Tech Tip Tuesday: Cost Basis Reporting Best Practices

By February 19, 2019Tech Tip

Keeping track of an asset’s cost basis is a crucial step in securities reporting. The cost basis of an asset shows whether the investment had a loss or gain and what the tax consequences for the investor will be. There are a few different ways to store cost basis information. Let’s dig into which method is best and why.


There are two ways that Orion can store cost basis information, Custodian Stored and Orion Stored. Custodian Stored information is sent straight from a custodian and stored to Orion’s cost basis tables. The frequency in which Orion receives files and the type of files (Realized and Unrealized) that we receive depends on the custodian.

Orion Stored information is calculated using Orion transaction data and stored nightly to our tables. While we calculate cost basis information automatically for several transaction types, some of this information is manually maintained.


While many custodians have established a direct feed with Orion to provide cost basis information, there are still some custodians that use a more manual process to provide cost basis information. Our recommendation is to use Custodian Stored information whenever possible. This is the most accurate in respect to what is provided to the SEC during an audit.

Orion Storied information is used as a backup to Custodian Stored when a custodian is unable to send cost basis information for an asset, or when a custodian does not send Orion a cost basis file.

Who Can Help?

If you have questions about cost basis information contact the Cost Basis Team


Eddie Sempek

About Eddie Sempek

Eddie Sempek serves as Orion's Chief Innovation Officer. He has worked in several roles at Orion and now oversees the team of tech consultants. He enjoys helping firms in their strategic planning and implementation of technology.

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