What Financial Advisors Should Seek in an Archiving Solution

financial advisor archiving solution

Selecting the right archiving solution for your financial advisory practice is crucial. It’s not just about ticking boxes; it’s about finding a solution that enhances compliance, efficiency, and overall effectiveness. Here are five key considerations to keep in mind:

Financial Advisor Archiving Solution

1. Comprehensive Archiving Capabilities

Ensure that your chosen archiving solution can handle all facets of your communication. While email archiving is fundamental, modern advisory practices often extend communication to websites and social media. Thus, a tool that solely archives emails may fall short of your compliance requirements.

Selecting an archiving solution that neglects to capture your clients’ preferred digital communication channels can prove detrimental. It not only hampers your ability to utilize those platforms compliantly but also jeopardizes the overall client experience.


2. Proactive Compliance Measures 

Look for solutions that offer proactive compliance features rather than relying solely on reactive measures. Solutions like Presults, with its built-in compliance lexicon and real-time email monitoring, can prevent non-compliant communication from ever being sent, reducing the need for retrospective reviews.
Learn more about the benefits that proactive compliance measures have on your financial advisory firm in this blog post.

3. Time-Saving Automation

Time is a precious resource for financial advisors, and it’s much better spent on client-facing work than on compliance tasks. Seek tools equipped with automation, such as automated archiving or AI-powered solutions that can efficiently flag compliance concerns in real time. Automation is a cost-efficient way to free up valuable time for advisors to focus on providing a better client experience. 

4. Price Transparency and Flexibility

Speaking of cost-efficiency, price is a crucial factor to consider when seeking an archiving solution, but it’s not just about the monthly fee. Consider additional hidden charges like storage, import/export fees, and setup costs. Importantly, scrutinize export fees, as they can become significant cost, especially with outdated legacy archiving solutions. Opt for platforms such as Presults that offer flexibility, such as month-to-month contracts, and free data exports to avoid being locked into unfavorable arrangements.

5. Accessible Customer Support

In the world of technology, reliable customer support can be a game-changer. Prioritize providers that offer personalized onboarding and accessible customer support. Ask about onboarding assistance, training opportunities, and the availability of direct communication with support staff. Avoid platforms known for poor support, as they can exacerbate any issues you encounter.

Specific questions to ask a provider include:

• What does your onboarding support look like?
• What training do you offer to new customers?
• If I have questions, will I have the ability to speak directly to a person?
• What methods of communication do you offer for customer support? Phone? Chat? Email?

The Takeaway for Advisors Selecting an Archiving Solution

Investing time and effort into selecting the right archiving solution can pay dividends in the long run. By considering factors like comprehensive capabilities, proactive compliance measures, automation, pricing transparency, and customer support, financial advisors can find a solution that not only meets their compliance needs but also enhances operational efficiency. Choose wisely to streamline your advisory practice and mitigate future challenges. 


Avoid These 5 Common Archiving Mistakes to Ensure Compliance in your Financial Advisory Firm 

Archiving compliance mistake

Effective archiving is a cornerstone of compliance for financial advisory firms. Yet, many stumble into common archiving pitfalls that hinder compliance, reduce efficiency, and jeopardize client trust. In this article, we’ll delve into the five most prevalent archiving mistakes financial advisory firms make and how to avoid them.


Mistake #1: Thinking it’s one person’s responsibility

Archiving is often seen as a task assigned to one individual or department. However, it’s a collective responsibility that requires coordination across the organization to ensure that all team members are taking a responsible and proactive approach to compliance.

To ensure that archiving and compliance are seen as the responsibility of everyone, education is key.  While educating employees on archiving best practices may seem like another task you just don’t have time for, you can leverage AI to proactively monitor team members’ communication with clients to proactively notify and educate them on non-compliant communication. 

Manual financial advisory firm archiving
Manual archiving is inefficient and prohibits growth.

Mistake #2: Archiving everything manually in your financial advisory firm

Manual archiving of everything is inefficient, it leaves your advisory firm prone to errors and increases the risk of oversight and non-compliance. Compliance is not an area where you can afford to make mistakes. Financial advisory firms must embrace automated compliance solutions to minimize compliance risks. In addition, automation streamlines the archiving process and empowers teams to focus on high-value tasks to drive business growth.


Mistake #3: Not being proactive with archiving

Financial advisory firms often fall into the trap of being reactive instead of proactive by waiting until after non-compliant communication surfaces before addressing the issue. This approach not only increases stress levels but also exposes the firm to compliance headaches and potential regulatory penalties. 

Proactive archiving solutions, on the other hand, implement real-time email monitoring systems that actively scan communications for non-compliant keywords or terms. By staying ahead of the curve, firms can identify and rectify potential compliance issues before they escalate into more significant problems, ensuring smoother operations and peace of mind.

Archiving data ready for audits financial advisory firm

Mistake #4: Not having data easily accessible for audits

When auditors come knocking, quick and easy access to archived data is paramount. Fumbling through disorganized files or outdated systems can delay audits and raise red flags. Financial advisory firms are often required to provide comprehensive documentation and evidence of their compliance efforts during audits, such as archived communications and other relevant data. Without efficient archiving systems in place, firms may struggle to locate and retrieve the necessary information, wasting valuable time and resources and increasing audit times. 

To avoid these pitfalls, financial advisory firms must prioritize the accessibility and organization of their archived data. This involves implementing robust archiving solutions that offer centralized storage, advanced search capabilities, and user-friendly interfaces. By consolidating archived data in a secure and easily accessible repository, firms can streamline the audit process and maintain regulatory compliance. 


Modern archiving solution for financial advisory firms

Mistake #5: Using outdated archiving technology in your financial advisory firm

Legacy archiving solutions may struggle to keep pace with evolving regulatory requirements and technological advancements. Investing in modern archiving technology is not just about compliance; it’s about enhancing security, scalability, and efficiency. By leveraging cutting-edge archiving solutions, financial advisory firms can future-proof their compliance efforts and adapt to changing regulatory landscapes with ease.

Modern archiving solutions provide scalability to accommodate the growing volume of digital communications and data generated by financial advisory firms. As the industry evolves and client demands shift, scalable archiving solutions allow firms to adapt seamlessly without compromising performance or compliance standards. Ultimately, investing in a modern archiving solution goes beyond mere compliance—it’s a strategic decision to fortify the firm’s infrastructure, optimize operational efficiency, and enhance client trust.

Final Thoughts

In the fast-paced world of financial advisory services, avoiding common archiving mistakes is critical to ensure compliance, streamline the audit process, improve your firm’s efficiency, and maintain client trust. By avoiding these five common archiving mistakes and embracing modern solutions, financial advisory firms can navigate regulatory complexities with confidence, safeguarding their reputation and fostering long-term success.

How Advisors Can Protect and Securely Share Client Data

Clients must trust their financial advisor for the advisor/client relationship to work. If you’re an advisor, that means handling your clients’ money responsibly, but in this day and age, it also means protecting your clients’ data. The problem is that keeping clients’ data secure isn’t always easy, and best practices are always evolving. Here’s how you can stay up to date on the best ways to protect and securely share data with clients.

What Data Must Advisors Protect?

Before we talk about protecting client data, we first need to take a step back and discuss what sort of data requires protection. Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is information, either sensitive or non-sensitive, that either on its own or in combination with other information, can be used to identify an individual. Social security numbers, driver’s licenses, and financial information are all examples of sensitive PII. Other types of PII are non-sensitive, but when used in conjunction with other data could also identify an individual. Date of birth, zip code, and place of birth are all examples of non-sensitive PII. Ideally, advisors will protect all PII, but sensitive PII is especially important to protect and should only ever be shared securely.  

Sharing Files Securely

The nature of the financial advisory business requires the sharing of much PII and other sensitive information. Therefore, one of the hardest parts of protecting client data is figuring out how to send and receive data to and from clients. To make clients more amenable to any additional steps imposed by your cybersecurity policy, instead of framing cybersecurity as a regulatory requirement or a hassle, frame it as another aspect of your excellent customer service – something you want to go above and beyond on because you value securing the data of your clients.

End-to-End Encryption

One of the most common ways to protect data is through encryption. To send and receive sensitive information, you need encryption on both ends, which is called end-to-end encryption. This method of sharing data works so well because only the sender and receiver can decrypt the shared information and therefore are the only ones who can view the contents. While end-to-end encryption is a great option, it’s largest drawback has typically been that implementation is required on both ends, meaning that to share information with a client, that client must sign up for the encryption service. While not terribly difficult, this process may prove time consuming for the client. Presults offers an innovative approach to this obstacle by utilizing a combination of auto-expiring pages and one-time verification codes that don’t require client registration.

Cloud Storage

Another option for sharing information with clients securely is through cloud storage. The point of storing documents on the cloud is to keep those documents from being stored on your computer’s hard drive (which is typically more vulnerable). The benefits of cloud storage extend beyond more securely sharing and protecting data. When documents are stored on the cloud you can access them from any device with an internet connection, which allows for easier collaboration on documents and eliminates the risk of losing documents if a specific computer is damaged, lost, or stolen.

Client Portal

The final option for securely sharing sensitive data with clients is a client portal. A client portal is a centralized, secure area where clients can login to view communications, reports, invoices, contracts, etc. A client portal is a great option from a customer service perspective since the burden on clients is minimal. The only downside is that not all portals allow for two-way communication, though some do. If you value two-way communication, you’ll therefore want to find an option that includes this offering.

Train Employees on Client Privacy

According to a report by the Financial Planning Association’s Research and Practice Institute, 44% of advisors say they don’t understand the risks and issues of cybersecurity. This is especially concerning considering that while 48% of data breaches were due to malicious or criminal attacks, a full 27% of data breaches were due to human error. Proper training is therefore necessary both to decrease the risk of human error, and to make it harder for hackers to take advantage of weaknesses in your cybersecurity. While education obviously can’t eliminate human error, it can help decrease the chances of it. The proper training for you and your employees will depend on the various roles of those in the firm. Mandatory training should be required for everyone, which goes over the firm’s procedures for protecting client data. The reason why these procedures are necessary should also be included in the training. How do your procedures help limit the chances of a data breach? What would a data breach mean for the company? What would a data breach mean for the information and assets of clients?

Create a Plan for a Data Breach

No matter what precautions you implement or how well you educate your team, a data breach is still possible, which is why every firm should create a data breach emergency plan. Every plan will be unique, but should include the following: • Data recovery procedures • How you will notify clients of the breach • Procedures for compensating clients impacted by the breach. For a more personalized plan, work with your IT team or IT consultant. The more quickly you can react to a data breach, the better, both for your firm and for your clients. Becoming aware of the breach quickly, notifying clients immediately, and communicating exactly how you will handle the data breach can help maintain clients’ trust in you and your firm. Another option that may be worth considering is cybersecurity insurance. Depending on the specific plan, this type of insurance could help you cover costs related to data recovery and compensating clients.

The Takeaway

Advisors have a duty to their clients, and that includes doing their best to protect client data. Presults takes protecting client data seriously, which is why its unique software flags emails containing PII and keeps them from being sent out. Unlike most other email archiving systems on the market, which only notify you after PII has been sent out, Presults gives you the ability to proactively protect the valuable data of your clients.