FAQs

Should you have a specific need or situation, feel free to contact us.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

AQUILANCE REBRAND

Why did you choose the name Aquilance? What does it mean?

The company’s new name, Aquilance, was chosen with a nod to the quill that has been part of the company’s logo for many years. As a combination of “Aquila” — a constellation of the mythological eagle that carried Zeus’ thunderbolts — and “finance,” the basis of the service offering, the name represents not only the steadfast, comprehensive, and quality service the firm is known for, but also the expanded vision for the company.

Why did you change the name? And why now?

The rebrand to Aquilance marks a new stage of growth for the company, as additional talented people joined our strong existing team, and an enhanced suite of services and technology has been implemented over the past 18 months — a substantial part of it designed and engineered in-house by Aquilance to better serve the expanding needs of our vast and growing client base.

Will my account be affected in any way?

No. All of our operations will continue uninterrupted, with the same level of dedication and service that our clients have become accustomed to. While our name change reflects an exciting new time for us as a firm, it does not mean that any products or services will be discontinued or altered in any way. Your account representatives and means of communicating with them will remain the same.

Are you changing or eliminating any services you currently offer?

No. All of the products and services we currently offer will remain intact. We will be issuing new enhancements to our technology that have taken or will soon take effect, and these are designed to provide even better service for our clients. These do not reflect a discontinuation of any existing services.

What new products or services are you offering along with this?

Over the past 18 months, two additional services became available that supplement our traditional core service of Personal Bookkeeping and Billpay. Each of these services is available in combination or à-la-carte.

First, Entity and Partnership Accounting expands beyond the personal sphere into providing financial clarity across all family entities, including family limited partnerships, investment companies, trusts, asset holding companies, and more. With each family’s entities in their own database as well as true double-entry accounting and investment-administration capabilities, reporting can be combined or split out as each family requires — with full look-through and look-across as desired.

Our second expanded service is Consolidated Investment Performance Reporting that captures all accounts across all asset classes. For families with wealth advisors, we won’t interfere with what they provide and often help with assets held away, or private holdings.

Are there any other leadership changes taking place?

We are proud to announce the appointment of Ken Eyler as CEO in mid-2021. Ken has been a part of our company for more than two years as a partner and joins us bringing 30 years of experience working with families and family offices. Additionally, we have elevated Joe Farren to President. Joe’s father Bill started the business in 1987 and Joe has been a part of it for more than 15 years.

Are you changing any of the backend technology that is included? Will my information continue to be subject to the same security parameters?

Yes. We pride ourselves on the high level of security protocols that we offer for all of our clients’ data. More information is detailed elsewhere on our website about our security protocols. This will not change when the company is rebranded.

Will the price be changing as a result of this?

No. Our pricing and terms remain the same for the services we offer, and our pricing model remains the same.

GENERAL

How do I get started?

Call us for a free consultation. It usually takes less than an hour to see if we can meet your needs.

How can I get information from you when I need it quickly?

We have a secure messaging system by which we send encrypted files to you or your advisors whenever needed.

How do you charge for your services?

At startup, we review the complexity of your financial situation and determine a fee commensurate with the complexity of your needs. We do not charge commissions or other fees except for overnight or certified mail. Some onboarding of complex entities and highly specialized reporting is performed at an hourly rate.

What if I decide not to continue?

While we sign an engagement letter that runs for one year and renews automatically, you are free to cancel the service at any time. Having said that, we have quite a number of clients who have used our services for over 25 years.

PERSONAL BOOKKEEPING AND BILLPAY

How do my bills and other financial documents get to you?

In most cases, we change the mailing and/or email address on your bills so they come directly to us. That speeds things up considerably. We also provide you with postage-paid envelopes to send us any additional bills that arrive by mail.

If my bills go directly to you, when will I see them?

At the end of every month, we send you a package containing all the paid bills along with a cover sheet summarizing everything. We also digitally import every bill that comes to our office into our system, so some clients opt to have the bills sent to storage or even destroyed, knowing that the scans are always available.

Do I lose control of my accounts?

No, you have the opportunity to review every payment and can access your accounts directly at any time. You may even feel more in control, because our cash flow reports give you a better understanding of where your money goes.

How do you know what to pay?

Most bills just have to be paid in full (your utilities, mortgage payments, car leases, etc.). Where there is discretion, we get your approval prior to payment.

What if I go out of town for the summer or winter?

Because your bills come to us directly, you don’t have to worry about mail going where you’re not. And because you let us know where you will be at any given time, we can send reports, paid bills, etc. to you there.

ENTITY AND PARTNERSHIP ACCOUNTING

What types of entities are included in your scope of accounting services?

We provide accounting services primarily for personal asset, and investment-related entities specific to family offices, and ultra-high-net-worth families. These include: LLCs, corporations, foundations, trusts, Special Purpose Vehicles, and other similar structures.  We have the capability to provide accounting for both single-member and multi-member entities, including multi-tier entity relationships, and allocate earnings and capital activity in accordance with your entity operating documents and your needs. Hurdles, waterfall arrangements, and differently allocated investments within entities are all within our extensive capabilities. What we generally do not provide services to are non-investment operating businesses with any significant scale.

Tell me about your services relating to accounting for complex investments, transactions and structures?

We provide you detailed and transparent accounting information in a manner that allows you to understand your entities and investments, providing you with the tools to make informed decisions. We tailor our accounting services to the specific needs of your family, taking into consideration the underlying characteristics of your investment or investments. This involves gaining an understanding of the deal structure, economics, and entity operating agreements so that we can provide you a clear and true picture of your financial results. We offer accounting services for personal assets, marketable securities, real estate investments, private loans, direct private equity investments and their structured entities, as well as many other investment types.

What is involved with the onboarding and conversion of the accounting for investment entities?

Our goal is to create a seamless onboarding process that is accurate, efficient, and timely. We believe it is critical to focus on the upfront conversion of information into our systems as this will serve as the foundation for a long-term, effective relationship. We have found that the best way to achieve this is by gaining a clear understanding of the investment entity objectives by obtaining, organizing, and reviewing all the relevant partnership documents. We will ask you to share the entity formation documents, recent financial statements, bank and brokerage statements, closing statements, and any other documentation that is important to the understanding of the entity. We will agree on a conversion start date and begin a parallel process to ensure that we establish necessary processes and procedures for your unique requirements.

What types of reporting will I receive for my entities?

We will discuss your reporting requirements during our onboarding phase and agree on the deliverables and timing. We can provide financial reporting to you and/or your advisors on a monthly, quarterly, annual, or otherwise mutually agreed upon basis. We understand that each family has unique needs, so we create a process to capture information to accommodate your customized reporting requests.

Do you provide tax services for our entities?

Our services are focused on the accounting for investment entities only. However, we will work with your tax advisors by providing them financial reports and supplemental schedules relating to your accounts.

Can you provide audited financial statements?

There is an inherent conflict in preparing financial statements and auditing them, so we have chosen to only provide the accounting services necessary to create “audit-ready” financial information. We will work with your third-party auditors to ensure a smooth audit process.

What software do you use? Is it propreitary?

We leverage commercially available software that integrates the general ledger and investment analysis solutions specifically designed for investment partnership accounting.

How do you deliver/provide reports?

We can deliver reports electronically, which is our preferred method, or via hardcopy. The electronic delivery can be done through our client portal, via an encrypted email, or through our proprietary, secure, file share system.

CONSOLIDATED INVESTMENT PERFORMANCE REPORTING

How does investment performance reporting fit in with entity and partnership accounting?

Consolidated Investment Performance Reporting is often provided as an adjunct service to Entity Accounting. Having fully reconciled cash accounts and cash flow along with investment performance can significantly help families when they make investment decisions. Either service can also be provided individually, tailored to your needs.

What about my family office or investment advisor? They already provide investment performance reporting.

Many families have offices or advisors who fulfill their investment reporting needs. We work in a symbiotic relationship with those SFOs, MFOs, and investment advisors who need additional information to understand the complete, consolidated picture. We can provide performance reporting on assets and investments not managed by your primary advisor, perhaps direct investments or private equity not on their platform. With your permission, we can provide information to or from your advisor, and one or the other can provide complete consolidated information.

Additionally, when we manage the accounting, again with your permission, we can provide your advisor with information allowing them to more easily understand your family’s cash flow, and thereby enable them to make more informed investment decisions.

How do you get all of my account information and how do you begin?

Our goal is to create a seamless onboarding process that is accurate, efficient, and timely. We engage in a candid upfront conversation about your general investment activities, the assets and investments that are in the mix, and the scope of investments upon which we will report. We will ask you to share the investment data, including the history when IRR is a desired metric. That base data will be entered or imported into our system, and we will ask permission to receive updated investment data going forward. We will also ask your permission to receive a direct feed for assets custodied at financial institutions. After agreeing on a start date for reporting (often this is the beginning of a calendar year), we bring in relevant data and check to ensure that calculations agree with what is expected. We can then update the asset data on the schedule that makes sense for each asset. For liquid assets with electronic feeds, that is usually daily, and other asset classes are often monthly, quarterly, or even annually.

What about private investments? Are there any asset classes that you cannot include in my reports?

All asset classes, from private investments or loans to friends and family to help with a new business, to large stock and bond portfolios with significant activity, and anything in between, can be included and reported upon. Many of the families we work with have multiple asset classes that comprise personal assets such as art collections, vehicles, and real estate, and on top of that they layer investment partnerships, real estate holding companies, direct investments in companies, precious metals, private equity funds, hedge funds, and professionally managed portfolios.

Are there any limitations on your investment performance reporting?

  • We have relationships with many advisors who provide high quality investment reporting services. If your investment advisor provides it for you, we won’t perform this service without their knowledge and involvement.
  • Our capabilities are essentially “fund administration,” however, professional funds are not our market. We service entities and reporting that fall within the sphere of a family.
  • We do not currently provide “property management” reporting services for real estate investors. We do, however, often receive the summary output from such software and incorporate that data into real estate portfolio investment performance.

What reporting metrics can you provide?

Nearly anything a sophisticated investor would think to ask for, we can provide. Time-weighted. Benchmarks. IRR. You name it. If we have the data in our system, we can report on it.

ILIT ADMINISTRATION

What is an ILIT?

An ILIT is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. ILITs are established as a means by which to minimize the impact of estate and gift taxes through the use of a life insurance policy that is owned and controlled by a trust.

What are the components of an ILIT?

  • There must be a distinct trust established for the purpose of maintaining the life insurance policy. The grantor typically creates and funds the trust, a trustee manages the trust, and beneficiaries are designated that will receive distributions from the trust.
  • There must be a unique bank account in the name of the trust.
  • The life insurance policy must not be paid by personal funds. It must be paid for directly by the trust, on time, to ensure continuation of the policy. We ensure that those payments are made.
  • The trust must be funded in a timely manner each year. A minimum of 30 days’ notice must be given to the beneficiaries (a Crummey Notice), before the funds can be used to pay the policy, to ensure that estate and gift taxes are properly mitigated. We take care of this process for you.

What are some benefits of an ILIT?

  • It can provide immediate cash to pay estate taxes and other expenses after the death of the insured.
  • Proceeds are kept out of probate and are exempt from income and estate taxes.
  • Through the instructions given to the trustee, it offers maximum control over how future proceeds are used.
  • It can provide lifetime income to a spouse without those proceeds becoming part of the spouse’s estate.
  • It prevents a court from controlling the insurance proceeds if a beneficiary becomes incapacitated.

What happens if I don’t administer an ILIT correctly?

You lose your tax benefits! In order to retain the tax benefits of an ILIT, it is imperative that all the administrative steps be handled and documented correctly. If not managed properly, it is likely that the insured will be deemed to have “incidents of ownership” and the proceeds from the policy will be included in your taxable estate.

Are you interested in working with us?

Call us at 800-648-5369 or email [email protected]
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