Box vs. SharePoint: Which is best for your RIA firm?


Many RIAs rely on one of the two leading content management software: Box and Microsoft SharePoint. Both are widely known for their powerful features, seamless integrations, and enhanced security. So which is best for your RIA firm?

To help you select the best document management solution for your RIA firm, let’s take a look at what each has to offer and how they stack up against each other.

What is Box?

Box is a cloud service that provides more than just file sharing and storage. It comes with collaboration, encryption, and integration tools that let RIAs easily create and access content from anywhere using any internet-connected device. The platform also offers enterprise-grade security and monitoring, ensuring all of your client and proprietary data remain secure and compliant with federal securities laws.

What’s more, Box integrates with over a thousand enterprise apps. This allows RIAs to open, edit, and save files directly to Box from the business software they use the most, speeding up workflows and letting them get more work done. Box also integrates with leading security solutions, adding multiple layers of protection to your tools and data without impeding the flow of your work.

What is SharePoint?

SharePoint is Microsoft’s cloud-based solution that lets employees collaborate via an internal website that can be accessed from any computer or mobile device. It provides your RIAs with the ability to manage content, access and work on files simultaneously, track processes and workflows, and share important company-wide information all in one platform.

SharePoint also comes with several built-in security features, including the ability to limit third parties who can see your content. It also allows you to set permissions on which RIAs and staff have access to certain data or sites, and create policies to allow or block access to content based on a user’s location.

Box vs. SharePoint: Features and support

When choosing a document management solution for your RIA firm, it’s important to think about how its functionality aligns with the specific needs and requirements of your RIAs and staff.

What Box offers

Beyond helping you organize digital records, Box lets you create and track workflows and set up rules to automate tasks. This makes it easy to manage repeatable processes, such as setting reminders to review documents and updating advisory contracts.

Box also lets you securely share files and folders with clients and third parties with its shared and direct links features. This means you can either provide them with a shared link that takes them to a preview screen for a document, or a direct link that initiates a download of the file. Either way, Box lets you set robust viewing and editing permissions on files, enable folder controls, and apply security classifications so that people only see the information meant for them.

Additionally, Box offers three tiers of support, ensuring you have access to the right resources and people you need to keep work moving. All Box accounts come with standard support, which covers general and specialist help during local business hours. Premier support, on the other hand, includes always-on, high-touch assistance and access to growth specialists, while enhanced support provides 24/7/365 multichannel assistance, prioritized ticket response, yearly on-site training, and more.

What SharePoint offers

SharePoint is primarily known for its ease of use and built-in multipurpose functionality. Depending on your needs, you can use SharePoint as a document management system, a collaboration software, or an intranet.

SharePoint touts powerful capabilities that allow you to securely organize and manage content throughout the content life cycle, from creation to archiving. For instance, with SharePoint’s document version control feature, you can create a single document and allow multiple users to continuously update it. The software keeps a record of all the changes made to the document, allowing you to revert back to an earlier version, if needed.

Also, SharePoint has robust permissions features, allowing you to configure file access/editing privileges based on the functional requirements of users and other security considerations. For example, you can set permissions that let people outside your company view or edit only a single document, or grant them access to only a specific folder. This helps you keep sensitive information, such as contracts and other documents containing proprietary data, secure.

Because it’s a Microsoft service, SharePoint offers support that includes 24/7 access to a fleet of experts and a vast library of resources. And, it integrates seamlessly with all the Microsoft Office apps you use, like Word, Excel, Outlook, and others.

Which is the right choice for your RIA firm?

Both software solutions make collaboration seamless, while easily integrating with leading business apps. However, if your RIA firm already operates in a Microsoft environment, or you need more customization and flexibility, then SharePoint is your best bet. Plus, it’s likely available as part of your current Microsoft subscription, which means you won’t need to spend more of your IT budget on a different subscription service.

You’ll need a specialized managed IT services provider like RIA WorkSpace to install and configure SharePoint for your RIA firm’s unique needs. Call us today to get started.