Fee Credit Calculator – Need for a VSTO Solution

I was involved with a project to create a complicated “Fee Credit Calculator” for a large financial institution. The basis of the project was that large institutional clients paid enormous fees for certain mutual fund transactions. There was a certain set of criteria that, if met, entitled these institutions to a partial refund of the fees they paid.

Basically, if the institution purchased enough of a particular mutual fund they would meet what is called a “right of accumulation” threshold and they’d be entitled to a refund. There were several other components of the calculation including the amount of transactions in a given time period, various legal aspects and total fees paid by the institutional client.

Although the data was always present, the process had long been a tedious manual process that was strictly linear to the number of clients they had. The more business they generated, the more people they were required to hire to process these calculations.

There were also the obvious inefficiencies involving manual calculations, training, lack of productivity, etc. These calculations were complicated and involved several different financial aspects – all of which users relied on MS Excel to calculate. The project was initially conceived as a web project, but that required the development team to write (from scratch) the financial calculations that Excel already provided. After much discussion, we agreed to write a VSTO Excel solution.

This is a classic example of a problem that needs a VSTO solution:

  • ? Excel already contained the necessary formulas.
  • ? The end users were familiar and comfortable working with Excel.
  • ? VSTO allowed a more rapid development environment than starting from scratch.
  • ? Existing logic and formulas could be easily re-used in the solution.

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