Product Guides

Guide to Document Management for Finance Startups and Financial Institutions

June 7, 2022

Financial institutions and startups rely heavily on document management and generation in their operations.

Since these documents contain data about their business – their clients, processes, and other important business decisions, it’s essential they’re error-free and accurate.

Processing and analyzing the data provide financial institutions the basis for making an informed decision. 

In an increasingly digital economy where information in business documents has become easier to review and use in decision making, document management and automation must be a top priority.  

Financial institutions and startups cannot understate the importance of document management. 

This could spell the difference between the success and failure of your business. 

In addition to making a data-based decision, you have to make sure important documents don’t get leaked, everything is securely stored in one place, and the right people can access the right documents instantly.

Thus, it’s a no-brainer for financial organizations to implement a document management system.

Which is exactly what we’ll cover below.

Here’s what we’ll cover below:

  • Getting Started with Document Management for Finance Startups 
  • 5 Essential Document Management System Features For Finance Startups And Organizations
  • Document Management Automation: The Right Solution For Your Financial Organization?

Getting Started with Document Management for Finance Startups 

A document is a piece of written, printed, or electronic record of data or information relevant to your business. 

Business documents include regulatory papers, company policies, contracts, communication messages, and more.

We may not be conscious of it, but these documents go through a lifecycle from inception to disposal. 

Typically, a document management lifecycle includes the following steps: 

  • Creation.
  • Sharing.
  • Review.
  • Storage.
  • Deletion or archival.
graphic that shows the lifecycle of the document

With all the types of documents in a business going through all these processes, it can be tricky, if not difficult, to keep track of all of them. 

According to research, it takes an average of 18 minutes to find a document. And employees spend up to 2 hours each day looking for files and work documents.

All these hours in a day add up to a significant time in a year just looking for documents. 

In addition to being unnecessarily time-consuming, your employees could be spending their time on more productive and important tasks. Instead of manual tasks they probably hate doing.

This is where document automation and management come in.

Document management is the process of automating document filing, distributing, storing, and retrieving physical or electronic files

All this happens through an electronic document management system software, which essentially helps companies streamline document management throughout their lifecycle. 

For documents that are frequently used, having templates on hand is a must. 

Document templates are pre-created formatted forms that contain or gather the information necessary for their intended users. 

Here’s an example of what a dynamic financial template can look like from SampleTemplates.

how a dynamic financial template looks like

For more examples, other types of financial documents to automate often include:

  • Information notices.
  • Invoices and bills.
  • Tax documents.
  • Agreements and claims.
  • Request forms.
  • Customer service communication.
  • Purchase orders
  • Demand notices
  • And more.

Now that you have an idea of how financial startups and organizations can use automated document management, let’s take a look at some essential features that make all this possible.

Then, we’ll help you decide on whether or not document management is the right solution for your financial team below.

5 Essential Document Management System Features For Finance Startups And Organizations

A sound document management system should be able to accommodate everything a financial company needs within its document workflow and operations

As mentioned above, document automation enables financial institutions to electronically design and use standardized documents to: 

  • Create.
  • Collect.
  • Share.
  • Process.
  • Store
  • And retrieve data for workflow efficiency.

In short, automated document generation is a great way to save time and money.

That’s because, according to research:

  • Workers spend 19% of their time searching for and gathering information. Which then accounts for them losing 50% of their time every week.
  • And they spend 30% of their time searching for, managing, and preparing data. And 20% on duplicating work.
  • Additionally, you save money on printing and other paper-based operations. Most businesses that go paperless achieve full ROI within 12 months.

Now, let’s get back on track and explore some essential document management system features that make all this possible for finance teams. 

Functionality

First, you’ll want to determine if the document management system is an ideal fit for your financial organization.

Check whether it will function solely for managing files or documents or whether you can integrate it into other systems used by the business for communications, scheduling, or other areas of operation.

In terms of integration, you should be looking into how seamlessly it plugs into your existing system and tools like:

  • Your CRM.
  • Segment.
  • Zapier.
  • Document management software.
  • And others.

See our guide on automated PDF generation for financial digital transformation for more info on how this works.

automated document generation graphic

You also want a document management system that is intelligent and capable of understanding organizational hierarchy

Ensure that the system has extensive search functionality such as categorization and tagging to allow users to retrieve data instantly.

Collaboration

Your document management system should be designed to allow collaboration across departments. All while being secure so that only certain people can access specific documents.

This way, you can also ensure no sensitive information or customer financial data leaks or gets out.

Since it’s extremely common to work across different departments in financial organizations, being able to collaborate on document management is a great way to save time.

It allows immediate feedback across the hierarchy of an organization. 

If your document management system allows for document collaboration, then the rules for sharing and permission to access documents must be clearly spelled out. 

To take this a step further, you can also incorporate user role setup and management

This means that there are different user roles in your software security management system with different permissions.

This way, someone who’s a new hire in your financial organization will not be able to access your oldest client data straightaway, for example.

Or, alternatively, you can set it up so they can view the document but not make any edits.

These user roles include:

  • Primary owner.
  • Admin.
  • Editor.
  • Contributor.
  • And viewer.

Of course, the actual actions allowed in the tool depend on its functionality and you can choose custom access permissions as needed.

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
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Storage and retrieval

A sound document management system must be cloud-based

This will allow employees to share and retrieve documents at any time and place, depending on the rules sharing and permission guidelines. Cloud storage also allows for bulk management and more flexible work arrangements set up in the business. 

Additionally, easy retrieval of documents helps when quick business decisions have to be made. 

And if the workforce is on remote work, having access to these documents will help facilitate business operations. 

Instant document retrieval is something we take for granted.

Compared to traditional office work, the average worker makes around 61 trips per week to the fax machine, printer, copier, and so on, when it comes to paper-based management.

For finance startups, that’s a lot of time saved.

Security and confidentiality

Security and confidentiality of data and information are of utmost importance in financial institutions. 

One of the risks that financial institutions face has to do with data breaches

There must be controls for documents containing sensitive and confidential information such as client data and credit card details

It is crucial for controlled documents and the people who are given access to them to be clearly identified. Care in handling these documents should always be a top priority.

You’ll also want to comply with GDPR, FINRA, SEC, GLBA, and other industry-standard compliance. Otherwise, compliance violations often result in fines of up to $100,000 as an organization and $10,000 as an individual.

In terms of encryption, you should also be taking advantage of:

  • AES 256 encryption.
  • Customizable access rights.
  • One-time-viewing.
  • Auto-deletion.
  • And more. 

For a more detailed breakdown of this, see how Inkit Render helps financial services for the full list of benefits finance teams gain from proper document management systems.

Cost and human resource efficiency

A document management system is a business expense that finance startups need to invest in. 

In the long run, it will be more cost-efficient for a business to have a cloud-based document management system than expensive office hardware. 

In addition to enjoying the fastest customer response, reducing staffing, and overall higher productivity for finance teams, according to InformDecisions.

Infographic on the benefits of going paperless in the office

Having the system will also save your workforce minutes and hours in a day spent in financial document creation, sharing, storage, and retrieval

In addition, efficient document workflow will enhance your operations, allowing the business to focus on other important areas of work.

See how operations teams benefit from document management systems in our why go paperless guide. 

Document Management Automation: The Right Solution For Your Financial Organization?

Is document management automation the right solution for your financial institution?

Implementing a DMS should be based on timing, cost, and productivity.

Here’s how that works.

Timing 

As a finance startup, you might be thinking that implementing a document management system in your organization might take too long.

But any time is a good time to implement a document management system. 

Having one in place even if the business is just starting out has its advantages

At some point, the volume of documents that your business will be handling will slow down your operations and more of your workforce hours will be spent looking for and retrieving documents. 

Putting in place a document management system early on will make your business operations more efficient. And as your operations grow and become more complicated, you will have the security of a solid system in place that can grow with your business needs. 

Investment 

A document management system for finance startups is a good investment. 

It will streamline operations and the workforce and help the business use time for other aspects of operations that require human connection, such as client relations. 

It also helps the business save on costs of purchasing paper-based equipment.

Though, as mentioned above, most businesses (financial or not) achieved full ROI within 12 months after going paperless. 

On that note, this is one of the main reasons to go paperless for financial organizations.

Productivity 

One of the main purposes of a document management system is to improve how you and your team work together.

Establishing a document management system early on will also save the business a significant amount of time managing data and documents.

Lesser time spent on repetitive administrative and financial processes will increase workforce productivity and help you get more things done. 

Here are a few other things that a good document management system service also does:

  • It offers solutions to tracking your financial company's accounts.
  • It supports (and in a few cases) automates claims and customer management.
  • It optimizes your document lifecycle and data flow through your company and its communications.
  • It applies your business rules and terms to data as it flows through your system.
  • And more.

Conclusion 

The importance of using technology for more efficient business operations and communications is undeniable. 

With millions of messages and financial operations done on a daily basis, financial institutions can get a huge boost from document automation.

With the proper document management system, you can essentially automate the creation of documents such as:

  • Invoices and bills.
  • Cash receipts.
  • Financial statements.
  • Customer agreement forms.
  • Contracts.
  • Credit reports.
  • Bills and e-statements.
  • And more.

Of course, document automation is where the benefits only start.

Other than that, you’ll also enjoy converting raw data into secure PDFs, while ensuring industry-leading security features, compliance, and more.

Need more specific information on the full list of benefits and how the features work, especially for your financial organization?

Be sure to check out how Inkit Render helps financial services organizations and how you can be using safe document generation and storage!

Out-of-the-box PDF generation
The easiest way to automatically generate and manage paperless documents at scale.
By submitting this form, I confirm that I have read and understood Inkit's Privacy Policy.
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