For the majority of alternative investment funds, the late summer months provide an opportune window to reflect on the recently completed financial reporting period and, in particular, revisit the most recent experience with their service providers and allocation of internal resourcing.

It can be a highly useful exercise to examine any identifiable challenges in the annual reporting process. The ability to meet deadlines is a key issue, due to the sheer amount of work and resources required to prepare and maintain financial statements in parallel to ongoing accounting and reporting, which may impact on an already stretched internal accounting team. Furthermore, third party administrators may not be well equipped to handle financial statement requirements which are not within their core capability.

The training and investment needed for staff to stay abreast of ever evolving reporting standards across jurisdictions and reporting bases can be costly, which can be challenging for small teams given financial reporting may be limited to an annual requirement. The opportunity to outsource the preparation of financial statements and related services to a professional institution of specialists has been broadly welcomed by the industry as a positive approach to reducing costs.

The Maples Group has a highly experienced team, comprised of former 'Big Four' auditors providing financial statement preparation services to over 500 alternative investment funds each year across a range of jurisdictions. Clients benefit from the team's deep understanding of what's really required in the audit process and the intricacies of what auditors are seeking. As the number of investment funds within the portfolio grows, consistency across the platform becomes increasingly important and software and experience in managing large portfolios is essential.

The industry's attraction to the outsourcing model for financial statement preparation is evidenced by our extremely high client retention rate. By coordinating and managing the audit process, our teams are able to produce cost-effective, high quality financial statements to meet, and where necessary, accelerate reporting timelines. Attendance at board meetings and coordination of debriefs with audit firms is incorporated into our full service model.

With the ability to prepare financial statements across international standards and frameworks, the adoption of market leading software and a straightforward on-boarding process, the Maples Group's financial statement preparation services allows alternative investment funds to ensure full compliance with regulatory and reporting standards, while being free to focus on the management function and generating returns for investors.

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