Accounting software for a small CPO

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by DarthSidious, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. I am managing some money for "friends & family", trading futures only. By partnership resolution, trading of anything else, including stocks is prohibited. So the partnership doesn't have to worry about long term / short term gain, wash sale etc.

    It's setup as a Partnership. I want to do the little bit of needed accounting myself. I use both QuickBooks as well as "MS Money" for my other businesses and are more or less familiar with them.

    Is either of them suitable for a small Partnership's books? Which one is more suitable? Any other recommendations (must be really cheap - no full fledged hedge fund software please).

  2. BTW, I should stress the fact that I would not be using the accounting software to enter individual trades. That I can & would take care of using excel and/or some other simple homegrown software. The accounting software would be used only for entering net results at the end of month/quarter/year etc. Also when someone puts in fresh money or withdraws money - to allocate P&L between partners, take out fees for the General partner etc.
  3. You need a partnership accounting software package designed especially for fund managers. Because of the way partnership accounting works, you will also have to enter and account for all of your trades using this software as well (otherwise you cannot keep track of tax lots). All of the good packages out there do this. The cheapest I know of if you want to do your own books is;

    good luck,

  4. Banjo


    I have no idea of the expense or viability of this system. Never used it but have it bookmarked in my " look into in event of accountants death" file.
  5. Joetrader & Banjo, Thanks for the links. Both of them indeed look pretty good, but I could not find the prices of either of them clearly advertised at the site. Anyways, it might be more complicated than what I need.

    From what I know, I think that I do not need to do tax lot accounting. Let me explain.
    a) I mentioned that the partnership strictly forbids trading anything but futures. I would never need to calculate if a open stock position has built in short term or long term gains / wash sales and stuff like that.
    b) No matter how long I hold futures positions, it's always 60/40 long/short term.
    c) All futures are marked to market at end of year.

    I need to keep the accounting simple. I want to trade, not keep books. Anytime a partner wants to withdraw money, all I need to do is look at the broker's daily statement(cash + futures positions marked to market), figure out the P&L in a period and write a check to the partner. Why would I need to keep track of individual trades?(In terms of accounting, I mean) Unless I am confused :confused:

    Also, anyone keep a General Partnership's books using Quickbooks or MS Money? It seems that's all I need. I really need to keep this simple.
  6. My wife works for a local CPA firm. They have several partnership clients who use Quickbooks, which works fine for their accounting needs.
  7. Seems simple enough...couldn't you just do it in your own spreadsheet? Keep track of NAVs at EOMs and also on dates when funds move in or out. (Each partner's # of shares change when funds move in /out) ...

    Is the fund small enough that you don't need to register and be a member of NFA? (Is there a requirement that an accountant sign off ... also is there a audit requirement? ...
  8. At this point, it's small. I am going to claim NFA exemption. No need to register if all of the following is true (as is our case)
    a) Friends & Family only
    b) < 400k managed
    c) < 15 partners.

    We would be self audited. Any other Limited partner can look at books / statements at anytime. Monthly broker statements provided to everyone etc.

    Of course, this would all change in future, I hope, as things pick up steam and there is more money.

    Yes, Excel can work. But I have used QuickBooks before and for accounting, it can make things somewhat simple - so I would probably go that way.
  9. Banjo