. It can also be helpful if you create a related household in Manage Users but it’s not showing up in the Client Portal.

How?

Running this query will push an immediate refresh to an account’s start date in the system. For example, if you un-cancel an account and that account doesn’t have a start date, you can use this query to populate the account start date.

To run the Account Start Update query, follow these four easy steps:

  1.       Launch the Query app.
  2.       Ensure “All Queries” is selected on the right-hand side.
  3.       Locate the “Account Start Update” query (7719) by using the search bar at the top of the query list.
  4.       Double click the Account Start Update query > select “Run.”

Need additional help? Feel free to contact the Platform Support Team at success@orionadvisor.com.

0949-OAS-9/16/2019 

 

 

 

Quickly and Efficiently Locate Orion Benchmarks Using the Query App

When working with indexes, it’s important to select the correct corresponding benchmark for proper setup. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’re learning about a more effective and faster way to search for benchmarks in Orion. By making use of a specially designed data query in the Query app, we can quickly show every index in a database and find them with a high degree of certainty no matter how much variety is used when referring to it in the broader market.

What?

To make sure you have the correct benchmark for your index, you can use the Available Index data query (2478), which can be found inside the Query app. This query takes a few minutes to run, but it’s the most efficient way to search for an index, especially if you’re not absolutely certain what the index is named in our system.

You can also run the query in the OrionService (0) database to generate a complete list of ALL available indexes and whether you have access to the benchmark or not. Note: Indexes that show up in OrionService but not in your database may require additional cost or addendums to display.

Why?

Occasionally, you may be looking for an index that you are unable to locate. You may be trying to assign the new benchmark to something in the Benchmark Assignments app, but what you are looking for is not populating in the search window.

This often happens if you haven’t entered the name of the benchmark exactly as it appears in the Orion system, prompting the search criteria you are entering to exclude the results you wish to see. Running query #2478 can be helpful because it allows you to dynamically search the different columns for the pieces of information about the index that you may have.

How?

To successfully use query #2478:

  1. Navigate to the Query app.
  2. Make sure to run the query in OrionService if you are looking for a complete list of indexes, or in your database if you are looking for a personalized list.
  3. Once the query has run, make use of the sorting and filtering rows in the Query app to locate the Index for which you are searching.

For example: The ACWI (or AC World Index) family of benchmarks is an often-requested set. A common mistake when searching for them is to add too much information into the filter row.

Instead of entering “ACWI” into the index filter row, you may try “AC” or “AC Wor”. The rest of the information on the query can also be helpful for determining if you have the right index.

Note: There are columns telling us how recently the index in question was updated and how far back its data goes.

But, What if…?

What are your options if Orion doesn’t carry the index for which you are searching? Though it is possible to add to our current selection, it is not usually desirable, because there is almost always an added cost for you to do so. Instead, we can support you in creating and maintaining a manual benchmark by using product creation tools and the Blended Benchmarks app.  

Need additional help? Feel free to contact the Products and Prices Team at productsandprices@orionadvisor.com.

0929-OAS-9/10/2019

 

Viewing Cost Basis by Asset in Portfolio Audit

With so much functionality, Portfolio Audit is one of, if not the most, popular app in Orion Connect. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll explore how to view cost basis by asset within the Portfolio Audit app.

What?

Keeping track of an asset’s cost is a crucial step in securities reporting. The cost basis of an asset shows whether the investment had a loss or gain and what the tax consequences for the investor will be.

Within the Portfolio Audit app, you can explore the cost basis of an asset by adding the “Include Cost Basis Tool.”

Why?

Using the “Include Cost Basis Tool” gives you a quick look at the asset’s cost basis without having to run a report or data query, saving you time and streamlining efficiency.

How?

To access the “Include Cost Basis Tool:”

  1. Launch the Portfolio Audit app.
  2. Navigate to a Household or an Account.
  3. Once you are at the Household or Account level, right-click and choose “Assets.”
  4. From there, add the “Cost Basis” column to your view.
  5. Navigate to the right side of your screen and click on the “Columns” drop-down, then select “show disabled columns.” Then check the box for the Cost Basis column.
  6. Next, select the gear tab on the top right of the screen, and set “Include Cost Basis” to “Yes.”

From here, you can save a new view so that Cost Basis will be included each time you load the Assets screen.

Congratulations on saving time and energy with the Portfolio Audit app!

If you have questions or need additional assistance, feel free to contact our Platform Support team at platform@orionadvisor.com

0600-OAS-6/11/2019
Properly Sync Client Accounts to Get the Most from Eclipse™

Properly Sync Client Accounts to Get the Most from Eclipse™

Within the Orion system, it’s important that your accounts are properly synced with Eclipse™ trading so that you can take advantage of tax loss harvesting opportunities and reduced trading costs. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to check if your accounts are properly syncing, so you can help your clients get the most from what they’ve saved.

What?

As robo-advisors have grown in popularity, advisory fees have lowered across the industry. In order to demonstrate the increased value you bring to your clients, it’s important that you provide services beyond just investment advice. One way to do this is through your approach to portfolio management.

According to recent data, around 80% of advisors manage portfolios in-house, and over 60% use a trading platform to help. Orion’s tax-intelligent trading and rebalancing platform, Eclipse™, provides you with tax-efficient, automated features to positively impact your clients’ portfolios and your back-office operations-without compromising one for the other.

Why?

As you begin to use Eclipse™ trading, you may find yourself with a database issue where it appears that your accounts aren’t syncing or they have been deleted all together. It’s likely that you may have made a few changes in Orion Connect and affected your data sync. Let’s take a look at some of the most common issues that may be affecting your accounts syncing up in Eclipse™ trading.

How?

Here are a few of the most common steps that can be taken, or reviewed to confirm an account is syncing to Eclipse™ trading:

  1. When editing an Account, under Options, has the Account been “Eclipse™ Enabled”? Accounts must be enabled to sync to Eclipse™.

  1. Is the Account marked as Active in Portfolio Audit? Only Active Accounts will sync to Eclipse™ trading.

  1. Does the Account have a value greater than $0.00? “zero value” Accounts will not sync to Eclipse™, regardless if the Account is Eclipse™ Enabled and Active.

 

If you need help getting started with Eclipse™, feel free to contact the Trading Team at trading@orionadvisor.com

Want to learn more about Eclipse™ trading? Join our upcoming demo September 3rd for a walk-through with our team of Orion experts!

 

0881-OAS-8/26/2019

 

 

Improve Your Efficiency with the Trends Optimization Dashboard

Orion technology can help you improve many different facets of your business. With so many applications and programs available, there’s a lot to keep track of. In this week’s tech tip, we’ll show you a tool that can help ensure you’re taking advantage of everything Orion has to offer.

What?

The Optimization Dashboard inside of the Trends app can help you answer the question “How should I be using the Orion system?” Using the Optimization Dashboard, you can ensure that you’re using Orion’s recommended best practices for Billing, Integrations, and Reporting.

Why?

Orion’s technology offers a lot of flexibility to accommodate the many different ways a process or experience could be handled. The Optimization Dashboard can help guide you how to implement the best experience. For example, did you know that Orion recommends billing average daily balance in arrears for the most accurate and efficient process?

How?

To access the Optimization Dashboard:

  1. Navigate to the Trends app.
  2. After launching the app, navigate to Utilization>Optimization.
  3. The number of best practices being followed are displayed in blue. Drill down into each section to review.

  1. The top section shows current utilization facts.
  2. The bottom section shows the recommended best practices and an indicator showing whether it is being followed.

Extra tip: Hover over the metric for more information.

If you need additional assistance navigating the Trend Optimization Dashboard feel free to contact our Platform Support Team at success@orionadvisor.com

0862-OAS-8/19/2019

 

Stay on Top of Employee Oversight with the Supervise Tool

Even if you’re a one-person shop, keeping track of portfolio management, trading and billing can be a daunting task. In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how the Supervise Tool, found within Orion’s Compliance app, can help you spend less time monitoring trading and billing functions, and more time meeting with clients, so you can enjoy your business again.

What?

The Supervise Tool helps you create a testing regimen that can automatically run your queries at a specific time, and save you a great deal of prep work over manual review processes.

You can also establish a supervisory exception reporting system that can aid you in quickly reviewing portfolio management, trading practices, billing and many other items that can help reduce risks to your firm.

Why?

As an app that was custom built for compliance professionals, Supervise benefits users who are responsible for managing your oversight program. Depending on the size of your firm, that could be a dedicated Chief Compliance Officer, or it could be yourself, if you’re a one-person shop.

Ultimately though, your clients will receive the benefit of working with a well-regulated firm that stays current with compliance reporting requirements. With a smoothly-run compliance department, you can spend more time focused on building client relationships.

How?

To access the Supervise tool:

  1.       Open the Compliance app in Orion Connect.
  2.       Navigate to the left side menu.
  3.       Here, you will find six tabs:
  • Open Items: All queries that have run, but have not yet been reviewed.
  • Completed Items: All queries that have been reviewed to 100% completion. By default, this list is filtered to show only queries run during the last month.
  • All Items: A complete list of all Open and Completed Items.
  • Scheduled Queries: A complete list of all queries you have scheduled to run, including the last run time and next run time for each.
  • Exception Items: A list of query results that have been marked as an exception.
  • Query Templates: A list with descriptions of all pre-populated query templates created by Orion and all new templates you’ve created.
  1.       There are several queries available within the Supervise app. Feel free to review the templates that have already been created to see if they will fit your needs.
  2.       Pre-created templates include reviews of households by state, active accounts without a balance and specific transition reviews. If you choose to create your own template via the Actions button, you’ll go through a simple tutorial wizard to complete each necessary step.
  3.       After creating a template, you can schedule your queries to run via the Scheduled Queries tab. Once a query has run, you access its results on the Open Items page.
  4.       Double-click an Open Item to view its results within Supervise. As you check off each line as reviewed (either with multi-select or individually), the progress meter will fill up. Once it hits 100% your Open Item will automatically move to the Completed Items list.

Most Popular Supervise Queries

ID 78 – Inactive Accounts Not Zero

ID 11 – Active Accounts with a Zero Balance

ID 101602 – Daily Trade Activity (All Products Types Included)

ID 13909 – SEC Trade Blotter – Equities

ID 13910 – SEC Trade Blotter – Fixed Income

ID 16618 – SEC Trade Blotter – Mutual Funds

ID 13911 – SEC Trade Blotter – Options

ID 14401 – SEC Standing Letters of Authorization

ID 100 – New Money Report

ID 16731 – Daily Advisory Trades Excluding Cash Transactions

ID 2170 – Trading Blocked Accounts

ID 5522 – Out of Tolerance Report

ID 15094 – Canceled Account

ID 18060 – Same CUSIP, Same Day Trades

ID 15220 – Trading Inactivity Report

ID 7629 – Fee Schedule by Accounts

We hope you will find these queries beneficial. If you have any questions, or need additional guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact the Compliance Team at compliance@orion.com.

0833-OAS-8/12/2019

Save Time with the Batch Performance Tool

Have you ever wanted to run several performance reports at once? With the Batch Performance Tool, you can! In this week’s Tech Tip, we’ll show you how to save time by gathering all of your reports into one place. Let’s dive in!

What?

You may want to run a performance report for all households, registrations and accounts, or a combination of the three. You may even want to create groupings associated with this information (i.e., Management Style, Asset Category, Asset Class, etc.). Instead of building a custom query, you can use the Batch Performance Tool and run all of your reports in one place – saving you time.

Why?

The Batch Performance Tool runs in the background – just like Report Batches. You can configure your settings, click “Run,” and then come back to view your results when they are complete, rather than having to run a query and leave the browser up while it runs. The batch also automatically saves so you can go back and view your results at a convenient time.

How?

To start using the Batch Performance Tool:

  1. Locate and launch the Batch Performance Tool app.
  2. If the app is not visible, you may need to have it enabled in Manage Users.
  3. Within Manage Users, go to Role, select Records, and then choose Portfolio. Here you will define the Batch Performance rights, which the Admin at your firm can enable. Read, Edit, and Delete must be enabled to enable the Batch Performance app.
  4. After opening the Batch Performance app, you will select the Actions Menu in the top right corner, then select “New Batch.”
  5. This will bring up the following screen where a Batch Name will be entered.
  6. Select the Period, then select additional periods to include in the drop-down.
  7. After clicking “Next,” you will be brought to the “Selection” screen where you will determine if you want the batch to run at the Household, Registration, or Account level. After selecting the level, you will select the additional grouping options below:
  8. After selecting groupings, click “Next” to go to the Performance Options screen.
  9. This will default to the firms performance settings that have been set in the Firm Profile app. These can be adjusted as needed.
  10. Click “Next” to proceed to the “Review” screen. If everything looks good, select “Create Batch.” This will begin running the batch. You can go about your day until the batch has finished running.

Need additional help? The Performance Team is standing by! Feel free to contact us at performance@orionadvisor.com

0768-OAS-7/29/2019