Investment performance tables and charts are an excellent way to track and showcase the success of your managed accounts and/or fund. Having a performance examination done on your monthly, annual and cumulative returns and comparing them to your benchmark provides valuable assurance to investors and an invaluable marketing tool for raising capital. There are several different levels of attestation service, each offering different advantages based on each specific client’s needs. Which level of service would serve your specific needs best? Please read on to learn how Spicer Jeffries LLP can help you.
“Agreed Upon Procedures” (AUP) Engagements
When all you need is internal assurance that an independent accountant has looked over your performance table, recalculated the returns, and agreed the data to the source documents, an AUP is the quickest and most cost effective way to get this done. The final report outlines the specific procedures performed and the results obtained.
Done in accordance with AICPA attestation standards, this is essentially an audit of your returns and culminates in a report in which we give a formal opinion on whether the performance table and accompanying disclosures are fairly stated. The exam includes confirming the source account statements with the brokers and involves a higher level of procedures over the source data, methods, and returns than an AUP typically covers. The exam provides assurance that industry standard criteria and accounting methods are used in calculating and presenting the returns, which explained in the footnotes. Performance examinations are invaluable for marketing purposes, especially for launching and raising additional capital for funds.
GIPS Verifications and Examinations
Global Investment Performance Standards, or GIPS® is a set of standards developed by the CFA Institute. GIPS is the widely recognized as the gold standard when it comes to investment performance reporting. In order to claim compliance with GIPS, the entire firm must comply with its structural, reporting, and procedural requirements on a firm-wide basis currently and for a minimum number of previous years. Specific GIPS-compliant presentations of returns must follow standards governing how investment returns are calculated and reported which are more detailed compared to typical performance reporting. GIPS standards are the most robust set of investment performance standards in the marketplace and compliance with them demonstrates a sustained level of commitment over the long term.
GIPS engagements are conducted on two different levels. The first level, called a “verification” is performed for the firm as a whole. The second level, called an “examination” is performed on a specific presentation of a composite. Typically, both levels are performed, but the examination is optional and can only be performed either after or concurrently with a verification. GIPS requirements for verifications and examinations are structurally similar to AICPA audit standards. Given that we are certified public accountants specialized in serving the securities industry, we offer a unique advantage in performing this service.
Don’t hesitate to contact us immediately to schedule a one-on-one call with our service professionals to discuss your needs and specific situation. It is our pleasure to answer your questions and bring the confidence and trust that you and your investors deserve.