Skip to main content

Author Archives: Joe Leyboldt

Joe Leyboldt serves as the Director of Orion's Technology Support. Joe is a native of Arizona and loves running, coffee, Nebraska football, and skinny jeans.
August 2018 Software Update: Full Release Notes

Last week, we told you the most impactful updates as part of our upcoming August Software Release. These enhancements, like all the rest, have been prioritized to help you increase your daily efficiency and improve your client relationships.

From new integrations with FinMason and Asset-Map, to the release of a brand-new ASTRO Light app, to the ability to create Dynamic Benchmarks and new ways to organize your favorite Orion Connect apps into folders, we’re sure you’re going to find something to love in this month’s release!

Let’s dive into all the changes going live on August 25th:

Billing & Composites

In this month’s release, we’ve expanded your billing and composite reporting capabilities so you can get to the information you need much faster.


  • We’ve expanded our billing capabilities so you can bill Financial Planning Fees to clients with whom you have a planning-only relationship and do not use Orion to manage their assets.
    How to Get There: Log into the Billing Generator app in Orion Connect to set up Financial Planning Fees.
  • You can now manage individual users’ billing rights to enhance your firm’s security procedures.
    How to Get There: In the Manage Users app, click on Roles > Edit Role > Records > Portfolio > Portfolio Billing and then select either General Account, Payees, or Recurring Adjustments.

Read More About These Highlights.

Additional Billing Updates

  • The Rep ID shown in your Firm Profile will now display within the Rep ID column in a bill instance.
    How to Get There: Bill Generator > Bill Instance > Rep ID Column
  • A threshold dollar amount can now be designated for billing in arrears on contributions and distributions within the Bill Generator.
    How to Get There: Firm Profile > Option Information > Billing > Arrears Contribution/Distribution Threshold
  • You can now recalculate bills using just one billing instance (instead of multiple instances) for each Household.
    How to Get There: Bill Generator > Bill Instance > Actions > Recalculate Bill
  • You can now add a start date for any recurring billing adjustments on accounts. The adjustment can be created when adding a new account, and it can be set to be a date other than the account’s start date.
    How to Get There: Billing Audit > Accounts > Edit Accounts > Recurring Adjustments
  • New columns for Rep ID, Rep Name, and Rep Number have been added to a Slick Grid in the Bill Generator called Planning Fees, displaying the planning fees that have been calculated within Orion.
    How to Get There: Bill Generator > Planning Fees > Columns
  • In the Bill Generator’s Planning Fees Slick Grid, you now have the ability to edit a household, registration, or account.
  • How to Get There: Bill Generator > Planning Fees> Highlighting a Row and Right-Clicking
  • Advisor-level users in Orion can now delete Forecast Bill Instances that are in a ‘Completed’ Status.
    How to Get There: Bill Generator > Bill Instance > Forecast Bill Instance > Right Click > Delete Instance
  • Financial Planning Fee accounts are now removed from the Status Not Billed screen.
    How to Get There: Billing Audit > Account Audit > Status Not Billed
  • You can now choose Semi-Annual as a time frame when assigning a frequency to a Financial Planning Fee.  
    How to Get There: Billing Audit > HH > Edit Household > Financial Planning Fee > Populate > Frequency
  • A Custom Import is now available for partially-excluded assets within the Billing Audit app.
    How to Get There: Billing Audit > Partially Excluded > Actions > Import Partial Asset Exclusions.
  • Two risk return charts (Beta & Standard Deviation) will be available to view on the Composite Dashboard.
    How to Get There: Composites > Dashboard
  • GIPS queries and most GIPS verification tools are available within the Composites app, helping to streamline the verification process for advisors.
    How to Get There: Composites > Account Lists > Actions > GIPS Queries

Business Intelligence

In addition to making updates to give you a quick view of AUM growth, you can now access refreshed data every day instead of each week.


  • Your Business Intelligence data in Trends will now update every day, allowing you to make more agile and informed decisions.
    How to Get There: In the Trends app, select All Dashboards for the full view of all your firm’s data.

Read More About This Highlight.

Additional Business Intelligence Updates

  • Add your own monthly firm-level goals for Actual Billing Amount, AUM, AUM from New Clients, Number of New Clients, Number of New Accounts, and Management Fees within the Trends app.
    How to Get There: Trends App > Goals Dashboard
  • The “AUM” and “AUM from New Clients” goals within Trends will reflect only managed assets and accounts, allowing for a more concise measurement of AUM growth.
    How to Get There: Trends App > Goals Dashboard


We’re adding even more ways to help you navigate the complex and ever-changing regulatory and compliance landscape.


  • Save time when analyzing and confirming information for your FORM ADV and 13F reports with the new Disclose Dashboard.
    How to Get There: In the Compass App, click Disclose Dashboard.

Read More About This Highlight

Additional Compliance Updates

  • A new field within the Households section of the Portfolio Audit app has been added to provide you with the ability to sub-categorize clients using the SEC’s FORM ADV client type categories. This update greatly improves the reporting needed for annual ADV updates. Information can be updated individually or in bulk and is displayed in the new Compass Disclose dashboard.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit > Households > General > ADV Client Category
  • Compliance resources can now be accessed via a link from the Compass app to the Orion Social Compliance Group.  
    How to Get There: Compass > Learn
  • You can now sub-categorize products using the SEC’s FORM ADV 12 broad asset categories and improve the reporting needed for annual ADV updates. The new field can be updated individually or in bulk.
    How to Get There: The information is displayed in the new Compass Disclose dashboard. Navigate to Products and Prices > Products > Local
  • You can now schedule pre-selected queries within Compass.
    How to Get There: Scheduled Queries > Activate
  • You now have more control over ADV and 13F reporting with two new fields added in the Portfolio Audit and Products & Prices apps. ADV Reportable and 13F Reportable are used to report which accounts, assets, and products should be included in the FORM ADV and FORM 13F reporting calculations and displays.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > General Portfolio Audit > Assets > General Products & Prices > Product > Local
  • Pre-selected data queries are now available under the Scheduled Queries within the Compass app.  One-click scheduling of queries is now possible as well.
    How to Get There: Compass App>Left Side Menu>Scheduled Data Queries
  • Comments can now be added to bulk closing actions in Supervise.
    How to Get There: Orion Connect > Compass app > Supervise > Open Items > Highlight & Select
  • We’ve added the option to sub-categorize wrap assets by Wrap Managed, Wrap Sponsor, or Both Manager and Sponsor. This will allow for more FORM ADV information to be reported in the Compass Disclose dashboard.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > General
  • The SFTP password in our Archive tool will be masked to all users, aligning it with Orion’s overall password policies.
    How to Get There: Compass app > Archive

Recon & Dashboards

In this release, we’ve added more capabilities for you to easily see what’s happening and keep your data clean, in less time.

Recon & Dashboard Updates

  • Advisors can now update the account Billing Status en masse using the Account Update custom import or within the All Accounts billing audit.
    How to Get There:

    • To update with a custom import: Open the Custom Import app > Select the Account Update template > Populate the Account ID and Bill Account Status columns > Save the file and process the Custom Import. Bill Account Status options are Ready, Not Ready, Brokerage/Commission, and Financial Planning Fee Only.
    • To update in the All Accounts audit: Navigate to the Billing Audit app > Select All Accounts under Account Audit > Highlight account(s) to update > Right click to Edit Account(s) > Field Category = Billing > Field to update = Bill Account Status > Select the  appropriate value from Enter New Field Value dropdown > Click Add Change > Click Save.
  • The AUM Over Time Insight Tile at the Representative level will include a parameter allowing you to set the Activity Type data that is bucketed into Contributions and Distributions.
    How to Get There: Insight > Rep Dashboard > AUM Over Time > Gear Icon
  • The FolioFN feed has been updated to use dividend pay dates for the transaction effective date, aligning FolioFN dividend transactions with how they are handled across other custodial interfaces.
    How to Get There: Nothing for you to do or see here! It’s all in the background.
  • You can now edit notes on accounts on the Exclusion table.
    How to Get There: New Accounts Center > Excluded Accounts > Double click on account > Edit notes
  • For reporting purposes, you can now remove the bond rating assigned to a product.
    How to Get There: Products and Prices > My Current Products > Right Click > Edit Product > S&P/ Moody’s Rating drop-down menu


This month’s software update brings much-asked-for updates to reporting, and it also moves us closer to another big milestone with an enhanced Report Builder app.


  • The addition of our Dynamic Benchmarking feature allows you to assign benchmarks that adjust to allocation changes over time to more accurately show an asset manager’s impact on a portfolio.
    How to Get There: Open the Blended Benchmarks app, then select Actions > New Benchmark > Select the Dynamic Type > Assign benchmarks for the various Asset Classes or Categories > Save your new blend > Assign this benchmark in the Benchmark Assignment app
  • You can now bundle your favorite Orion Connect apps into folders to streamline your view.
    How to Get There: Log in to Orion Connect and select “New Folder” along the bottom of the screen. When this screen pops up, select the apps you want in a folder and give it a name.
  • We’re continuing to enhance Report Builder with new report generation, creation and theming capabilities with an expected launch in Q4. 
    How to Get There: Keep an eye out for additional updates around Report Builder coming later this year!

Read More About These Highlights.[/vc_column_text]

Additional Reporting Updates

  • You will now receive a confirmation message that details instructions for viewing the print job status after sending a report batch to Orion’s print vendor, Quantum.
    How to Get There: Orion Connect > Notifications
  • We updated the Risk and Return sub-report in Report Builder to display “Risk” and “Return” labels for the X-axis and Y-axis.
    How to Get There: Report Builder > Risk and Return Sub-report > Adjust Show Labels to True
  • The Benchmark Unannualized Performance sub-report has been moved to half-page landscape format.
    How to Get There: Report Builder > New Report > Sub Report (Second Tab) > Half Page > Benchmark Unannualized Performance
  • The Asset-Level “Cost Basis” column in the Portfolio Audit app will now display associated information.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit > Assets > Cost Basis Column
  • You can now record multiple SLOAs to a single account from a dedicated menu option within Portfolio Audit.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit >Accounts>Edit Account>SLOAs
  • SLOA data can now be uploaded en masse into Orion Connect.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit > Accounts > Actions > Import SLOAs


There’s one huge update coming your way in the form of ASTRO Light, a client-friendly version of ASTRO Advanced. Both apps allow you to optimize portfolios for legacy assets, ESG concerns, and tax-efficiency, but ASTRO Light is designed for you to use alongside clients and prospects during in-person meetings to enhance your conversations.


  • We’ve created ASTRO Light, a client-friendly portfolio optimization tool that will allow you to review portfolio optimizations during client and prospect meetings.
    How to Learn More: Reach out to Orion’s ASTRO team at or click here to learn more.

Read More About This Highlight.

Additional Trading Updates

  • Eclipse™ Portfolios with a single, custodial account that is not sleeved or householded in Eclipse™ will sync the model from Orion Connect (if an Eclipse™ model is chosen).
    How to Get There: Orion Connect > Create a new account and assign a model aggregate to the account > Log into Eclipse™ and select “Start New Full import” or “Start New Partial Import” > An Eclipse™ portfolio is created for the created account and assigned to the Model Aggregate from Orion Connect
  • For firms using the Sleeve Strategy app, we have built out the ability to import your sleeve strategies. You will now be able to not only create new sleeve strategies, but maintain those that are already created.
    How to Get There: Orion Connect > Sleeve Strategy app
  • A Rebalance Log has been added to TOM Instances.
    How to Get There: TOM app > Instances > Set date > Instance ID > Right-click > Rebalance Log


Looking to sync the right data to your other external apps and then create more engaging client meetings and review information seamlessly between systems? Check out our latest integrations.


  • Our integration with Asset-Map will sync your Household and Account data from Orion to Asset-Map, giving you the chance to create more robust portfolio reviews and more engaging conversations.
    How to Get There: Log into Orion Connect and click on the Integrations Center app to access the tile.
  • A new integration with FinMason allows you to deliver dynamic financial projections based on current saving and spending patterns using FinMason’s institutional-grade investment analytics platform.
    How to Learn More: For more information on this integration, sign up for a webinar here.

Read More About These Highlights.

Additional Integration Updates

  • Single Sign-On with TD Ameritrade’s Veo One platform has been enhanced to allow for future contextually-launched screens and features.
    How to Get There: Generate Fee File > Launch an Advisor into Veo One
  • Registrations that contain a Financial Planning-Only account will not be included in Orion’s export to eMoney, eliminating the potential confusion of an account that does not actually exist.
    How to Get There: Orion Connect > eMoney Portfolio Extract
  • You now have the ability to refresh the Probability of Success field any time for MoneyGuidePro data within Portfolio Audit.
    How to Get There: Portfolio Audit > select Household > Actions

Ready to Begin Making the Most of Orion’s Latest Enhancements?

All of the highlights you’ve read about in today’s article, plus many more enhancements and upgrades, will be coming to you when the Orion software update rolls out on August 25th.

To learn more about how to scale your firm with these new enhancements, sign up for our upcoming webinar on September 13, 2018.


August 2018 Software Update Highlights

On August 25th, we’re bringing you another round of big enhancements as part of our next Software Update to the Orion platform. In this preview of what’s to come, you’ll get a sneak peek of:

  • An all-new “light” version of ASTRO
  • A daily refresh of data in the Trends app
  • The ability to secure and protect your data from accidental edits
  • A way to create a more accurate reflection of your asset managers value
  • The option to create folders to organize your apps within Orion Connect
  • A new integration with Asset-Map and more!

Look for another Orion blog in the weeks ahead, publishing the full Release Notes not covered in this post!



ASTRO Light for Client-Friendly Presentations 

What We Built

“ASTRO Light,” a streamlined version of ASTRO (Advisor Strategy & Tax Return Optimization), allows you to easily review portfolio optimizations during prospect and client meetings.

ASTRO Light still includes full functionality to run a complete portfolio optimization, just like you would with ASTRO Advanced, but this interface gives you the ability to collect data and walk through an optimization process in real-time. ASTRO Light also allows for the inclusion of a Cap Gains tax schedule.

Why It Matters
ASTRO Light’s updated visual view style allows you to discuss portfolio optimizations with clients in a way that’s easy for them to understand. Now, you can better explain your value by showing clients exactly how you account for their ESG concerns and legacy assets, and create tax efficiencies in their portfolios.  

How to Learn More
Reach out to Orion’s ASTRO team at or click here to learn more. 



Expanded Capabilities for Billing Financial Planning Clients

What We Built
When using this financial planning feature, you’ll now be able to assign Financial Planning Fees to both existing households and clients with whom you have a financial planning only relationship. 

Additionally, your advisors can set up these new households and fee agreements, and new clients can enter their billing information through the Client Portal, allowing fees to be processed straight through BluePay.*

Why It Matters
Previously, you could only bill households with assets in Orion Connect. With the household value restriction removed, you’re free to bill however you want.

How to Learn More
Log into the Billing Generator app in Orion Connect to set up Financial Planning Fees. You can also take advantage of our Ascent training course.

*Integration required


Manage Billing Privileges for Enhanced Security 

What We Built
You now have the ability to restrict a user’s read and edit rights for:

  • Recurring adjustments on a household
  • Recurring adjustments on an account
  • One-time adjustments on an account
  • Payees on an account

Why It Matters
Security! You don’t want the new college intern helping with your quarterly reports to accidentally make edits to a client’s fee schedule. This update ensures you protect your firm and employees from accidental billing changes.

How to Learn More
In the Manage Users app, click on Roles > Edit Role > Records > Portfolio > Portfolio Billing and then select either General Account, Payees, or Recurring Adjustments.

Business Intelligence



Access Up-to-Date Business Intelligence In Trends

What We Built
Previously, Trends data refreshed each week, but now you can access data, updated daily, ensuring you get the most up-to-date business intelligence reports for your firm.

Why It Matters
With access to real-time data, your firm can make more agile, impactful business decisions. 

How to Learn More
In the Trends app, select All Dashboards for the full view of all your firm’s data. 




New Disclose Dashboard 

What We Built
This new dashboard will capture all of your Form ADV and 13f regulatory reporting numbers and allow you to drill down on the underlying numbers and update important client and product data.

Why It Matters
Timely and accurate reporting is critical for the completion of your regulatory filing obligations. This new dashboard will save you time when analyzing and confirming your information, prior to filing.

How to Learn More
In the Compass App, click Disclose Dashboard. 




Adjust to Portfolio Changes Over Time With Dynamic Benchmarks

What We Built
You can now assign dynamic benchmarks to a portfolio that adjusts to allocation changes over time. These benchmarks can be assigned to individual Asset Categories or Asset Classes within a database.

Why It Matters
Dynamic benchmarks allow you to not only account for dollar cost averaging when reporting on a portfolio’s performance against a benchmark, but also creates a more accurate reflection of an asset manager’s value. Let’s look at two scenarios where this new functionality will be useful for your firm:

  • If a client contributes $10,000 each month to their portfolio for an entire year, a static benchmark will create nearly unavoidable underperformance for the asset manager. However, with a dynamic benchmark, the amount of cash is automatically accounted for in the benchmark weighting and the drag is removed. As a result, any under- or over-performance against the benchmark is more accurately shown as the result of security performance.
  • For large systematic withdrawals, using a dynamic benchmark removes market shifts or allocation effects, and instead shows the “selection effect,” or the performance solely driven by the assets chosen by a manager.

How to Learn More
Open the Blended Benchmarks app, then select Actions > New Benchmark > Select the Dynamic Type > Assign benchmarks for the various Asset Classes or Categories > Save your new blend > Assign this benchmark in the Benchmark Assignment app.

Progress Towards An Enhanced Report Builder

What We Built
We’re continuing to enhance our report generation, creation and theming capabilities with an expected Q4 launch.

Why It Matters
With even more flexibility for building and customizing the design of your own reports, you can quickly deliver higher quality data and insights to your clients.

How to Learn More
Keep an eye out for additional updates around report builder coming later this year!  


User Interface

User Interface

Organize Your Orion Connect Apps

What We Built
Orion users can now organize and bundle their apps into folders within Orion Connect.

Why It Matters
Customizing the way your apps appear within Orion Connect, allows you to quickly find and access the features you use most frequently.

How to Learn More
Log in to Orion Connect and select “New Folder” along the bottom of the screen. When this screen pops up, select the apps you want in a folder and give it a name!



Create Engaging Client Meetings with Asset-Map

What We Built
For advisors leveraging Asset Map’s technology, our latest integration allows you to pull your Household and Account level data within Orion into their platform.

Why It Matters
Connecting Asset-Map directly to Orion household data provides a deeper view into details of a portfolio, like performance, documents, statements, allocation and more. These enhanced insights can help you create more interactive and productive conversations with clients.

How to Learn More
Log into Orion Connect and click on the Integrations Center app to access the tile. 


Native Monte Carlo Capabilities Through FinMason

What We Built
Orion users can now access the power of FinMason’s institutional-grade, investment analytics platform to deliver dynamic financial plans quickly and at scale.

Why It Matters
Having access to an affordable and agile tool that is not dependent on exhaustive levels of data from clients and prospects, enables you to deliver simple yet dynamic financial projections based on current saving and spending patterns.

How to Learn More
For more information on this integration, sign up for a webinar here.

All of the highlights you’ve read about in today’s article, plus many more enhancements and upgrades, will be coming to you when the Orion software update rolls out on August 25th.

To learn more about how to scale your firm with these new enhancements, sign up for our software update webinar on September 13, 2018.


Integration Update: CRM Simplified with Orion + Salesforce Enhancements

For many advisors, their CRM has become the hub of their technology stack due to its ability to streamline workflows and provide a single place to centralize client data. In fact, a recent technology survey found that 42% of responding advisors listed their CRM as their most valuable tech tool. So for firms and advisors who are equally as reliant on their portfolio management technology, integrating our solution into the industry’s most popular CRMs—including Salesforce, Redtail, and Junxure to name just a few—further streamlines operations with the ability to complete tasks in both apps from within their CRM.

As part of our commitment to creating technology that supports advisors in whatever way they work best, our May Software Update will enable new ways to integrate Orion Connect with your Salesforce CRM, including with their new Salesforce Lightning Experience.

Pro Tip: To benefit from these new enhancements, your firm’s Salesforce System Administrator will be required to take action in Salesforce. We’ll provide instructions on how to do that later in this article.

A Look at Orion Connect in Salesforce Lightning

The biggest enhancement to our integration is that for the first time, Orion Connect will be available to Salesforce users that have enabled the Lightning Experience. Orion Connect was previously available only to Salesforce Classic and Financial Services Cloud users.

Salesforce Lightning, their latest interface, provides a more customizable and intuitive user experience than Salesforce Classic. If you’d like more information on how the two user interfaces differ, Salesforce has released a helpful article here.

While you’ll still be able to access these updates if you’re using Salesforce Classic, if you’ve been waiting to transition to the Lightning Experience until your Orion Connect experience could come with you, now is the perfect time!

Orion Connect in Salesforce allows you to view the full Orion platform without leaving your CRM application, plus take advantage of more great features, including:

1.New Orion Links from Salesforce

Contextually single sign-on into Orion Connect from any Household or Financial Account record in your Salesforce org. Based on the data you’re viewing in Salesforce, these Quick Links will take you to the appropriate portfolio in a corresponding Orion Connect app. This functionality existed previously, but we’ve enhanced the features to match Lightning’s new look and feel for a consistent experience.

2. Easier Access to the Insight Dashboard

Orion’s Insight dashboards can now be displayed within Salesforce on a Household or Financial Account record. Use the Insight app in Orion Connect to create a Portfolio Level dashboard that can be seen directly on the records within Salesforce.     


How to Update Orion Connect for Salesforce

If you’re using Orion Connect through Salesforce Financial Services Cloud, your version already has all the features discussed in this article. Congrats!

However, if you’re using Classic or Lightning, you’ll want to review the steps below.

Each version has its own set of steps that will help you gain access to the newest features. Read more about enabling the integration enhancements in the user guides linked below:

1. First open Orion Social

2. Then click below on the version your firm uses for access to a specific user guide

3. Follow all the steps within these guides to complete your setup

Reminder: You must be a System Administrator within your firm’s Salesforce org to install the new Orion Connect update.

If you aren’t sure which version your firm uses, please contact our Integrations SME team for assistance through the Orion Social app. Click Contact Us and find the Integrations Team to begin a new chat.

Connecting Orion to your CRM is just the first step in helping your team become more efficient with how you use technology in your office. Don’t wait to make the most of what this integration update has to offer.

Questions about what we covered in today’s blog? Contact our Integrations SME Team by logging into Orion Social.

Here’s How To Introduce The Orion Client Portal To Your Clients

When adding new technology to your firm, it’s important that your new solution provides a net benefit not only to your employees, but to your clients as well.

Sometimes that benefit passes-through from team members on to clients. For example, if your employees save time on routine tasks, they can instead, spend more time focused on client’s specific needs.

Other times it means the technology you choose can be available to be used by your clients and enjoyed by them, with no interaction between a client and your firm’s employees.

Offering a Client Portal gives you a way to add value to clients with the technology you use.

So, if you want to be the center of their financial conversation, it’s important that you provide a comprehensive Portal experience rather than relying on custodian websites.

That’s where Orion’s Client Portal comes in.

Our portal gives you valuable insight into your clients’ behavior. If clients use custodian sites to view their accounts, you can’t know how active they are in checking their portfolios.

Orion User Tip: Access these insights in the Manage Users app. Go to the Clients Menu and select the Last Login column or view individual clients by clicking on a user and looking at Login History.

When used properly, technology you use with clients can foster greater loyalty, help you better understand their goal, and help you build stronger overall relationships.

In today’s post we’ll walk you through a primer on how to introduce the Orion Client Portal to your clients.

1. Communicate the Client Portal’s Benefits

Orion’s Client Portal offers many benefits for your clients, such as:

  • A simple, single login to view all their accounts through Orion’s aggregation power.
  • New opportunities to increase their financial literacy by accessing your content published through the portal.
  • A simple and intuitive way to see how their accounts are performing and what their portfolio balances are at any given time.
  • 24/7/365 access, so they never have to wait to see account details.
  • An easy way to schedule appointments and get in touch with you through Orion’s Calendly app integration.
  • Access to additional information such as a financial plan you’ve created together in your financial planning software.

2. Get Familiar With the Portal

Before you can invite clients to use your Portal, it goes without saying that you need to get familiar with it yourself and customize it for your firm’s needs.

The Orion Client Portal allows you to choose the setup you want. From the individual reports you want clients to access on their own, to the colors of the app so you can match your firm’s brand, to the first thing your clients will see when they log in.

Orion User Tip: Go to Admin > Settings to get started.

3. Make a Good First Impression

That initial message that clients encounter can be an important part of how you introduce the Portal to your clients. Your team can upload a welcome video, tutorial, or text-based message to appear when clients first log in. Whatever you choose, we recommend that you take advantage of this functionality so you can add a welcoming experience for your clients when they first use your new Portal. Here is an example:

As clients use the Portal, it’s also important to consider how you can help shape the experience as time goes on. Part of your firm’s setup process should be to create help documents that you can either send to clients or that your team can reference for when questions about using the Portal come up. If you need ideas for content you should have on hand, our Subject Matter Expert teams are available to help!

4. Invite Your Clients

Once your Portal is ready, it’s time to get clients using it. Just as you prepared your own team before you reached this point, it’s also important to prepare your clients prior to your launch.

Before you send an invite email, prep your clients with an announcement email to let them know the Portal is coming, and what benefits it can bring to how you work together.

Orion User Tip: Orion makes it simple for you to get clients logged in and using your Portal.
  • You can invite clients in mass with pre-created logins via the Manage Users app. The New User Import action lets you create a batch of logins and send out customized email notifications to your clients with a link to setup their profile. If you’d prefer to email clients yourself, the app can download a login list so you can do that.
  • Or, you can enable the ability for clients to create their own login with the correct information (such as social security number and account number). Go to Admin > Settings > Global to find this feature.

The best way to enjoy a successful client portal launch is to put in the time to train your staff on the portal, customize it to fit your needs, and then clearly communicate its benefits to your clients.

Regular, recurring prompts to sign up and use the portal, with reminders on why it’s an important element of your financial approach, will help you bring clients into a technology-enabled relationship with your firm.

Not already an Orion Client?

Click here to schedule a call with our team for a personal demo of how the Client Portal can help you create stronger client relationships.

If you currently work with Orion, please log into Orion Social to contact Orion Support getting started.

Highlights from the Orion February 2018 Software Update

The February 2018 Software Update is just around the corner, and that means it’s time to reveal our top highlights and enhancements, like the new Compass app, you can soon enjoy in your advisory firm.

In this month’s update, we’ve implemented enhancements to create a more stable user experience, and also added brand-new features like the ability to support foreign securities and make benchmarks easier to understand for your clients in the Client Portal app.

The new Software Update will be live for all Orion users on February 24th.


Bill Generator


  • The Bill Generator App has a new Run For option–Import Account Bills from List. You can now run bills for a list of Account IDs, eliminating the need to manually enter each Account ID. If you need to segment groups or run only a handful of bills, this is a big time saver for your team. To use this new feature, simply create a new Bill Instance and select the Import Account Bills from List option to upload your formatted spreadsheet.
  • The Cash Funding Tool now allows you to view the total Money Market Balance per Registration by adding a Grouping function. The update enables the system to group by Registration ID and display the sum of the Money Market Balance per Registration. If your firm uses sleeve accounting, this update will be especially helpful for you.
  • If fee files need to be re-generated, Orion can reset them, enabling Advisors to create more accurate custodial files. This creates a cleaner interface, because you no longer need to re-run a fee file to correct an error.


Billing Audit

  • All excluded products are now visible in a gridview within the Billing App. Double-click on a specific product to display the list of accounts affected by the global exclusion to get better insight into the finer details of your billing calculations.
  • A database entity option has been created to remove negative days (Short Start, Margin, Pending Trade) from the calculation of Average Daily Balance. This update enhances billed value accuracy, because negative days can no longer possibly affect it when it is turned on.  
  • The Bill Audit app has a new SlickGrid called Status Not Billed. The new status helps you more easily find new accounts and make updates to get them ready for billing.


Client Portal

We’ve added a label to benchmarks displayed in the Client Portal (ex. Benchmark: S&P 500) to better identify benchmark returns for your clients. You can see this update under the Client Portal’s Portfolio tab in the Performance section.



We’ve upgraded our compliance tools with a brand-new app. Compass helps you independently retrieve audit files needed to prepare for regulatory examinations. This tool provides the opportunity for quick response to regulatory requests and efficient gathering of files in preparation of a mock audit. This tool also gives your team the opportunity to conduct self-evaluation and run routine audits on a variety of your firm’s processes.




  • You’ll now see four new columns in the Composite Account List—% Equity, % Fixed Income, % Money Market, and % Other. These columns give a breakdown of how much of an account’s value is in each category, allowing you to filter out accounts that have too much or not enough of a category for exclusion purposes.
  • Filter functionality and row numbers have been added to help you easily find imported, historical composite data errors within the Composite app and your Excel spreadsheet. You’ll see the new option for “Import Update Historical Composites” in the Actions menu.  
  • You can now run composite reports for any time period, rather than only monthly. Composite performance can be checked mid-month, giving you more relevant and current data.
  • The full account list will no longer automatically load in Composites.  Now, you can now select a specific list to help trim down overall load times.



Data Queries


  • The SEC Standing Letters of Authorization query results can help you avoid inadvertent custody of client assets. The information is recorded and maintained by each advisory firm, and the query provides a list of those Standing Letters of Authorization required to evidence compliance with the requirement. The account value displayed is “as of” the end data of the date range criteria entered.
  • The account value field has been added to the SLOA query to give an assist in your FORM ADV reporting. You can find the query under the name “SEC Standing Letters of Authorization (14401) query.” The following SLOA fields have been added to the Systematics section of Accounts in Portfolio Audit: 
    • SLOA – Checkbox – Whether or not the account is tied to a Standard Letter of Authorization (SLOA)
    • SLOA Date – Date SLOA Received by Advisor
    • Third Party – Text – Name of Third Party receiving the distribution
    • Is Affiliated? – Checkbox – Whether or not the third party is affiliated with the Advisor


We fixed a bug with this one. The example for Top Holdings has been changed to show available options.


Firm Profile

We added Fund Families to the Firm Profile app, giving you a fast way to add or remove Fund Families based on role and user rights.


Data Interface

  • The transaction file processing logic in the Pershing interface has been updated to split trading expenses out from the buy and sell transactions, displaying the expense transaction independently. This update improves reporting accuracy.  
  • The Pershing interface has been updated so accounts containing a foreign address can be created in the system. If you have any clients living overseas, this one’s for you.
  • The Schwab BD Core interface transaction file processing logic has been updated, allowing Orion to distinguish between share exchanges and share class interchange activity types. This change will result in more accurate activity and Cost Basis reporting.
  • The TD Ameritrade interface has been updated. Transaction file processing logic will split out SEC Fee and Trading Expense transactions that were previously combined, for both buys and sells. This allows for more accurate activity reporting by displaying the SEC Fee and Trading Expense independently.


Manage Users

You now have the ability load stored performance for accounts via the Portfolio Audit app > Accounts > Actions > Load Stored Performance. Prior to this update, you were required to send these requests to Orion. To enable this feature for your users, navigate to the Manage Users App > Roles > Actions > “Stored Performance” to give users in your office this ability.

New Accounts Center

The Download Source column in the New Accounts Center app has been renamed to Download Source ID. This name change was made to better align with naming conventions throughout Orion’s various applications and to reduce confusion among our users. You may need to enable the column from your Disabled Columns list on your next login.


Portfolio Audit


  • Within the Portfolio Audit app, we added a column to show Global Exclusion at the Asset Level. This feature will help give you faster insights into excluded assets throughout your firm.
  • A Sleeve Strategy column can now be added in the Account and Registration. When using sleeves, you can now quickly see which strategy you’ve assigned in a portfolio.
  • When you need to undo an account cancellation, the option to restore that account’s activity data will be available. The restore will compare the restored account’s balance to the most recent custodial positions and confirm accuracy. If the Restore option is selected and additional research is required to bring the account into balance, a case will be automatically generated for review and resolution by the Orion Reconciliation team.
  • Asset-level holdings can now be displayed in a column to show the holding percentage for a particular asset in comparison to the total account. This will give you a quick way to view allocations and weighting in a portfolio.
  • Within the Portfolio Audit app, you can now  navigate to the Sleeve Setup page for any Registration. Within it, you’ll be able to designate the equivalent model to be used. This new functionality cuts down on time spent switching between apps when assigning a new strategy.
  • Custom Fields are now available in both the Products and Assets grid views within the Portfolio Audit app.



Report Batches

  • A “Show Internal Only Warning” has been added to the Report Batches app. This functionality supports mock statement and general report generation, providing a reminder that the mock statements and general reports are for internal use only.
  • A file delivery enhancement benefits advisors currently sending statements to Orion’s print vendor, Quantum.  Any statement file(s) greater than 1 GB will be split into multiple smaller files, allowing for faster delivery and processing prior to statement printing and mail delivery.


Reporting (General)

  • An “Included Accounts” parameter is now available throughout reports. This will allow users utilizing unmanaged reporting options to completely exclude specific accounts for ad hoc, flexible reporting.
  • A new AUM standard report provides the option to include or exclude unmanaged accounts and accrued interest, allowing you to generate a database-wide report that includes unmanaged AUM or only managed AUM, in addition to accrued interest for any debt instruments in which clients may be invested.



  • LexisNexis will be used to screen certain client information against the prohibited person and prohibited entity lists that are published by the US Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and the Commerce Department. Using this new integration, you’ll be able to easily identify if you have a client that matches a name on the OFAC list.
  • The Asset-Map integration for Household and Account level data will allow users to pull Asset-Map reports into Orion Insight dashboards.
  • You can use our new Fi360 integration to send data from Orion into your Fi360 system to power dashboards and reports.
  • We’re now integrated with iCapital Network, a platform providing alternative investment solutions.



You can now design and control how each Dashboard will be presented for review to help clients focus on the most important data.


Report Builder

  • Orion has added support for firms who utilize foreign securities or securities traded outside of the United States. This important update sets the foundation to support foreign currency reporting. A table has been built to house foreign currency ratios as well as foreign currency symbols, enabling Orion to provide holistic portfolio reporting for international securities in client portfolios.  
  • We’ve updated linked account fees so they will now correctly populate within billing sub-reports.


Products and Prices

Several descriptive fields are being added to the Product level within the Products & Prices app to support an upcoming new app. Fields include Property Type, Direct Investment, and Region allow additional grouping on upcoming reporting, while fields for Notes, Manager, Vintage Year, and K-1 will help advisors integrate processes more seamlessly. Fields can be maintained in the Products and Prices app as well as in Account Composer.

Performance Viewer

You can now view performance at multiple levels in the Performance Viewer app, with the ability to change settings “on the fly” to see how performance is affected. Accounts can be toggled between managed or unmanaged so you can see their impact at different levels of a portfolio. This toggle is a temporary snapshot, and does not change an account’s managed status permanently. 


Coming Soon

Stay tuned for updates coming soon about new ways you can use the Orion platform to track and report on alternative investments.

If you have any questions about the highlights covered in today’s post or want to learn more about the February 2018 Software Update, please log into Orion Social to chat with the Orion Support Teams.


How Co-Browsing in Orion Connect Makes Support Even Simpler

If you’ve called into technical support at any company, it’s likely you’ve run into a scenario like this one. You’re trying to explain what you’re looking at, whether it’s a software application or a new router you just purchased, but you aren’t sure how to say what it is you’re looking at or doing.

Sometimes, if you aren’t sure to communicate exactly what you’re seeing, it can lead a frustrating experience.

We want to make all your support interactions with Orion as positive we can, and that’s why we’re excited to announce our newest feature today. Say hello to Co-browsing in Orion Connect.

What is Co-Browsing?

Co-browsing is a seamless screen sharing experience in Orion Connect.

You can now allow an Orion team member to see your screen the next time you’re on the phone or using online chat with one of our Support Teams. Even better, you can give them the option to take control of your mouse to complete an action for you or show you exactly what to do in the system.


How Co-Browsing Creates a Great Support Experience

Let’s go back to the example we started this post with. If you’re a new user to Orion Connect, or you’re expanding your skills in the system, you may not always know the right word to use to tell an Orion SME where you are or what you want to accomplish.

Co-browsing does away with this “lost in translation” possibility. The experience simulates an in-room interaction so you and the team member you’re chatting with can be on exactly the same page.

And we’ve saved the best for last. There’s nothing you need to install to enable this great new feature. You can expect co-browsing to make its appearance in early 2018.

If you’ve ever needed a little extra boost to complete a task or find the right place to go in an app, the addition of co-browsing will make your day a little smoother.

Try it out the next time you have a question. We’ll be happy to help.



How the Orion Integrations Center Makes Integration Simple

The integrated technology systems you use in your everyday practice have a large impact on your growth. When it comes time to establish a new integration, we decided we could do more to make it simple and clear to you on how Orion hooks into other apps and make the decision process for our advisors a little easier.

With our most recent Software Update, we’ve built a new tool to give you all the information you need about Orion’s integration partners, in one simple place. You can find all things integrations in the new Integrations Center app in your Orion Connect.

In this post, we’ll explore new features and the functionality so you can best utilize the Integrations Center.

Explore Our Integrations

When you first open the Integrations Center app, you’ll find a list of available integrations, ordered alphabetically.

We’ve presented the integrations as tiles. Each tile contains the name of the integration partner, their logo, a short summary of what you can do with each, and a link to open up a new window with additional information about that integration.

When you click the “Learn More” link, you’ll be taken to a dedicated page for that integration partner so you can more easily perform your due diligence when you’re deciding between systems you want to implement, and how they interact with the Orion platform.

Dedicated Pages for Each Integration Partner

Once you click Learn More, you’ll see a dedicated page for your chosen integration partner. The content on these pages is provided by each partner so you can be confident the information is accurate and up to date.

On this page, you’ll find a summary description of the company with a link to their website and a quick view into the integration points you’ll enjoy with Orion if you select that integration. You’ll also see badges for special integration criteria—is this integration partner a member of Orion’s Fuse community, does Orion resell their services, and does Orion provide Tier One support for this integration.

As you scroll down the page, you’ll be able to view more information and get a real sense of what the integration you’ve selected will bring to the table. View software screenshots, any tutorial or marketing videos posted, and also get a look into pricing and how to get your integration set up under Support Details.

Getting Started with the Orion Integrations Center

If you don’t already see the Integrations Center in your Orion Connect, it’s simple to get up and running.

You can enable this new app in your Manage Users app > Roles. From there, you can enable the app for all the users in your firm who should have access to this information.

The Integrations Center will make it easy for your firm to discover more information about who Orion integrates with and how that integration can benefit your firm. We’re excited to share this new app with you and as always, we’ll be updating it as more and more integration partners are added to the Orion platform.

If you have any questions about the content covered in today’s article, please contact our SME Integrations Team via the online chat in your Orion Social app.


Compliance Technology Wins for 2017 (And What it Means for Advisors)

Compliance is an oft-overlooked, essential piece of every advisory firm, and Compliance Officers are the unsung heroes that keep all of us out of hot water. This year, Orion made several compliance-related software enhancements, including new tools and new staff.

In today’s post, we’re taking a look at all our compliance enhancements from 2017 and what it means for you and your firm.

Advisory Fee Benchmark Tool

Originally developed to assist your firm with the DOL Fiduciary Rule, the Advisory Fee Benchmark is a powerful communication tool that showcases how your fee schedules stack up against other advisors on the Orion platform. This tool provides more transparency to your advisor-client relationships, and enables you to better communicate the value you provide.

You can view the Fee Benchmark Tool inside Trends, our business intelligence app. It’s listed as the “Advisory Fee Benchmark” in the Dashboards list.

advisory fee benchmark orion compliance

In the first row, you can view your firm’s average fee compared to the average fee across all advisory firms using Orion, and see where you come in overall.

You can also view the average fee distribution across your firm and the average distribution across all accounts on the Orion platform. See how your fees compare, down to the individual models you use and the types of management styles you employ.

Compliance Corner

The Compliance Corner app was developed to give your team a combination of tools to improve the experience for all compliance officers using Orion. This app is a great resource to mine for information relating to mock audits, regulatory filings, and Form ADV updates.

The Compliance Corner app now boasts tabs for easier navigation and workflow. Under the Form ADV tab, you’ll find a list of data queries you can run, helping you populate required information in your Form ADV.

orion compliance corner

The all-new Form ADV tools are designed to help simplify many ADV reporting requirements for you based on the data stored in the Orion system. Specifically, the data queries you can find in this app are designed to assist you in populating Form ADV, Part 1A. And we recently updated the query list to accommodate 2017 Form ADV reporting changes.

We doubled the number of data queries available in the ADV section of the Compliance Corner.  These changes will help provide the information you need to respond to several of the new or modified SEC requirements.

The current queries return information about your AUM, number of clients, number of non-US clients, and more. It’s all good information to have when you are doing your annual—or other-than-annual—amendment.

We also made bond rating information and queries available to assist in some of the additional asset classifications that the SEC requires.

Orion Social

While it might not seem compliance-related at first, Orion Social will soon become an essential part of your compliance workflow. The Orion Social app already has everything you need to help you keep track of your Orion support requests in a single location and quickly access your favorite apps.

We’ll soon be releasing a new Compliance page in Orion Social, so be on the lookout for this exciting addition soon.

In addition to quick favorite app access and support request tracking, you can use Orion Social to interact with Orion SME teams, discuss ideas with other advisors, and much more. If you aren’t using Orion Social as your login page in Orion Connect, it may be the home base you’ve been looking for to make your experience unified and complete.

orion social compliance

The New Archive Tool

A new Archive tool is now available through Orion’s Compliance Corner application. In fact, the next time you log into Compliance Corner, you’ll see it as a tab selection across the top of your screen.

The Archive tool provides a PDF report delivery option that includes a metadata XML file, which can be used to enhance your report review process. Learn more about the Archive Tool features and functionality in this blog post.

A New Compliance Manager

In 2017, we also hired our first ever Compliance Manager, Kevin Zemann. If you’ve been following the Orion blog, you’ve already enjoyed a few compliance-focused articles from him.

The addition of Kevin to our team continues the Orion vision of helping Advisors (and now Compliance Officers) Enjoy Their Business Again.

If you have any questions about the apps discussed in today’s post, please contact, or chat with us in Orion Social.

0446-OAS-11 28 2017


Orion Software Update November 2017 – Full Release Notes


  • We have made updates that will improve the processing time within the Householding app in Orion Connect. This will allow advisors to work more efficiently when householding accounts.
  • Advisors can now create financial planning fees separate from management fees at the Household level. Advisors can now set up specific pay methods, frequencies, schedules and payouts for financial planning fees. Orion’s integration with BluePay can be used to process Credit Card receivables.
  • Orion has removed “External Account Activity In/Out” from being available as a billable transaction type for Cash Flow billing. This transaction type is used to “plug” account balances until the custodian provides the actual transactions. The actual transaction type could be a buy or sell. These are not billable transactions, thus should not be marked to be billed as cash flows.
  • If an Advisor has sleeves and bills in arrears, this project will stop closed sleeves from appearing on the fee file. Instead, the fee of the closed fee will be rolled up into the custodial fee just like the fee on an active sleeve.
  • In the Firm Profile app, Advisors will now have the ability to create their own custom billing adjustment types in Orion.
  • When a Registration is sleeved in Orion, we will now have the ability to carry over previously established Account Level adjustments to the Custodial Account. This will allow our Advisors to save time during the sleeve billing setup process.
  • The Bill Generator app now has an enhanced Bill Instance grid view which now supports date range filters.
  • Advisor will be able to run composite reports for any time period of their choice, found under in the Composite app > Accounts > Actions > Report > Daily Composites, instead of just monthly time periods. The user can now see how their composite is performing mid-month as well as take it to Committee Meetings to show upper management how they are doing.
  • The Composite Dashboard is a tool where the Advisor can do comparative analysis on composites. Advisors can compare an account’s performance against the overall composite group performance. This will help the Advisor determine whether the account should be included/excluded or whether it is in the right composite group.
  • Composite descriptions can be added composite groups in the report setup in the composite app. These descriptions can then be printed out under Actions > Report > Composite Description to give to prospective clients, so that the prospective client can see and reference all of the composite groups the Advisor runs. This will also allow for Advisors to store the information at Orion for a one quick stop instead of having to store these outside of Orion.
  • New filters are being added to the report setup screen in the Composite App > Reports. This will allow Advisors to get more granular in which accounts will be included in composite performance numbers. For example, the Advisor can exclude accounts will less than $10k in one report, but allow those same account that are less than $10k in another report. This will allow the Advisor to see how composite are performing with high level clients vs all clients.
  • Two new fields (Funded & Bundled Fees) at the account level in Portfolio Audit > Account > Edit Account to give more details about how the account is managed being displayed in the composite account list. This will help Advisors filter accounts with these two new fields to help determine whether they should be included or not. Funded is for those accounts that are 100% funded and Bundle Fees is for those accounts that don’t know how the fees are split up, meaning fees are bundled into one fee.
  • The new Wizard, found in the Composite App, will have a familiar feel and look like the other wizards in Orion, where the Advisor chooses the composite month(s) to run and whether they want to run it for all account, a management style, model, etc. The Wizard will also take the Portfolio Groups, accounts grouped together in the Households, and add it to the monthly composite account list. The Wizard will also run Composite Rules the Advisor has set up and exclude accounts on the front end.


Business Intelligence

  • If you use the Trends application, Orion has added Broker/Dealer, Representative and Wholesaler filters to the Household Performance dashboard. This will allow for greater granularity while reviewing your data in Trends.
  • Orion has built the ability to support multi-database viewing in Trends. This will allow firms that have more than one database connected to one another to have data from multiple databases pulled into one Trends view.
  • If you are a user of Trends, Orion is bringing Advisors their Trends data more frequently. Orion will now load data into Trends on a weekly basis, instead of monthly. This will allow Advisors to access their data inside of Trends much sooner and allow business decisions and review of their business on a more frequent basis.



  • Orion Social now allows advisors to download attachments on a case (current or previous) providing additional transparency.
  • We created a new user privilege called “Social Cases”, allowing you to enable or hide Cases in Orion Social. In User Roles, to remove access simply uncheck this privilege.
  • Orion Social’s search feature now includes the same search capabilities as Orion Connect. Directly from Orion Social’s search, Advisors will now be able to navigate directly to a specific HH, Acct, Reg, Asset ID, application page, report, or query. The new search field will also pull back webinars, help docs, and other items in Orion Social.
  • We corrected an issue with Wealth Access not loading in Insight while in the Client Portal. You can now successfully create a Wealth Access dashboard for Insight, and then deploy that to clients in the Client Portal.
  • Orion has developed additional features to the Integration Center app to allow advisors to set up their own integrations. This is will now be in Open Beta you can enable this new app in your Manage Users app > Roles
  • We have added a Single Sign On App for BlackRock’s iRetire platform. Advisors who have access to this platform can now launch this new app from the Orion Connect main menu.
  • Orion has added a new data provider Newport Group to our account downloading capabilities. This provider will allow us to retrieve plan and participant level retirement account data (Transactions, Positions, Prices, Demographic data). We currently do not receive Cost Basis files from them at this time, but we are looking to add this in a future release.
  • We have created a notification subscription that advisors can choose to enroll in that will alert them of ByAll accounts that have gone stale. This will run automatically each day helping advisors stay on top of these stale accounts to get them resolved. Advisors can subscribe by clicking on their name in Orion Connect in the upper right hand corner > Settings > Notifications > Stale Account Notification.
  • Updated Trends user security to consider users with access to multiple databases. This will provide our Advisors who deploy multiple databases with the ability to view all at once inside Trends for comprehensive Business Intelligence.
  • Orion has made an enhancement to the Salesforce integration where we now have the option to sync Account Trading Notes from Orion to Salesforce.  Advisors who use the Orion Connect app through Salesforce can choose to have this feature enabled which will sync over a note to the Salesforce “Notes & Attachment’s related list on the Financial Account object within Salesforce.  These notes will sync whenever an account is traded within Orion.  This allows the advisor to quickly see the last time the account was traded, what was traded, by whom, and the reason for the trade.  Contact the Integrations Team here at Orion to have this new feature enabled.


Portfolio Interaction

  • Previously, when an e-mail was sent from Deliver, the “written by” would state “UNKNOWN”. Orion has changed this where the Advisor’s name for that client will now be shown so the client can see this information instead of Unknown.
  • In the Mobile App, if a client user has access to more than 1 household the user can now switch between households within the mobile app. Previously, the user could only see their default household details within the mobile app.
  • Three new fields have been added to the New Account Wizard’s Household/Registration tab- ‘Statement Delivery’, ‘Report Name’, and ‘Salutation’. This allows advisors to quickly populate these fields as part of creating a new household.
  • Advisors can now update the Billing Status field on accounts within the Mass Edit features in both the Portfolio Audit & Billing Audit apps. This is located under Accounts > Actions > Edit Accounts > Billing category.
  • Orion Social will be the default landing page for all newly created advisor level users going forward. Users can also change their default setting to Orion Connect or Insight if they choose.
  • A new option has been added to the Client Portal called “Show Related Households”. If desired, advisors can toggle the setting to Off and related household details will no longer display on the left side panel in the Client Portal.
  • The Rep Portal can now be set as the default landing page for Representative Level users. Advisors can navigate to the Firm Profile app > Options Information menu and set the option “Use Rep Portal as Landing for Reps” to True.
  • A new setting has been added to the Client Portal called “Show Asset Level Holdings”. If desired, advisors can toggle the setting to Off and holdings will no longer display Client Portal.
  • We now offer the ability to hide Employee Households from other users. To denote these types of Households in Orion Connect, navigate to the Household Editor > Category field, and assign the category of “Employee”. There is a new privilege called “Employee Households” within the Manage Users app > Roles. Simply uncheck this privilege within your Roles and those users assigned to the Role will no longer have access to Employee Households.


Reconciliation & Dashboards

  • The Morgan Stanley Smith Barney (MSSB) format now separates out the Buy and Accrued Interest transactions. Previously, these transactions were combined.
  • Within a Rep Level Insight Dashboard, launching a portfolio, Insight will now open the portfolio level dashboard into a new browser tab rather than navigating you away from your existing Rep Level Dashboard. This allows you to easily switch back to your previous Rep Level dashboard tab for easier navigation.
  • Orion now displays the name of the model on the Model Tolerance tile, allowing for easier model reference.
  • Do you use Insight and custody accounts at TD Ameritrade? When using the TD Ameritrade VEO tile, Orion has added the ability inside of Insight to refresh just the VEO tile and not the entire dashboard. Advisors need the ability to see TD Ameritrade data in real time and that is what this tile provides!
  • Inside of the Insight application, we have added a TWR disclaimer to the Performance Top 10 tile. This disclaimer can be edited by Advisors to include Advisor specific language.
  • Orion now has the ability to consume Transactions, Positions, Prices, and Demographic files from Apex Clearing. The Cost Basis files are still being worked on and will not be available until late 1st quarter. Please contact the Integrations Support SME team to inquire about participating in the Apex data file BETA.
  • Orion has now added an Unrealized Cost Basis to our Northern Trust Interface that is currently in BETA testing with Orion. Orion’s “gap fill” process will run and calculate the realized gain loss information between the receipt of monthly realized files.
  • Do you love integrations within Insight? Orion and Hidden Levers have partnered to create a new Insight tile for Hidden Levers that displays a client’s Risk / Return score.
  • If you get excited about Insight and want to integrate Riskalyze into your business, Orion and Riskalyze are now bringing the Riskalyze Retirement Map into Insight as a tile that can be used to transform your client presentations.
  • Orion has made an update to the Interactive Brokers interface to automatically convert all foreign currency prices to USD. This update will provide more accurate and timely pricing which will lead to better activity reporting.
  • Orion has added additional fields on the product table; allowing the advisor to enter estimated income. Future development, to be available in December, will allow estimated income for manual and alternative products and view on Orion reports.
  • In the Products & Prices app, Orion has made Global taxability information viewable on the product level under the local settings section. The update will allow the advisor to easily view and override the product’s taxability settings.
  • Inside of Insight, Orion is making a change to the performance line chart tile. Advisors will now be able to display different groupings and have a line item represent each account, management style, registration, etc. This will allow Advisors to display performance in a different range of abilities to help have a positive discussion around performance with clients.
  • Inside of Insight, Orion has updated the Activity Summary tile to include the transaction type. Previously, Advisors would just see the transaction categories along with date and value. Now, we are actually going to detail out transaction types, dates, and values.
  • Based on Advisor feedback, Orion has removed the Reports Tile from downloading with the presentation to PDF. This tile did not provide value when printing a presentation for a client.
  • If you think Insight is as awesome as we do, check this out. Based on Advisor feedback, the portfolio selection ‘tree-view’ now includes portfolio groups and all accounts/registrations in one screen rather than tabbed out by ‘portfolio’ and ‘groups’.
  • Inside of Insight, Orion has created a new Portfolio Summary tile. This tile will display current value, gain/loss, and performance information. This tile was created to make Advisors lives easier because Advisors can now have one tile rather than the need for multiple tiles to provide this information.
  • Advisors will now have the ability to customize transaction categories inside of the Insight app to mirror what is available in the Report Builder app. This parameter will be available in the Activity Summary and Activity Compare tiles.
  • Insight will now have read only and edit rights that can be enabled in the Manage Users app by your database administrator role. The new privilege is located under Records>Reporting>Insight. Advisors will now be able to give read only access to Representative level logins for Insight/client presentation purposes.


Report Outputs

  • Advisors will now be able to run data queries on multiple databases based on setting up a database group. Previously, a selected data query would have to be run for each database separately.
  • When using custom or user defined fields, you will now be able to track the data inputs as of any point in time. Advisors will now be able to audit and report on custom fields throughout time, not just based on what is currently in the custom field.
  • When Advisors generate a data query which returns no data, the query output will now return the header row. Previously, a completely blank CSV/Excel document was created.
  • When using Engage, due to changes with video storage on Vimeo’s side, Engage will no longer support URL video uploads through Vimeo. Orion will only support YouTube for URL uploads. We appreciate your understanding.
  • Orion has built a new option in Report Builder titled “Include Blank Page After Cover.” This option will present itself after a cover page has been chosen. This option will create a blank page directly after the cover page. This allows firms who print out their reports to print double sided and not have the first page of the report output on the back of the cover page.



  • We’ve created additional clarity on the transaction level for controlling what transactions are included toward satisfying the RMD requirement. All distribution transactions are automatically included, but for merge out/journal out transactions, you will now see two check boxes in the “Additional Information” section of the Transaction Editor- “system maintained” and “include as RMD distribution”- if the transaction has been included by the system, both boxes will be checked. If you wish to exclude/include a transaction manually, simply uncheck the “system maintained” box and make your selection.
  • Orion has made a change to the logic for included registrations in the RMD Dashboard app. At the registration type edit screen inside of the Firm Profile app, the qualified check box for Registration Types will no longer be required to be selected. Simply make sure that for RMD eligible registration types, “include in RMD” is checked and you are good to go. You’ll also see a new box on this editor screen called “exclude from RMD aggregate”. This box gives you the ability to exclude accounts with certain registration types from RMD aggregation that occurs based on SSN. When the box is checked, the RMD for that account will only be satisfied if a distribution/merge out occurs directly in that account.
  • We have made an enhancement to the RMD dashboard to provide a notification if another account has satisfied the RMD distribution when tied to another account for that client’s SSN. An additional field/column will be added to the RMD dashboard called “Satisfied by other account” so Advisors can quickly spot these situations. This allows Advisors to see that $0 has been distributed from an account but another account in the same portfolio has distributed enough to cover multiple accounts.
  • The RMD Dashboard now has a database entity option that will allow for accrued interest to be included in the calculated 12/31 value. This option is titled ‘Include Accrued Interest in RMD 12/31 Values’ located in the Firm Profile app > Options Information menu
  • Inside of our RMD Dashboard, Orion has created a job that will do all RMD calculation processing multiple times a day. This job will run at 10 am, 12 pm, and 2 pm CST every day. Previously, this would only occur overnight. This will allow for greater transparency and more timely data review as it pertains to RMD eligible accounts.
  • Although the RMD Dashboard updates overnight and with the November release, we are updating that to run multiple times a day. Orion has also built a manual ‘Update RMD’ button under the ‘Actions’ dropdown inside of the RMD Dashboard. This will allow you as the Advisor to force an update after making any potential updates/changes to RMD eligible accounts.
  • Orion has updated the RMD dashboard app to allow custom fields that are built out at the account level to be available to display inside of the RMD Dashboard. This allows Advisors that use custom fields for their own internal purposes to pull this data into the RMD dashboard.



  • When using the RMD Dashboard app, Orion has created a “Cash Value” column. This column will pull in the total current value of all custodial cash assets. Custodial Cash assets are designated by marking the security as TRUE inside of the Products & Prices application. This ”Cash Value” column allows Advisors to view all cash available from sweep and money market positions in RMD eligible accounts.
  • Within the Models app, you can now select multiple models and delete en masse. To delete a particular model, it cannot have any accounts assigned to it, or be a part of a model aggregate that has accounts assigned to it.
  • A new Insight tile for Eclipse™ will allow the user to assign a model to a portfolio, run a rebalance on a portfolio, raise cash for a distribution request and allow for individual buys and sells on accounts. Actions taken from the tile will be pushed to Eclipse™ where trades will be created and reviewed by the firm’s Eclipse™ user for execution. This is a great widget in Insight to allow a rep user to be able to do simple requests without having to give access to Eclipse™.
  • Orion has made a slight tweak to the additional RMD options in the Transaction editor. If the Advisor maintained box is checked, user will be allowed to edit the transaction 1) Check the “include in RMD distribution” box and a previously unchecked transaction will now be included towards the RMD 2) Uncheck “include in RMD Distribution” and that transaction will no longer be accounted for when reviewing satisfied RMD amount
  • For those firms trading sleeves through FIX within TOM, the FIX 4.4 mutual fund batch wizard has been updated to properly account for any overlap of positions between sleeves. Those sleeve journals will now occur as expected and a net transaction will be sent to the custodian.
  • For those firms trading at Guggenheim (Rydex), an updated Guggenheim (Rydex) trade file is now built out to the latest specifications.
  • When using sleeves, registrations can no longer be marked inactive if there are any active sleeves in the registration. The registration must be unsleeved prior to marking the registration inactive.
  • The TD Ameritrade trade file has been updated for the tax lot depletion methods. The ‘Use Assigned’ Tax Method will now return blank on the trade file, which will instruct TD Ameritrade to use the default method set on the account at TDA. Additional Tax Methods available, which can be set by product are FIFO, LIFO, etc.
  • When cancelling sleeves, a change has been implemented for situations where an account number is too long to add the _CNX to the end of it, the system will reduce the number of characters to be able to add the required _CNX.
  • To avoid issues when using sleeves, you will no longer be able to remove a model from a sleeved account. If a model/sleeve needs to be removed, the sleeve will need to be cancelled.
  • In TOM, an enhancement to allow a larger number of orders to be deleted at once has been added. When done on the Orders grid, those orders can be deleted without running into any errors due to those larger amounts.
  • When trading through FIX in TOM, the processing of manual orders is being adjusted. When orders are created in a manual process, when they go to a block, they will go into a New status, which will prevent it from being sent through FIX.
  • In TOM, the Block editor window has been expanded to allow all of the fields to fit into it without needing to scroll down.
  • Update to allow for the Trade Queue app grids to be exportable. This will allow for contributions or registration rebalances to be exported for additional or future reference.
  • When using sleeves, the management style assigned to the model will be automatically assigned to the sleeve when the model is chosen. In Sleeve Setup, the management style will automatically populate once the model is picked.
  • Within the Model app, the option to filter out inactive accounts in the ‘Assigned Accounts’ section of model aggregates has been added. When accessing the page, inactive accounts will automatically be filtered out, but those that are inactive can be displayed as well if chosen.
  • In Model Aggregates, a model allocation will be available when reviewing a model aggregate. By hovering over the specific base model within the aggregate, the target allocations of that model will pop up.
  • Optimized the Trade to Target % tool in TOM. The tool will allow for larger imports to be used to trade a larger number of accounts.
  • Added a number of enhancements to the Model Tolerance tool in TOM and Portfolio Audit to make it similar to the version available in Advisor Desktop. The option to switch between current and pending values and to export the table are now available. In addition, the full product name and minimum cash settings have been added as choices to the grids.


WOW Reports

  • Orion is making the Trades by Product report available in TOM. This will allow Advisors to generate this report directly from within TOM and you will not have to navigate to the Reports application.




November Software Update: Reporting and Trading Updates

The holiday season is about to hit full swing, and on November 11 we’re bringing you a few early Christmas presents to your Orion experience.

In exactly four days, you’ll have your hands on all the new updates and enhancements we’re rolling out in our November 2017 software update. Before we get there, though, we want to help you gain a deeper understanding of some of the updates releasing in November.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be publishing deep dive blogs on various topics and in today’s post, we’re going to cover some of the more notable enhancements to Reporting and Trading.



First, let’s tackle trading.

We’ve been working overtime to get our next-generation trading and rebalancing platform, Eclipse™, into your hands. We’re happy to report that the beta testing is going well and we’re still on target for a full launch to all our clients later this year.

Along with Eclipse™, we’ll also be launching Orion Communities, our peer-to-peer model marketplace component of Eclipse™. You’ll be able to sign up as either a Strategist (upload and share your model portfolios) or a Subscriber (subscribe to models from Strategists) or both! For more information about Eclipse™ and Communities, log into Orion Social to view our overview videos for a more in-depth look at functionality.

Along with Eclipse™ and Communities, we’re also extending your ability to trade from an Orion Connect-integrated CRM. We’ve built new trading widgets into the Insight app that will allow you to trade while interacting with those tiles.

The full Orion Connect experience is available in both the Redtail and Salesforce CRMs. When the November release comes out, you can add these tiles to Insight and get to trading without leaving one of these two CRMs.



Let’s start our Reporting section with the one thing everyone wants to know.yes, the Report Speed Improvements are real. You and clients will see an improvement in how quickly reports generate because we’ve reengineered how cost basis is gathered.

The speed of reporting enhancement is more of a back-end change so there’s no pretty picture to show you, but we know this is an enhancement you’re going to appreciate.

Speaking of pretty pictures, though, we do have some visual updates to reporting that we’re excited to share.

We’re introducing alternate line shading into our existing Report Themes tool. This visual update will allow you and your clients to better read reports. You’ll also avoid possible confusion caused by reviewing a portfolio on a PDF style report. If you’ve got a part of a report that’s a few columns wide, this is a report change you’ll love.

Another design change we’re implementing is to move your sub-report disclaimers to the end of each report. This design change will make reports much more user friendly and bring a fresher look to the overall document. Some of the disclaimers you’ll now see at the end would include report parameters and information like Net of Fee returns, including accrued interest, and the annualization method of performance.

The best part about all these updates so far? There’s nothing you actively need to do to enable them. They’ll be in effect when the software update rolls out Saturday.

Let’s move on and take a look at a few other new report enhancements that you’ll love. These additions can be found in our Insight app and will provide a big boost to your client meetings as well as your utilization of an integration.

We’re releasing a new Riskalyze integration tile that will bring you your Riskalyze Retirement Map right in Insight. If you love reviewing your Riskalyze data with clients, this will be huge.

Next up is an Insight integration tile with HiddenLevers. Again, this is big for client meetings. When many advisors meet with clients, there’s a focus on discussing return and its correlation to risk. This tile will help you have an easier discussion with clients by showing you data from HiddenLevers about Risk vs Return.


We’re also adding a user interface to help you control our metadata compliance feature. This  new feature allows you to send a copy of each report generated in the Orion platform to an SFTP server for archived storage or review. Be on the lookout for a detailed blog describing the new Archive tool, coming soon.

Have any questions about the content covered in today’s post? Fire up Orion Social and send a chat to either our Reporting or Trading SME teams.



Orion Communities Offers Easy-to-Use Peer-to-Peer Model Sharing

First we brought you Eclipse™, and now Communities is on its way.

As part of our enhanced trading and rebalancing platform, Eclipse™, we just announced Orion Communities, an interactive peer-to-peer exchange. The new exchange is available for users of Eclipse™ and will be made available to TOM users later this May; it allows Orion clients to share model portfolios with each other in an open-source platform.

We’re also excited to welcome world-class asset management firms to the platform as Strategists. They’ll be sharing their own models, as well as portfolio building tools, marketing updates, and commentaries with the Orion advisor community. Many of those models will be offered at zero charge of Orion clients using Eclipse™. See all the day one Strategists you can access here in our press release.

There have been a number of model marketplaces announced in our industry in past months, but Communities is the only central marketplace that enables advisors and strategists to provide insight into their own investment strategies with each other, while still maintaining full control of the trading process.


The term “Subscriber” within Communities refers to any of the many Orion clients who will use the platform to find and add models to their practice. All trade review and execution is completed by the Subscriber, in accordance with existing trading processes.

Here’s how to get started as a Subscriber to models available on the platform.

When a Strategist shares their models on Communities, they’ll upload an agreement to the platform and Subscribers interested in the models will then sign off on the agreement and payment terms.

Once the Orion Community Terms and Conditions have been agreed to by your firm, you will be able to access Orion Communities via the “Link to Community Portal” link in both Eclipse™ and TOM. Once this page is accessed, you will see all available Strategists. From here, you can click “More Details” to learn more about any given Strategist and their available models.



Subscribers to Communities wouldn’t have much to do without leading model portfolios to choose from after they sign up, and that’s where the other side of Communities comes in.

Communities provides a centralized location where Strategists can market themselves, their strategies, and their allocations. Strategists can build and market any number of models on Communities and charge a fee to Subscribers for the use of those models.

Strategists will have the ability to rebalance models or change allocations, with trade requests sent to all applicable Subscribers. We’ve built Communities with an easy-to-use interface for Strategists to accomplish everything they need to do with the app’s informative Dashboard.

The Strategist Dashboard view will show model metrics, without providing client information, including information like Assets Under Management, total number of accounts using allocations, and any incoming or outgoing cash flows from allocations. Many of the views can be filtered further to allow for more in-depth analysis of how allocations are being used.

If you’re a Strategist, you’ll need to have a place to show off the models you’re offering. That’s why we’re giving you shelf space with a marketing page within Communities to post information about your firm. On this page, you can include relevant links, marketing material, announcements, and PDFs like recent commentary notes or downloadable resources for interested Subscribers.

How do Strategists get paid? We’ve thought of that too. Orion will assist Strategists in collecting billing contact information from Subscribers, and then make that information available to Strategists through Orion Communities.  Orion is not responsible, however, for collecting fees on behalf of a Strategist. Strategists can use the information provided by Orion to bill the Subscribers to their models.*

For more information on how to become a Strategist, please email and include your name, firm and title.

Orion Communities is open to Orion customers through the Eclipse™ platform and will become available in the TOM trading app soon.


*Orion’s system helps support payments, but Strategists are responsible for negotiating the terms and exchange of payments. 


Looking for more information on Orion’s trading system? Download our new white paper about how you can differentiate your firm with tax-efficient trading through Orion Eclipse™.


Fuse 2017 Best in Show Winner: RIA in a Box

RIA in a Box® is a leading provider of registration, compliance, and operations support services to Registered Investment Adviser firms throughout the United States. An integration partner with Orion for a number of years, RIA in a Box has helped over 3,000 investment advisers start an RIA firm, and provides ongoing monthly compliance assistance to over 1,500 SEC and state-registered RIA firms across the country.

This year’s Best in Show winning development is focused on helping firms more easily meet the SEC’s increasing information and cyber security compliance requirements, and specifically, proving that due diligence is being completed on the many third-party providers that an RIA uses.

The following are excerpts taken from our interview with GJ King, RIA in a Box’s President.

What Did You Develop at Fuse 2017?

On the RIA side, a user can log in to our system, MyRIACompliance, and connect with their service providers via the platform. Once the vendor approves access for a particular user, that user gets a full-view of the information security documentation that has been provided by that vendor – for example, the vendor’s Disaster Recovery Plan, ISP, or other relevant information from a due diligence standpoint – It is all immediately available to the RIA in a digital format.

The RIA can review the documents, which will then be saved within their compliance log in MyRIACompliance, so users are able retain the documents they reviewed (organized by service provider and date).

The vendor side is similar. They receive alerts when an RIA wants to connect, approve requests, view the RIAs they’re connected with, and can upload documents.

[View the full details here.]

Do you have a partner program in place to get all those vendors into the system?

We’ll start with the most common vendors our clients utilize, such as Orion and Redtail. Because we survey our clients to see which vendors they’re utilizing, we can start where we see the most overlap. We envision starting with a few vendors, but eventually working to include more, and even giving RIAs the ability to request vendors to join.

How simple is it for vendors to update their documents?

It will be very simple. They’ll be able to view their current files, archive and replace files – that way they can view the history. It will be a simple push of a button, select the file, and load it up – just like a traditional document upload capability.

How much of this development did you build while at Fuse?

We built it all at Fuse. We took elements from other things we’ve built and recycled that functionality to apply it for this new purpose, which made development easier.

Is this a need you’ve seen in the industry for a while?

It’s been a more recent discovery, since there’s been a focus on information security, with more and more guidance coming out from the SEC. We started thinking about information security as a theme for Fuse over the summer, but this idea came about in the last few weeks before Fuse.

How did you come up with this idea?

Our starting point was “What is a pain point for RIAs?” Rather than approaching from the mindset “here’s a cool integration” we started with the idea that vendor diligence is a problem right now, and is there something we can do to make that better?

We weren’t sure how this would go, so it was exciting for RIAs to see the value of the tool. We thought it was a pretty big pain point, and we thought we could solve it, but until we actually put it together it was hard to gauge that response.

When are you hoping to launch?

We’re looking at a launch date in 2018.


The information presented in this article has been provided by RIA in a Box and has been reproduced here with its permission. Such information does not reflect the views and opinions of Orion Advisor Services, LLC (“Orion”). Orion clients should undertake their own assessments to determine whether a third party meets their business and due diligence requirements.