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Hello out there,

Our TPA firm is considering switching from Datair's PE WIN admin software to FT William's admin software.  We do not use document software from either Datair or FT Williams and will not be our doc system.

Has anyone made this switch that could offer opinions on whether or not they are happy with the switch, ease of use between the two platforms, support, preferences, etc.

We are not familiar with FT Williams so do not know if we would be trading for something more difficult to learn and use than Datair.  

Thank you in advance for any input offered.

:D

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I have never used Datair, but I made the switch from Relius to FTW a few years ago.  I did not find FTW system difficult to learn at all, and their support staff is very helpful.  The most time consuming part of the switch was the conversion, but after that I haven't come across an issue I couldn't solve myself or solve with a quick call to support (and they take your calls right away).

Do you have any particular concerns?

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1 hour ago, perplexedbypensions said:

We are not familiar with FT Williams so do not know if we would be trading for something more difficult to learn and use than Datair.  

:D

Why the switch then?

I agree with RBG about the level of their customer service.  While not as stellar as it once was, it is still top notch among the vendors I deal with - and have dealt with.  I haven't used their admin platform, but have used their docs and Form 5500 platforms - and both are pretty intuitive and easy to use. 

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No specific concerns, more of a general inquiry towards user friendliness comparison of both systems, and preferences from those who have used both systems.  I have used their document system and did not find it easy.  We are thinking of changing due to $$ considerations.

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We made the switch from Datair to ftWilliam a few years ago and are happy with the change.  Both have plusses and minuses but we have found the overall speed of the ftWilliam system and the support we receive are far superior.  I would recommend using the entire suite (doc/admin/5500) for simplicity if the costs aren't too far off.  The compliance module pulls specs from the doc module and the 5500 module pulls data from the compliance module.  The comingling makes life easier for our staff and for those of us reviewing their work.

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On 10/21/2017 at 2:37 PM, Gilmore said:

RBG, when you made the switch from Relius to FT, how many years of data were you bringing over?

Thanks.

 

Depends on what you mean by bringing over.  Are you looking at converting all years on a year by year basis?  

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11 hours ago, Gilmore said:

I believe the answer to your question is, yes.  We would be looking to bring over each plan with each year of data.

I seriously doubt you are looking to do that.  The sane approach is to bring over accumulated data (years of service etc) with the census and account data and move forward.  You might want to re-create the last year from your old system on the new but you can just start with the next year.

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1 minute ago, Bird said:

I seriously doubt you are looking to do that.  The sane approach is to bring over accumulated data (years of service etc) with the census and account data and move forward.  You might want to re-create the last year from your old system on the new but you can just start with the next year.

100% agree.  Recreating all past plan years for all plans is just not realistic.

What you CAN do is is add certain historical data like compensation, contributions, distributions, etc on a year by year basis.  You can upload that data separately from your conversion data using simple csv worksheets.  The trick is going to be whether you can export the data in a user friendly format from your current provider

 

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Thanks Golf, the historical data is what we would be looking to retain on a plan year basis.  I believe our current system does allow for that type of export, and the new provider said it is most likely possible as well.  Since you mentioned going from Relius to FT (which is what we would be doing), I was just trying to get a general idea of how much data you were bringing over and how long a process that took.

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On 10/28/2017 at 4:49 PM, Gilmore said:

Thanks Golf, the historical data is what we would be looking to retain on a plan year basis.  I believe our current system does allow for that type of export, and the new provider said it is most likely possible as well.  Since you mentioned going from Relius to FT (which is what we would be doing), I was just trying to get a general idea of how much data you were bringing over and how long a process that took.

We did a normal conversion, which means we converted the data needed (2014 in our case) in order to do complete admin in in our first post conversion year (2015).  For us, this meant converting balances, years of service, hire/fire/rehire dates, relevant data for any lookback periods, etc.

We also have detailed electronic files on our clients (present and past) that can be used if we need to access historical data that is not in FTW.  With plans going back several decades, it just isn't reasonable to "rebuild" past years in a software when you can look it up fairly easily.

The conversion is not that complicated, but it is time consuming.  It really helps if you know your way around macros in excel as this will significantly reduce the time spent on manipulating the data for conversion.

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We've looked into switching valuation software from Relius to ASC, but can't make the change until ASC gets their website in Spanish.  Hopefully, someone who uses their valuation software will respond.

We have been using ASC for plan documents and government forms.  Our experience with them has been great.  I really like the flexibility of the documents.  Their customer service is fast and extremely helpful.  

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