The 3 Best Reasons to Go Paperless Are Not What You Think
There are lots of good reasons for wealth management firms to adopt cloud-based paperless solutions. Typically, firms cite cost savings and increased efficiency among the primary reasons to go paperless and investing in a digital operations platform. Faster client onboarding and transaction processing, easy audits, and enhanced security are also commonly expected benefits.
However, there are other, less talked-about reasons for broker-dealers and RIAs to consider going paperless. While these benefits might be overlooked, they are no less likely to have a major impact on your firm’s ability to grow and thrive.
Let’s take a look at the top 3 overlooked reasons to go paperless:
1. Going paperless saves space in the office.
One indirect benefit of using paperless systems is the amount of office space your business will save. Paper files and the furniture needed to store them have large footprints. With a cloud-based document management system, you’ll be able to significantly reduce the amount of file cabinets and paper files that take up so much floorspace.
And it goes beyond file cabinets. Printers, fax machines, shredders, and other bulky electronics become much less necessary in a paperless office. In addition, the storage closets where you house your blank paper, staples, paper clips, etc. can be dramatically decluttered.
Imagine what your office would look like without file cabinets, Xerox machines, and storage closets. These spaces could become extra conference rooms, individual offices, or even meditation spaces or yoga studios. These are the kinds of amenities that keep great home office talent around and help you attract younger employees.
2. Clients expect a paperless experience.
Going paperless is no longer considered an advantage in the wealth management industry. Instead, it’s a necessity. Firms that continue to rely on paper-based processes will be considered behind the times if they don’t adopt paperless solutions.
Why? It starts at the bottom. Clients are demanding easier electronic workflows from their advisors. For many clients, driving to their advisors’ office on a work day just to sign a document is a real headache. Esignatures, one of the most common and easy-to-implement paperless solutions, have solved this problem for many advisors. However, advisors whose broker-dealers don’t offer esignatures are getting left behind.
In addition, advisors want to be able to transmit documents electronically to the back office. Fax systems are labyrinthine and frustrating. Not being able to keep tabs on the status of their business is one reason why advisors eventually decide to switch firms. If you don’t support these paperless workflows, advisors might consider jumping ship.
According to a survey by TD Ameritrade, technology was the category that experienced the largest increase in spending among RIAs in 2018. Specifically, most tech investments were focused on improving the client experience, with digital documents and esignature technology among the most widely implemented improvements.
If your business doesn’t support paperless workflows, clients and advisors will leave for firms that do. It’s like a retail store that doesn’t take credit cards — why give people a reason to take their business elsewhere when a solution is so readily available?
3. Paper files limit growth potential.
If growth is among your firm’s priorities, then you know paper-based processes are holding you back.
As your firm spreads out over a larger area, traditional communication methods become more inconvenient and expensive. Mail and courier services start to eat into the bottom line. In addition, adding advisors will cause older fax systems to become congested, slowing down business for everyone.
Without a digital operations platform, remote work is also extremely difficult, if not impossible. There are several reasons for this. Sending employees home with paper files presents security liabilities, and with the size of some financial records, it’s also impractical. Therefore, when your employees are sick or have an appointment, they’ll often miss entire days of work.
With a cloud-based paperless solution, employees will be able to stay on top of important work while they’re away from the office. A digital operations platform makes it possible for employees to work anywhere with an internet connection. This is yet another reason why paperless solutions are considered a job perk by many back office employees.
When you can work seamlessly with advisors and regional offices using secure cloud-based systems, your growth will no longer be limited by the costs of using paper forms and records.
Need even more reasons to go paperless? Read our blog post on the six benefits of running a paperless office.
Discover the Benefits of a Paperless Office
More and more wealth management firms are migrating to digital operations. We’ve put together everything you need to know about the why and how of going paperless for broker-dealers and RIAs.Learn More!