Advisors at family offices spend nearly a third of their time in accounting and preparing reports for the wealthy families they service, according to a new study.

Family Office Exchange (FOX) found preparing reports and financial reporting took up 32 percent of the time of the advisors who operate family offices. FOX, based in Chicago, is a global organization promoting best practices for family offices. It represents 650 organizations worldwide to promote education, networking and comparative methods of operation among family offices.

The report, Financial Reporting in the Family Office: Elevating the Conversation, revealed eight out of 10 family offices provide clients with quarterly financial reports and just over half (51 percent) provide a consolidated annual report.

While some offices are providing secure, online reporting, the majority (67 percent) still provide their clients with a paper copy of financial reports.

Financial reports are most meaningful when they tie the information back to the family's goals by taking key factors such as the client's objectives, the sophistication of the audience and the client's preferred method of delivery into consideration, the report says.

"Financial reporting is a critical element of the family office's mission, enabling family members to make well informed decisions about their future and demonstrating the office's value add," said Anthony Sperling, senior vice president and general manager at Advent Software, which prepared the report in conjunction with FOX. The report is designed to "elevate the conversation and spark new thinking about how family offices keep their clients informed," he said.

-Karen DeMasters