Financial Advisors

Does Your Firm Need a Data Management Overhaul?

By Matt Nowlin, Vice President of Enterprise Business Solutions at Docupace

Managing data is a crucial process for every wealth management firm. But with the wrong data management system, keeping track of all the forms and records can quickly become a headache and a recipe for non-compliance, client frustration, and slow workflow.

When it comes down to it, your data management system can really make or break your firm’s potential for growth. Does your data management strategy create a positive and secure experience, or is it outdated and finicky?

Here are three signs your firm needs a data management overhaul.

1. You Rely on Physical Paperwork

Paper forms are the biggest red flag signaling the need for a document and data management overhaul. With all the cloud-based and digital tools available today, there’s no reason to rely on physical paperwork.

Asking clients to complete paperwork manually is time-consuming for everyone and opens the door to mistakes, redundancies, and frustration. Plus, customers increasingly want digital forms. Digital interactions with financial services firms increased during the pandemic and show no sign of slowing down. Clients realize that they save time with digital data gathering, so asking them to complete physical paperwork can take away from the overall experience.

There’s also a huge environmental impact from all that paperwork. In 2017 alone, financial services companies sent 5.2 billion paper documents to their clients. That’s the equivalent of 2.4 million trees — and that number has grown significantly in the last five years. One study found that processing invoices digitally caused a firm to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by 63% per transaction. When considering the many paper forms the average firm sends, shifting to a digital system can save an incredible amount of paper and money.

2. You Enter Client Information Manually 

Physical paperwork is just half the problem. Once those forms have been completed, a back-office employee has to enter that information into a variety of systems — a process that is cumbersome and time-consuming. And for firms with disparate data management systems that don’t sync information, the data could potentially need to be entered multiple times in multiple systems. Each time a person touches a piece of information, there’s a risk that it could be entered incorrectly or lost. And manually inputting client information also creates opportunities for data leaks and cybersecurity issues.

Advisors spend an average of 22 hours a week on administrative tasks. That’s a significant amount of time they could spend building relationships with clients and expanding the firm’s opportunities instead. Moving away from manually inputting and managing client information allows advisors and back-office staff to spend their time on more strategic, big-picture tasks instead of being stuck in the weeds.

3. Audits Send You on a Hunt for Paperwork 

Data management is at the heart of compliance. Firms must follow strict rules and regulations about what records to keep, how to store them, and how long they must be maintained. Data management compliance can be confusing, especially without an integrated document management system.

If compliance has become an issue at your firm and you spend valuable time and resources managing documents and searching through files to prepare for an audit, it’s time for a data management overhaul. Even more concerning, you could be wasting money on compliance fees and penalties that slow your firm’s growth. Many of these issues are avoidable with a strong data management solution that automates compliance efforts and makes it easier to stay on top of regulations instead of backtracking before an audit.

A data management overhaul can take your firm from using time-consuming manual processes that leave you vulnerable to non-compliance and security risks and turn it into a firm where data management is automated, streamlined, and efficient.

Docupace is the most secure document storage and organization solution for wealth management firms. Our cloud-based system helps you manage and track data confidently so you can spend more time growing your firm and less time shuffling through paperwork. Contact us today to set up a free demo.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Docupace

Docupace is a solutions provider focused on digitizing and automating operations in the financial advice and investment industry. Financial services firms use the award-winning Docupace Platform (a cloud-based, integrated software suite) to reduce back-office expenses, improve efficiency, strengthen recruiting, and enhance the experience of advisors and investors. With headquarters in Los Angeles, California, Docupace proudly serves some of the largest independent broker-dealers and registered investment advisers (RIAs) in the financial services industry. The Docupace Platform and the professionals behind it have received numerous accolades from the industry mavens. The company was named to the 2022 WealthTech 100, a highly competitive list of the world’s most innovative technology solution providers, won the Gold Globee® Award for “Hot Technology of the Year” in 2021 and was named to 2021 Inc. 5000 list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. For more information, please visit www.docupace.com.

Read Docupace's Bio