What is your File Management System?

As a broker or financial advisor, you deal with a lot of files. Your clients send you documents of all shapes and sizes on a regular basis. With such a high volume and wide variety of documents, an effective file management system is vital.

 

There are a number of different ways that brokers tend to approach file management, with varying levels of complexity and success. Ultimately though there are two types of file management system in a brokers office; one paper and one digital. Each of these systems have their own benefits and their own problems, but neither is an ideal solution.

Paper File Management has its Advantages

 

Paper file management systems have obvious drawbacks. Storing every document you receive on paper may keep the regulator happy, but it takes up a huge amount of physical space. It’s also a pretty laborious process. But it has advantages too. Effective paper file management systems will have individual sections within each file for particular document types. If everything is placed in the right section of a particular file, all documents will be properly categorized and relatively easy to find.

 

The ‘if’ in that last sentence also points to the main drawback with a digital file management system. Storing and searching for files digitally is fast and efficient so managing your files in digital format seems like the most straightforward solution. In most cases it is, but there’s still that ‘if’.

 

‘If’ is the most Dangerous word in your File Management System

 

The ‘if’ for both paper and digital file management systems is, ‘if they’re used correctly’. Paper files can be placed in the wrong segment of a folder. Payslips could end up in the bank statement segment for example. With a digital file management system you get a similar problem. Two people can read, edit and store the same document under two completely different file names or in different file types. That disparity can make it really difficult to find a particular file, especially if you’re searching for something that was saved by a colleague.

 

The natural solution to both of these problems is to create a file management system that is the best of both worlds. Paper filing is not a sustainable long-term solution and is too slow for modern needs so this system must be digital. The clear benefit of paper systems is the unique structure applied by you when you set it up.

 

In a digital environment you can implement a similar structure but that structure needs to be more than just procedure. You need a system that defines where a document should go based on a pre-defined file type, as soon as you create it. The Brokerprove system fulfills these needs with it’s in built file management structure.

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