For managers of alternative investment funds, financial reporting can be a challenging process. Ahead of the next annual filing there can be significant benefits to be gained by managers from reflecting on the most recently completed period and, in particular, revisiting 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. New and evolving legislation may also add an additional layer of complexity. For example, the revisions to the Cayman Islands' existing Mutual Funds Law and the introduction of the new Private Funds Law will have a direct impact on entities that may now fall within scope. This includes a requirement for audited financial statements to be submitted to the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority within six months of the end of the financial year. Given these dynamics and the rapidly changing landscape, the opportunity to outsource the preparation of financial statements and related services to a professional institution of specialists has been broadly embraced by the industry as a positive approach to creating efficiencies and 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 the audit process entails 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 experience in managing large portfolios, backed by the necessary software and systems, 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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