How much of their time do your staff spend on document generation?
Hours? Days? Perhaps a week a month or more?
While you might not know the exact figures, we’re willing to bet it adds up to a significant chunk of their work week.
From prospectuses, KIIDs, and factsheets, to regulatory filings and internal reports, asset managers are faced with an ever growing list of documents they have to produce on a monthly — if not weekly — basis.
The kicker, though, is that most of these documents have to be compiled manually. Which means the process is not only frustratingly inefficient, but also prone to mistakes that could damage your customer relationships and land you in trouble with regulators.
But what if you could slash the time and effort it takes to generate these documents and increase their quality and accuracy in the bargain? All while freeing up your staff to work on more valuable — and, let’s face it, more stimulating — tasks?
What’s the deal with document generation?
The problem with document generation is that there’s a lot to do, not enough resources to cope, and too much reliance on systems and processes that — to put it bluntly — aren’t fit for purpose.
Since the 2008 financial crisis, the amount of regulation has exploded. In G20 countries, 50,000 new rules and regulations were enacted just between 2009 and 2012, with a further 50,000 new rules and updates in 2015.
This rapid pace of change shows no sign of slowing down. As of 2019, financial services firms deal with an average of 220 regulatory updates a day. And that’s excluding major regulatory changes such as PRIIPs and ISDA’s initial margin requirements for non-cleared derivatives.
The asset management industry seems to be mostly in favour of more regulation. A survey of European asset managers, for instance, found that 76% believe regulation has improved product transparency, 71% think it has enhanced investor protection, and 69% think it has made another financial crisis less likely.
But, positive or not, the fact of the matter is that mounting regulation has created a huge administrative burden, with compliance staff having to generate hundreds — if not thousands — of documents on a regular basis.
Stuck in the past
If generating reports and other documents has become a major undertaking, the processes most firms have in place to do this haven’t kept up.
In the course of our work, we often find that client data is heavily siloed and stored using outdated methods like Excel spreadsheets and Word docs. Leaving aside how easily these tools can get corrupted — especially when you’re dealing with large volumes of data — this way of working means your staff have to get themselves into all sorts of contortions just to put together a simple PDF.
Let’s say compliance needs to create a report for the regulator.
On paper, it’s an easy task: gather the data, compile what you need into a new document, and send it off. But because the data is spread all over the place, what seems straightforward can quickly become a multi-day ordeal.
First, you’ll have to track down who actually owns the data. Marketing? Sales? Perhaps the traders?
Then, a staff member will need to physically create a new document, manually copy and paste every entry, and organise the fields so that the data is organised in the prescribed format.
Manual copy-paste is time-consuming, tedious, and inherently prone to manual error.
But, what’s even worse is that you might not even be able to verify whether the source documents are up to date and accurate in the first place.
What if your documents could generate themselves?
Creating reports and documents doesn’t have to make your staff’s hearts sink and clog up their schedule. By using technology, you can slash the time it takes by up to 60%.
Fundipedia, for instance, can generate KIIDs, mandates, sales prospectuses, and other documents in just a few clicks. You can create custom workflows, including approval and sign off processes, so you’re in control of how (and when) a document is published. And you can disseminate documents easily by email, SFTP, or through our comprehensive API.
Best of all, you can upload documents — manually, in batches of 100, or via our API — to our platform for storage, and tag and categorise them so they’re easy to find. Which means you can create a centralised repository of accurate, up-to-date information you can access whenever you need it.
Manual processes are unsustainable
With regulators continually refining old rules and looking at new areas to regulate, it’s safe to say the number of documents you’ll need to start generating regularly will increase in 2021 and beyond. Seeing as the stakes higher than they’ve ever been — in 2019, reporting mistakes cost regulated firms £62.6 million — relying on the old way of doing things is simply not good enough.
Manual processes and outdated tools like Word and Excel might be your comfort zone. But, far from being a safe bet, they’re putting you increasingly at risk.
Why take your chances, when there’s a simpler, quicker, better way?
Want to learn more about how Fundipedia can help you take the effort out of document generation and reclaim your staff’s valuable time?