Q. Currently we are currently clearing our data through Pershing and Schwab. We would like to eliminate Pershing, but are afraid we would lose all of our cost basis information. In PortfolioCenter, is it possible to simply delete the Pershing account number and replace it with the Schwab account number? Would the daily download automatically switch to the new Schwab account number?

A. Changing brokers in PortfolioCenter is not difficult but it does require paying attention and keeping organized.

First, make sure the new accounts are open and ready at your new broker BEFORE beginning the transfer at your old broker.  This will minimize losing data while the accounts are in transition.  I also find it helpful to create a “map” in a spreadsheet of the old and new account numbers and status of each transfer.

If you are transferring the Pershing account to a new Schwab account:

Do not create the new Schwab account in PortfolioCenter.  Instead change the account number on the original Pershing account to the new Schwab account number.   This “maps” both Schwab and Pershing to the same account in PortfolioCenter.

The next step is to block duplicate or redundant transactions.  Block the receipts in the Schwab interface and the transfers in the Pershing interface, so these transaction do not post.  You may also need to block cash deposits to Schwab and withdrawals from Pershing. Until all of the securities, residual dividends and cash transfer, you may see “problems” on the reconciliation reports for both Schwab and Pershing.  This is normal.

If you are transferring the Pershing account to an existing Schwab account:

Block the transfers in the Pershing interface and receipts in the Schwab interface.  Then use the account transfer wizard to transfer the Pershing account into the Schwab account.  The account transfer wizard will preserve your trade lots and cost basis.

Finally, you may also need to update your default money market account and broker ids.

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