December 18
Edit Data with Views

All views in FinFolio are editable. This makes it extremely easy to massage data and make fast changes. To edit, just open a view, type into it like you would into Excel, then click "Save & Close" on the Home ribbon.

Fields that derive their values from other fields cannot be edited. So while you can change an account's model, you can't change the account's market value since it is derived from the transactions and security prices contained within the account.

There are many views in FinFolio that make it easy to edit different slices of data. Here are some useful ones often used for editing data:

  • Corporate Actions and Adjustments – Lets you view and edit recent splits, mergers, spinoffs and other complicated corporate action transactions.
  • Missing Original Cost – Lets you add missing original cost amounts and dates for new transfers.
  • Dividends Missing Ex-Dates – Lets you see and edit dividend transactions that are missing ex-dates.
  • New Accounts – Lets you see recently added accounts, allow you to clean up account names, set models and fee schedules, and other items all on a single screen.

With any editable view, open the Property window to make changes across many items at once. In the example below, we used the Search window to filter accounts in the Growth model, and are about to use the Properties window to change their models to Balanced.

Be careful--bulk changes can be dangerous! As Stan Lee says, with great power comes great responsibility. Make sure the final result is what you intended before clicking "Save".

November 30
Searching in Views

Part of the recent upgrade to the FinFolio views includes enhancing the way searches work. It is now much easier to do quick searches on names, partial account numbers and other identifiers. Plus you can build complex queries using the Search Tools ribbon. The searches can also be saved or attached to specific views as Filters.

 

At the top of every view is the search bar. You can search on a specific account by entering a partial name or account number in the bar and pressing Enter. The view will change to show only the records that match the search.

 

FinFolio strives to use Google-like syntax for the searches, so certain things you may do with Google also work in FinFolio:

  • Typing a dash "-" before a search term excludes that term,
  • Typing an AND between two search terms brings back results that match both terms, and
  • Typing an OR between two search terms brings back results that match either term.

When we click in the search box, a context-sensitive "Search" ribbon appears. We use this ribbon to build complex queries that filter against specific fields. In the example below, we have used the ribbon to search on all accounts in the "Fidelity" group where the market value is greater than $100,000.

Any search can also be "locked down" so that it is applied automatically when the view opens. In the example below we moved the prior search for Fidelity accounts >$100,000 into the main Account view. We clicked into the account view to display the Section Tools ribbons, then copied the search into the Filter area on the ribbon.

We also could have used the "Add Filter" button to build this search directly in the ribbon, as it exposes a list of filters that closely matches the searches available on the "Search Tools" ribbon.

Your most recent searches on a view are saved in the "Search Tools" ribbon under the "Recent Searches" dropdown. You can also save a search, run saved searches, and set a default search for the view.

 

What is the difference between a Default Search and the view Filter you ask? The filter is global and applies to every user. Default searches are local and only apply to the user who clicked the "Default Search" button.

November 01
Customizing the Default Views

Over the last few months, FinFolio has made some substantial improvements to our item lists (called "Views"). They've gone from being static lists with few customization options to dynamic, editable, extensible views that can be overlayed by charts, or merged with calculations to show high-level dashboards of your firm's vital statics. This may sound like a minor change until you realize that Views are pervasive throughout FinFolio. They are the starting point for most common tasks and are used as inputs into all wizards. The ability to massage these views to show you the exact slice of data needed is extremely important.

The most common views are on the Home ribbon, under the buttons for the six main item types. We can click the button to bring up a simple View of the item, or click the dropdown portion of the button to see more views. Clicking one of the View buttons opens that view in the main pane.

Now we're going to walk through some simple customization of the default Household view, to make it better match the operational flow of an advisor. Suppose the advisor manages accounts at the household level, and often wants to see the number of clients contained in each household. We add a "# of Clients" column to the main Households view by right-clicking on the column header and selecting "# of Clients".

We also want to sort by Market Value to see the largest households at the top of the list. Click the "MARKET VALUE" column and the sort order will change to show the largest accounts at the top of the list. If we clicked it a second time, it would show the smallest households at the top of the list.

Sub-group the households by their fee schedules by first clicking in the View, which exposes the "Page Tools" and "Section Tools" context-sensitive ribbons. We can add a sub group on the Data ribbon, in the "Sorting and Grouping" group by clicking the "Group By" dropdown. Select "Fee Schedule" to sub-group by fee schedule and you will see the change immediately take effect in the Household view.

At any point, we can lock down the changes by going to the "Page" ribbon, and Clicking "Save Page". The next time we open the view, it remembers our settings. In the case of the impromptu example above, the Household view will now show a household list with a "# of Clients" column, sub-grouped by the fee schedule attached to each household, ordered by household market value within each fee schedule group.

September 23
FinFolio Management Console

When FinFolio installs, it now creates a FinFolio Management Console button on the start menu in the FinFolio group. We have exposed all the data imports in the management console, allowing you to script your imports to run early in the morning.

The management console runs in the Microsoft PowerShell framework, which is the standard way to script processes when running Microsoft Windows. Your current system administrator will not need to learn a new language to add FinFolio to your current batch automation jobs. Plus you can incorporate other PowerShell modules into your scripts, including FTP downloads and database backups.

Running the management console automatically starts PowerShell and loads the FinFolio environment. We plan to expose additional FinFolio functionality in PowerShell as we receive requests from our users.

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