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How Digital Document Management Helps You Meet Compliance Obligations

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Neither FINRA nor the SEC certifies any technology system as “compliant.”

It is the combination of thoughtful procedures with enabling technology that make your firm compliant.

With extensive recordkeeping and retention requirements, you must find a way to work at maximum efficiency while meeting compliance directives, all without compromising customer service or reducing your firm’s profitability.

A quality digital document management solution can help you meet these challenges cost-effectively by easing the burden of compliance, increasing the security of information and reducing the costs associated with paper storage and retrieval.

General Compliance Guidelines for Digital Document Management Systems

  • You must be able to retrieve records on demand.
  • Your images and database must be stored on acceptable media.
  • You must maintain your records in an unalterable format.
  • You must store your documents on unalterable media (CD or DVD), or you must use audit trail tracking that clearly identifies the original dates that images were captured into your system.
  • For FINRA-registered advisors, a copy of your records must be maintained by a third party, independent from your operation—not your broker-dealer. These copies must be readily available to auditors.
  • Your system must have reasonable controls to ensure integrity, accuracy and reliability.
  • Your system must have reasonable controls to prevent and detect unauthorized creation of, additions to, alterations of or deletion of records.
  • Your system must have reasonable controls to prevent and detect records deterioration.
  • Your system must have an indexing system facilitating document retrieval.
  • You must be able to print copies of records when required.
  • Your system must be able to cross-reference with other recordkeeping systems and software. You should be able to produce all applications within a specific date range, or all correspondence from a particular date.
  • Your system must have documentation on how the software works and how it is set up.

For more information and best practices on developing your firm’s document management procedures, download your copy of the whitepaper, “How Digital Document Management Solutions Support Compliance.” 

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