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5 Reasons Why Your Enterprise Needs an Archiving Tool

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As a business grows it will create more data – data that needs to be meticulously managed and monitored in order for it be utilized properly. Keeping tabs on this data can prove problematic for businesses that never put an archiving system in place. Effective record management becomes a vital process to ensure the protection of the organization and the advisors. Archiving is the process by which inactive information, in any format, is securely stored for long periods of time.

In addition to archiving traditional documents, it is important to archive all content, this includes website pages, blog posts, email newsletters. While you can attempt to archive data manually, this would take up a lot of resources opens up to a risk of error, cannot accurately track changes, and will create confusion in the case of a change in staff.

Here are 5 reasons why your financial enterprise needs an automated archiving tool:

1.Prevent Data Loss

Information that hasn’t been archived in a central and secure location could be lost forever. There is a chance that an employee accidentally deletes or misplaces a file. While in some cases data recovery experts might be able to retrieve this information, this takes time, cost a lot and is rarely 100% accurate. Using an archiving tool allows employees to retrieve the backed-up information independently without having to rely on third parties.

2. Legal Requirements

Archiving is important for legal reasons too. Many enterprises accidentally delete data that they legally should be keeping. An effective archiving system will ensure company- and industry-specific retention schedules are adhered to, regardless of each employee’s knowledge of the retention schedules. Data protection authorities enforce more severe penalties on businesses so employees should be made aware that ignoring these policies could lead to hefty fines or even prison sentences in some cases.

3. Increase Security

In a time when archiving cyber-attacks and data breaches are becoming more frequent, archiving is important for security reasons. By securely archiving documents, businesses can keep track of information and increase protection from unauthorized third parties. Even the most cautious of businesses are now targeted by very adept hackers. Paper records in open circulation can easily be taken from crowded offices or stolen by bitter employees. A reliable offsite archiving system will reduce this risk.

4. Reduce Risks of Errors

Conducting an audit requires a thorough examination of the inner workings and fine details of your business. With the right archiving tool, you can improve the accessibility of data and mitigate the risk of human error.

5. Saves Time

Traditional auditing is very time-consuming, requiring greater resources from larger organizations. With the right archiving tool, the auditor can access the historical content more effectively. The right tool will also include features like the visual editor and powerful filters to allow auditors to work much faster.

Archiving is vital for business continuity and ensuring the highest level of performance in a competitive marketplace, attempting to establish a manual audit process would be too resource intensive and risks exposure. In the instance of financial advisor marketing, this would be impossible to archive the content of every page, of every advisor. Digital Agent offers an archiving tool, Digital Archiving, that allows the enterprise to automatically archive advisors website content. There are a host of features such as high-powered search, visual website review, and external content archiving that increase audit efficiency. Digital Archiving gives enterprises greater peace of mind by auditing your advisors’ online presence.

 

Protecting Yourself During An Advisor Audit

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How does your team ensure that emails, documents, content, communications can easily be retrieved if and when necessary? Would it be stressful trying to track down all the emails, files, conversations and log of everything that happened related to that piece of content? Instead, the process could be stress-free if there was an automated archiving system in place. There would be no worry or stress because knowing all the content, the compliance reviews, and external content have all been captured and can be found with high accuracy.

What is Auditing?

Auditing is the process of collecting and examining an organization’s (or individual’s) records and content. This process is to determinate the information is both accurate and in accordance with any rules, regulations, and laws. Internal audits are conducted by internal employees to examine records and are aimed to improve internal processes such as operations, controls, risk management, and governance. External audits are performed by auditors from outside an organization to provide an independent opinion.

Benefits of Performing an Audit

Ultimately, the benefit of performing an internal audit is the protection of assets and reducing exposure to risk. Other key benefits of conducting an internal audit are:

  •    Improving efficiency in the process
  •    Ensuring compliance
  •    The scope of the audit is defined by internal stakeholders
  •    Reports are presented to internal stakeholders ensuring a level of privacy
  •    Establishes monitoring procedures
  •    Identifies redundancies
  •    Increases accountability
  •    Can serve as an early detection system, allowing for timely corrections of issues.

Moving into Digital

The traditional internal audit process is both time consuming and is susceptible to errors. The typical workflow begins with the auditor collecting data. This is what happens when an internal audit takes place

  • Manually search through raw data such as emails, documents, spreadsheets, for the information required or submit a request for that information. This manual search brings productivity to a halt as it is very time intensive and becomes stressful because information may not be easily found or is missing entirely.
  • When submitting a request for information, the request will take days even weeks to pull the data. Once the data is pulled, it may still be in its raw form, not in a format that can easily be reviewed.
  • The auditor would need to sort through mountains of data or have it been organized into a report which takes even more time
  • Finally, with all this data and the sort time frame caused by all the effort spent gathering, the auditor will get stuck in comparing raw figures rather than taking a more analytical approach and providing valuable strategy and insight.

With a modern platform, all the archived data is found in one user-friendly place that allows for accuracy in what the auditor is searching for. Reducing the turnaround time for information gathering allows the auditor to examine the raw data, and have the time to extract valuable insights and develop strategies.

Find out more about Digital Archiving, Veriday’s latest Digital Agent Solution.

Read how Brandon Silbermann, from Don Stockman Financial Services Ltd., used Digital Agent by Veriday to create a digital branding platform for his company.

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Reprinted with permission from Investment Executive.  

Brandon Silbermann’s digital branding initiative was powered by Digital Agent by Veriday.

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If the new way of doing business for financial advisors is at the intersection of the latest digital marketing technology and good, old-fashioned client service, Brandon Silbermann might just be the advisor of the future.

A typical day for Silbermann might include updating his practice’s website, checking his LinkedIn account and driving to a client’s farm to discuss his or her financial plan.

Silbermann, 25, is an advisor with Don Stockman Financial Services Ltd. in Waterloo, Ont., which is affiliated with Oakville, Ont.-based Manulife Securities Investment Services Inc. He officially joined the investment industry full-time in 2013 after graduating from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management, from which he obtained an honours bachelor of commerce degree in finance.

But back in 2013, Silbermann already was familiar with financial advisory work, having been involved in his school’s co-operative education program, through which he was mentored by Don Stockman, advisor and founder of Stockman Financial.

Silbermann now is an advisor with that practice with his own book of business, consisting of $22 million in assets under management. He is licensed to sell mutual funds, which are offered through Manulife Securities, and insurance products, through Kitchener, Ont.-based Financial Horizons Inc.

Silbermann has learned many lessons from Stockman, who has been an advisor for more than 30 years in the Waterloo region. These lessons include key steps in maintaining strong relationships with clients. “Don always told me to do the right thing,” Silbermann says. “Take good care of the client. Make sure you see them face to face.”

Silbermann brought to the established practice some special knowledge that is characteristic of his age group. He took on the large task of creating an online brand for the practice, which did not have a website prior to Silbermann joining the firm.

This digital branding initiative included creating a website with the help of a third-party digital-marketing company that works with Manulife. The Stockman Financial website would allow Stockman and Silbermann to communicate their skills and experience to families and small-business owners, such as farmers and skilled tradespeople in the construction industry, who are an important part of Stockman Financial’s niche.

“We have three or four generations of some [client] families,” Silbermann says. But the firm needed a way to communicate its expertise to other clients and prospects: not only an online presence, but one that stays up to date.

Silbermann ensures that the website’s functionality fits the ways in which people use technology. “The majority of web searches are done through smartphones,” he says, his empty hands gesturing as if scrolling through a smartphone screen. “So, it was critical for us to have something that is mobile-compatible so that people could see it – so it looked nice on their phones and was easily searchable.”

Silbermann is active on LinkedIn, connecting with other professionals on that social media network. He does not network through Facebook or Twitter, but he is planning to join Manulife’s social media program for advisors, which will guide Silbermann in using Twitter in a compliant manner.

Silbermann’s digital strategy seems to be working just fine. He added three new clients through his use of LinkedIn in 2015.

Silbermann does not spend much time pursuing prospects online, aside from sending out LinkedIn invitations to connect with other professionals. He finds that fellow LinkedIn users will check out his profile, then ask him questions through that social-media network. But those conversations do not remain online for long, as Silbermann’s strategy is to meet prospects in person as soon as possible.

“As much as the world is digital,” Silbermann says, “you need to put a face to a name, especially in a business that is as private and important as money.”

That principle has Silbermann convinced that robo-advisory services, which are becoming increasingly well known, are not a serious competitor. These online services cannot provide that human connection that is important to both Silbermann and Stockman, the latter of whom always emphasizes the importance of seeing clients in person, even if that means driving to the farmhouse of a client who lives outside of the immediate Waterloo area.

“Being able to be there with these people, their farming families and companies, generates a whole other level of trust, integrity and rapport,” Silbermann says. “It does not concern me how the industry is changing.”

Silbermann also is confident that his age is not an obstacle in attracting new clients. The keys, he says, are to associate yourself with a successful brand, then develop a positive relationship with individuals who can speak on your behalf. The affiliation with Manulife, which has a visible presence in the Waterloo region, and to Stockman work to Silbermann’s benefit. Once he builds trust with young clients, he can appeal to their parents.

Silbermann’s office acts as a showcase for his clients’ skills. The flooring, which looks like reclaimed barnwood and is symbolic of Waterloo’s farming tradition, was installed by a client. A painting of bright yellow construction machinery set against a skyline of tall buildings, created by a client’s son, was commissioned by Silbermann; the painting represents the type of hard-working individuals who make up an important part of Silbermann’s client base.

Silbermann also speaks to university students about entrepreneurship on his own time. One of his goals is to help his alma mater grow its investment club. He is an avid reader of books on business, technology and foreign policy. He also is working toward a certified financial planner designation.

BUILD TRUST WITH YOUR CLIENTS

Millennial-generation financial advisors should consider both traditional and digital methods to establish a strong rapport with clients and prospects, according to Brandon Silbermann, an advisor with Don Stockman Financial Services Ltd. in Waterloo, Ont. Silbermann offers the following tips to help young advisors get off to a good start:

1. Develop a mobile-friendly website

A strong online brand can help you connect with prospects and show what they can expect regarding your skills and the services you would provide as their advisor. Because a growing proportion of online searches are conducted on mobile devices, your content must be easily viewed on smartphones and tablets.

2. Be honest

Taking a direct approach with clients about fees, products and other issues will help young advisors build trust with clients of all ages, Silbermann says.

3. Connect with established brands

Joining a large firm with a positive reputation or the practice of an experienced and trusted senior advisor can help you build trust.

Working with a known entity also provides instant credibility, says Silbermann: “It helps you get over the initial hurdles of being a younger person in the industry and managing money professionally.”

4. Build a network of mentors

Consider the type of business you want to run in the future and look for professionals in various industries who fit your vision. Silbermann has four mentors, each works in heavy construction, group benefits or portfolio management. And don’t be nervous about approaching established professionals. “If you have a good connection with them, they will share a lot about how they got to where they are.”

© 2016 Investment Executive. All rights reserved.

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This post was authored by Tessie Sanci and originally appeared here on Investment Executive