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How The Financial Services Industry Should Manage Documents

How the financial services industry should manage documents

In part 1 of our blog series, “How Your Organization Should Manage Documents,” we discussed the documents that every organization manages and how a document management system (DMS) fits into the process. In part two of this series, we will delve into the specific challenges faced by companies in the financial services industry when organizing their documentation and preparing for audits and how a DMS streamlines the document management process.

Challenges Faced by the Financial Industry

Like many other businesses today, the banking industry is facing unprecedented change as the world moves more and more toward digitalization. And with this change has come challenges that financial institutions are struggling to overcome. If your company succumbs to these challenges, and does not allow for change and adaption, you are going to have a hard time keeping up with the industry. Below, we will take a closer look at the challenges faced by the financial industry and provide recommendations on how to move past these pain points with a document management system.

Strict Document Retention Policy

One of the biggest challenges banks face is the strict document retention policy their industry is required to uphold. In the old days, banks were legally allowed to keep documents stored for as long as they wanted to. However, with increasing security regulations worldwide, banks are now required to retain specific documents for only a designated period of time, after which they must be either shredded or electronically deleted. And to make matters worse, these regulations are scattered throughout many statutes and regulations; there is no one place that lays out all financial requirements. So, these laws can be extremely confusing for companies attempting to stay up to date with federal and state legislation and keep their customers’ information secure. It is important for banking institutions to find a cost-effective and efficient way to keep these regulations in order and remain compliant.

With a DMS system, your company’s critical and highly confidential information is kept safe and secure in a controlled application environment. These applications host multi-layered user, group and folder security as well as configurable password requirements, Single Sign On (SSO) and multi-factor authentication to prevent the wrong eyes from accessing your company’s internal documentation. Additionally, a DMS gives you the ability to archive obsolete documents so that they are no longer able to be used or viewed by unintended users. Your finalized documents are still available for audit purposes without the ability for editing, ensuring your industry’s strict retention policies are met.

High Volume of Paperwork

Caused in part by the strict document retention policies mentioned above, the financial industry also faces massive amounts of paperwork they are expected to organize and keep track of.  Thousands of emails, spreadsheets, proposals, reports, and notes are created every year by customers and employees. And many banking companies spread these documents out across paper filing systems, external hard drives, and file sharing systems. When you do not use a single system or method of organization, files get lost and information can very easily end up anywhere, including outside of your business.

When it comes time for an audit, being able to retrieve and access the relevant documents easily will save time, money, and stress. In order to keep your company organized and prepared, it is important to focus on finding the best way to store your documents so they can be retrieved quickly with a simple search while also reducing the risk of information leaks.

With a DMS, your documents are kept organized and easily searchable all within one web-based application. While the flow of paperwork may seem overwhelming, basing your documents within a DMS eliminates the confusion of multiple hosting sites and a mix between paper documentation and electronic. Wasting time and resources searching for important files or customer information becomes a thing of the past. And even better, a DMS comes with backup features that you can employ to reinforce all your information whether you use such software on-premise or in the cloud. When audit time arrives, you’ll know your financial organization is prepared with a digital resource to compile any relevant information.

Human Error

Lastly, many banks face consequences stemmed from human errors within their companies. Banking staff go through hundreds of documents and make dozens of important business decisions on a daily basis, which often causes a lot of clerical errors. These errors, that include mis-posting and omissions, can lead to lost accounts of angry clients, high operation costs, and delays in customer service. According to Mark Allen, Chief Technology Officer at Progress, “A typical banking organization has over 300 unique business processes, with up to 1,600 unique activities. With as many as 70% of those activities requiring decisions to be made, often manually”. Looking at these numbers, it is pretty clear that there is a large opportunity for human error at every point in a bank’s professional processes. And while human beings are an important part of how financial institutions run their businesses, there is always room to improve and reduce the possibility of clerical errors to make your employees jobs easier and make your customers happy.

Luckily, implementing a document control software can help diminish both the instance and effects of human error through version control. Version control manages and tracks the changes made to documents and ensures the availability of the most up to date, approved and current content. The system will also have a fully reportable audit trail on every document, so if mistakes are made anywhere within a document, your team can locate, track, and resolve them efficiently. Without version control management, collaborating on content can be error-prone, time consuming, and very confusing. This capability ensures that your financial company minimizes human error and that any mistakes made are easily resolved

Furthermore, a DMS has the capability to automate employee training by job title through every branch of your company and creates a reportable training record for each employee. This means that every member of your team will know exactly what is expected of them and everyone will be working to the same measurable, trackable goals. These features, and many more, help financial companies streamline document workflows, eliminate human error, and improve the overall quality of your operations.

How Your Organization Should Manage Documents

Luckily, all three of these common challenges seen in the financial industry can be greatly reduced by implementing a document control system like ENSUR. Our ENSUR software is built around open technologies, which promote integration and leverage the power of your existing applications for your benefit. The document control system may be accessed by your users regardless of where they are in the globe; if they can access your network, they can log into ENSUR. Using these capabilities, your company will be able to easily keep up with the financial industry’s strict document retention policy, the high volume of paperwork, and reduce the risks of human error, ensuring that your business is organized and audit-ready at a moment’s notice.


To learn more about how our document control software can eliminate your company’s biggest document workflow challenges, contact us now.

Stay tuned for next month’s industry closeup as we take a look at how agriculture companies should manage their documents in order to reduce costs and remain compliant. Subscribe below to receive updates.

Tags: document control, How Your Organization Should Manage Documents, Financial services