Document Management Systems 101: Why do Financial Services Organizations Need One?

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Giving you the 101 on how Document Management Systems provide operational efficiencies for front and back-office teams.

Document management is the process of handling documents in a way that information can be stored, organized, accessed, shared, and distributed efficiently—and effectively. A Document Management System (DMS) is an essential tool that can help streamline document management practices for all types of organizations for both internal and external use.  

Financial services organizations, in particular, deal with high-stakes corporate and client information that must be kept confidential and secure, accessed quickly, and readily available for multiple stakeholders including advisors and third-party professionals. As such, having an efficient way to manage this information—via Document Management Systems—is table stakes. 

But what exactly should firms and advisors be looking for when considering a document management solution to take their information and document management practices to the next level? 

Keep reading to find out the benefits of a Document Management System and how to choose the right one for your firm. 

What is a Document Management System and how does it work?

A Document Management System is a software solution for organizing, securing, digitizing, and managing documents as electronic files. Although most Document Management Systems store data in the cloud, they are much more than simple cloud storage where documents get dumped.

As a refresher, cloud storage tools are used as a simple way to store and organize documents, making them accessible across different devices. Document Management Systems on the other hand provides much more than simple storage—security, compliance, collaboration, workflow automation, and importantly, peace of mind. 

Document Management Systems were bred out of necessity as companies shifted their operations away from a paper-based office with manila folders and filing cabinets. Since then, document management has taken on a more central role in the enterprise tech stack, facilitating workflows and bridging disparate repositories into a central hub.

And while organizations of all sizes can benefit from Document Management Systems, enterprise and financial institutions that heavily rely on document-oriented processes are likely to see the most significant positive impact on their operations.

The Benefits of a DMS for Financial Services Organizations

Your Document Management System should save your back and front offices hours of tedious tasks and the exasperation of not finding the documents they need quickly, ultimately improving overall efficiency and driving productivity. Let’s dive into some of the main benefits below. 

1. Intelligent workflow

A Document Management System should provide you with the capability to find important data and documents—exactly when you need them. Structuring an efficient workflow to support advisor, client, and third-party collaboration is one of the primary benefits of having a DMS platform. 

2. Security & protection

A Document Management System will help your organization keep corporate and client documents safe with world-class security standards, including the latest encryption standards, multi-factor authentication, access controls, and secure around-the-clock monitoring among many other security features that provide you with the assurance you deserve. 

3. Structure & organization

With a Document Management System, you’ll have the capability to create the structure and organization you need to manage important corporate and client documents across multiple levels of your organization.

4. Compliance

In addition to cybersecurity, a Document Management System will improve compliance management across the organization by improving corporate governance standards, minimizing data breach risks, and enabling your firm to easily meet data and document retention policies

5. Internal & external collaboration

Your Document Management System should provide you with the capability to deliver, securely store, and manage both important corporate and client documents within one centralized platform. On a side note, did you know that document issues account for more than 21% of daily productivity loss?

6. Engage & retain your clients

A Document Management System will significantly improve how you and your clients collaborate, and manage information and necessary documents, together.

7. Save time, money & resources

Document management software helps organizations save as much as $1 to $5 per document. By having a Document Management System, you’ll easily reduce printing, mailing, and storage costs while lowering your non-revenue generating client requests and tasks.

Choosing the right Document Management System for your organization

The key to selecting the right system for your organization is to review and assess your specific needs and then make a shortlist of platforms that provide you with the value to help you reach short and long-term goals. Before making that decision, some factors to consider include:

➜ The scale of your operations (how much documentation will be stored)

➜ The different types of data and information you need to manage

➜ How your documents are used and how frequently they need to be accessed

➜ The integration and workflow capabilities you need

➜ The level of information security required

➜ Compliance requirements management

➜ Your technology budget

In addition to these considerations listed above, the system your organization decides to move forward with should provide you with the benefits mentioned in the above section to allow your organization to run your business more efficiently, and make your life easier. 

In essence, a robust Document Management System provides accountability, structure, compliance, integrity, and protection. It saves resources, time, and money. And it helps the environment by reducing the need for paper and physical storage, among other things.

Multi-Tier Digital Vaults are taking Document Management Systems to new heights 

Multi-Tier Digital Vault platforms are the next iteration of secure document management, helping organizations of all types, in particular financial services organizations, scale document management practices across all levels of their organization.

FutureVault’s Multi-Tiered Digital Vault solution effectively addresses document management needs at all levels of your organization—providing you with the capability to deliver, securely store, and manage important documents and files across multiple levels, business lines, and jurisdictions of your organization and with your clients in one centralized environment. 

Importantly, from a compliance and operational perspective, having all critical information assets accessible within one secure environment drives tremendous impact that leads to improved productivity and significant time and cost savings.

“Multi-Tiering” is a game-changer for firms by essentially redefining the way information assets and documents are managed across the many levels of their organization. 

Each level and each role within distinct levels have a specific set of permissions and features that they can utilize to help streamline daily workflows, saving significant time and improving productivity. 

Imagine the power this affords your organization—from your back-office to front office advisors, relationship managers, office managers, to your clients, their network, and their families—everyone has a unique “role” and plays by their own set of rules within the Vault.

The concept moves away from a one-way, static document “feed” or repository to a secure, collaborative, multi-way secure document exchange platform where all constituents involved win.   

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Learn how we’re successfully improving compliance, driving operational efficiencies, and helping front, middle, and back-office teams scale through secure document exchange and digital vault solutions. 

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