The popular online file sharing service meets regulatory record-keeping requirements with latest archiving functionality
In a press release today, ShareFile, the online file sharing service owned by Citrix, announced the availability of its Archiving for Financial Services compliance feature.
ShareFile, my 2012 Morningstar Advisor Best Back-Office Technology award winner, has been popular among financial advisers for its online file storage functionality much like Dropbox, Box, SugarSync, Google Drive, Microsoft SkyDrive, and many more.
But ShareFile’s focus on the specific needs and regulatory requirements of professionals in financial services has helped the company gain a sizable following relative to the generic competition.
According to the press release, ShareFile Archiving for Financial Services helps financial advisers satisfy SEC and FINRA record-keeping requirements “by offering retained, indexed, auditable and searchable records of client communications for the period required or longer.”
Below is a video from ShareFile with an overview of Archiving for Financial Services.
Consolidating Two Systems
Typically, advisers who use online file sharing services to exchange documents with clients and prospects maintain two separate systems in their back office.
One system is the online file sharing service that does just that; facilitates file sharing with individuals outside the adviser’s network infrastructure.
But most advisers then maintain a second system that satisfies the record-keeping requirements imposed by the SEC and FINRA. Two systems are necessary, because consumer file sharing services (i.e. Dropbox) just aren’t built with the regulatory record-keeping requirements in mind.
For advisers using ShareFile Archiving for Financial Services, two systems should no longer be necessary to satisfy the record-keeping requirements.
A Document Management Solution?
With the addition of Archiving for Financial Services, is ShareFile now a contender among document management providers?
I believe the answer is no.
Archiving for Financial Services is a very useful addition, and it will eliminate the need to run two separate systems to facilitate file sharing and to maintain adequate record-keeping systems. But document management requires more than just indexed, auditable, and searchable records of client communications.
Document management systems offer metadata tagging and document profiling for every record stored in the system, and automated workflow is also frequently supported.
So for advisers who lack a true document management system (and surveys consistently show that there are a large number of such firms), ShareFile combined with Archiving for Financial Services is a convenient way to get two features from the same product.
But for firms already using document management systems with native record-keeping compliance, Archiving for Financial Services is unnecessary.
Nevertheless, ShareFile’s ease of use and mobile device compatibility still makes it a strong contender for online file sharing with clients, prospects, and colleagues.
For more details about Archiving for Financial Services, visit the ShareFile Blog and read New feature allows ShareFile to help financial firms achieve compliance