FundGuard’s Erika Alter, Marketing Director, in Conversation with Reese Lucas, Product and Pre-Sales Director
When I joined FundGuard two years ago, one of the first people I met was our Product and Pre-Sales Director, Reese Lucas. I had never before heard anyone talk about investment accounting with such unbridled enthusiasm. What, accounting can be exciting?
Fast forward to today and I now understand the source of that enthusiasm and recognize the value of what it means to reinvent the realm of possibility in a very niche, but incredibly crucial function of investment operations. It is through this lens – at the start of a new year of possibility – that I sat down for a chat with Reese so that our readers can also tap into his energy and excitement. Here is our conversation.
EA: In our blog last year about FundGuard’s Test Center, Peter Muldoon cited our DevOps culture as part of our secret sauce. I’m paraphrasing, but he made the point that our DevOps approach is ultimately what makes our software development cycles quicker and more efficient, which means we can serve our clients (and their clients too) in the best way possible.
RL: YES. That last point is really why we’re all here – the reason why we started FundGuard: To deliver the best possible investment accounting software to our clients.
EA: But why go to that length? Why isn’t “good enough” good enough and what does the “best possible” mean for the user experience?
RL: This is what we are constantly thinking about in all that we do. Every feature we deliver, every capability we enhance is done with thoughtful care and a love for discovering the possibilities that today’s technology enables – and the coolest part is that because we’ve built FundGuard from scratch, in the cloud, we aren’t held back by any old tech.
EA: So the possibilities are endless. How fun is that?
RL: Exactly! At the end of the day, FundGuard is a bunch of accounting and technology nerds who are constantly seeking that “ah ha” moment in the user experience. We want to help our clients do their jobs with a product that’s really cool and fun to use, always evolving to meet the moment and forever ahead of the curve. Why? Because when our clients excel (no pun intended), their success moves across the value chain to ultimately impact every end investor who can now benefit from the safer and more efficient investments that we enable.
This is why I get up every day to go to work – because I’m excited and proud of what we’re building, and what that means for the industry.
EA: Tell me more about how that enthusiasm and thoughtfulness translates to product delivery and the user experience.
RL: We put great thought into our platform features. We consider how our users and their stakeholders need to look at data and the ways in which our users interact with our interface. We have taken this approach from day one, and have only enriched the usability with our design partners while standardizing for all users to benefit.
EA: So why do we design FundGuard this way? How do we respond to the status quo thinkers who say, “So what, isn’t accounting just accounting?”
RL: Well again, our grand purpose since the earliest days of FundGuard has been to build the best investment accounting system. Sure, our tech stack alone could run circles around legacy solutions, but the best investment accounting system requires more than just an innovative tech stack – more than just a tech upgrade. It requires a team who understands, firsthand, the frustrations of legacy applications and companies, and the ability to think well outside the box – at every step of our development process for every new concept.
EA: But to the “accounting is just accounting” thinkers, you can’t necessarily go “outside the box” with accounting principles.
RL: Yes, but operationally – the way you work with investment accounting software, the way you view it, the way the rest of your enterprise consumes the data – well that can go well beyond the box and that is what gets us excited. Also of note, beyond our team’s accounting expertise, we have a uniquely innovative R&D team who take everything to the next level.
EA: Years of investment accounting experience plus elite R&D professionals who know how to build forward-thinking software…we’ve got the best of both worlds, really!
RL: That’s it! We have use cases informed by our industry experts on the product team, which are then transformed by our crazy talented technical team who are well-versed on enterprise systems and the ways in which the best technology companies across industries approach the tech requirements for each feature – thereby enriching the accounting ideas.
In this way our teams are incredibly collaborative in a way you just don’t see with most legacy providers. Among their business product folks – in their R&D teams – there’s just not a premium on look and feel, on accessibility and user experience – that just isn’t their priority. And I’m not being biased – I’ve worked for other providers and have seen it firsthand.
That’s why I’m so excited by what we are doing at FundGuard. Other providers may look inward and ask, “Does this product do what the clients need it to do at core level?” But if the answer is yes, well that’s it. It’s done. Fine for them, but that’s not good enough for us.
EA: A bold statement and a great way to enter the new year. Here’s to the trailblazers. Thanks, Reese!
HOW ARE YOU TRANSFORMING FOR 2024?
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