IMS provides the capability to upload distribution data in bulk batches from an Excel template. This tool provides an easy method for clients not utilizing waterfall rules to upload data quickly in a self-service fashion. This feature also allows users to easily edit existing batches and delete previously approved batches, if needed, whether they are uploaded or generated via the IMS Waterfall Module.
To upload a distribution batch, you’ll first want to click the Profile & Preferences icon, which looks like a silhouette, at the top right, then select Import Data. You will land on the Import Data page which has three tabs: Upload, Pending, and Archived.
- Upload: Provides the tools to download a template for one or more projects along with a file upload tool to take your completed files. This is also where you will find the option to upload a Base Point.
- Pending: Will show any distribution batches that are sitting in Draft or Ready to Distribute Status and are not visible to your investors.
- Archived: Shows all historical distribution batches that have been approved and marked as Distributed and are visible to your investors.
To get started, you’ll first need to download a template for one or more of your projects. Select Single Batch Distribution to get started.
Once selected, you will be prompted to enter information about the batch, similar to using the waterfall module in IMS. In addition, you will find a listing of all your account projects with the ability to select multiple. All required fields with an asterisk must be populated, and at least one project must be selected to download a file. If you have multiple batches to import, all with the same distribution batch details (i.e. all Q1 distributions with the same period start and end dates), you can choose to complete multiple projects at one time.
Please note: that if you select a large number of projects, it may take longer to generate your file. Once the file generates you are ready to begin populating distribution info.
The template is standardized to minimize the inputs needed while providing the identifiers a user needs to correctly identify and match data to the source system the distribution info is coming from. Rows 1-6 contain the batch description info that will be used on import and Columns A-E contain identifiers around the investment, project, class, and investor to help match data correctly.
Columns G-L have the distribution buckets that can be populated. Note that a column for fee/withholding will only appear if you have this configured within a waterfall ruleset. This portion of the template is not locked and your dollar amounts may be entered. If a distribution is made up of multiple components, you should input on the same row. For example, if you are distributing $5,000 total, and $1,000 is Preferred Return and $4,000 is a Return of Capital, put the amounts in their respective buckets in the same row. Column F will confirm the total amount of the distribution that will be imported into IMS. Column M represents the payment preference selected for the investor and is optional. You may change or populate blanks but this will only impact the current batch. Best practice is to populate this on the investor profile in IMS Admin if you need to update a preference.
To the extent you have loaded any External IDs on investor profiles, the system will append these values at the end of the template.
If any of the Projects downloaded are a multi-tier structure, the template will generate rows for each entity in the project. If you don’t wish to show distributions on a particular entity, just leave blank. The system will Ignore if there is no data for an Entity.
Once you have updated the distribution data for your template, you are ready to import the file. After you save the file, you can drag and drop it or select “Browse your files” to search your desktop for the template. Once selected, simply select the “Upload File” button.
Once the “Upload File” button is selected, the system will generate a preview based on the data contained in the template. This will summarize the batches that will be created for each Entity and include the number of investors receiving a distribution and the total dollar amount. If you are satisfied with the preview, you have two options on importing:
- If you are satisfied and do not wish to review any further, you can select the “Automatically publish the distributions without review” and your batches will be marked as sent and available to your investors via the Investor Portal.
- Select “Notify me by email when the distribution data is ready for review or has been published”. Selecting this by itself will send you an email to alert you when your draft batches are ready to review further. If you select this in addition to the first option, you will receive an email when your distributions are available for investors to see. If you do not select either option, the system will create draft distributions that still need to be approved.
Please note: that if you are processing a large number of Projects, it may take 15-30 minutes for processing to complete. Best practice is to select “Notify me by email” regardless of whether you are publishing drafts or distributed batches.
When generating draft batches, you have a number of options on how to proceed. Clicking on the Pending tab will display all draft batches in your account. The page will show batch details, how the batch was created (Upload or Waterfall), who created, and the date the batch was created. As a user, you can choose the following actions:
- Approve – if you are satisfied with the batch, select approve to approve the batch and make available on your investor portal.
- Edit in Project – select this option if you want to review in IMS Admin via the traditional Distribution Batch View. This will also allow you to use the existing IMS approval workflow if desired.
- Edit in Spreadsheet – this will download the specific batch selected for review in the excel template which can be modified and uploaded again with your changes.
- Download NACHA File – you may generate a NACHA file for any batches created by the IMS Waterfall if the necessary bank inputs are loaded in IMS Admin for the relevant Entity and Investors. The batch must be at “Ready to Distribute” status, which can be done from the project page view, and you must be set to be the distribution Approver within the distribution workflow settings.
- Delete – if you do not wish to proceed with the batch, you can delete and start over or disregard.
In addition to performing actions on a one by one basis, you can also Approve, Edit in Spreadsheet and Download NACHA Files in bulk up to 25 at a time. Again, NACHA files will only run if you are the distribution Approver and the batches were created using the IMS Waterfall and are at “Ready to Distribute” status, or that have had a bank account manually associated to the batch via the projects distributions page.
Once a Batch has been approved, it will move to the Archived tab. The Archived tab will house all of the distribution batches in the account that are visible to investors. This includes batches created by the IMS Waterfall module and distributions uploaded with the Import Data feature. Most accounts will have large amounts of data in the system. The batches default to sort by most recent, but users can take advantage of the search bar to narrow the list to a particular Project or Entity. Users have several options on this tab:
- Edit in Project – this allows the user to go to the Batch details page in IMS Admin
- Edit in Spreadsheet – this will download the Excel template which contains the populated data for the relevant batch which can be modified to move money between buckets, investors and increase or decrease the total amounts distributed. Once you upload the revised spreadsheet, the data for the existing batch will be altered.
- Download NACHA File – you may generate a NACHA file (if desired) for any batches created by the IMS Waterfall or the single-batch distribution upload template (as long as the necessary banking information is properly updated in IMS for the relevant Entity and Investors).
- Notify Investors – this will launch a distribution notification to the investors of the selected batch based on your Account Settings (if this feature is not Enabled, no notifications will be sent). Please note that you must access the Archived tab and select "Notify Investors" for each batch or no notification will be sent.
- Delete – this allows users to delete distribution batches that were previously marked as distributed.
Please Note: The Notify Investors option will only populate on this dropdown menu if distribution notifications are turned on in Investor Settings. Distribution Notifications are located in the Waterfall/Distributions section of investor settings.