Common quick-fix IT problems at RIA firms

Common quick-fix IT problems at RIA firms

As a registered investment advisor (RIA), you rely on your computer systems to do your job effectively and efficiently. But what happens when something goes wrong? From printing problems to data syncing errors, day-to-day IT issues can throw a wrench into your workflow.

We work mostly with RIAs with between 5 and 25 people, and when we start working with them, there are some common small issues that they’ve been struggling with.  Below is a cheat sheet of the most common IT problems RIAs have told us they struggled with, and how to solve them. Bookmark this page for quick reference the next time you come across an IT issue.


Many printing issues can be resolved by restarting your printer or computer. Doing so will refresh your system and may clear up any software glitches that are causing printing problems. If that doesn’t work, try the following:

  • Make sure that your printer is turned on and connected to your computer. Check that the printer or Ethernet cables are plugged in securely or that the wireless connection is active.
  • Update or reinstall your printer driver. You can usually do this through your printer’s control panel or the manufacturer’s website.
  • Check the print queue. Documents may be stuck in the queue and need to be manually cleared before you can print again.
  • Restart the print spooler. This is a software service that manages the printing process. To restart it, open the Services control panel by typing “Services” in the Windows search bar and hitting Enter. Find Print Spooler in the list of services, right-click it, and select Stop in the menu. Wait for a few seconds as the service is terminated, and once it’s stopped, right-click Print Spooler again and select Start.


Troubleshooting scanning problems is similar to troubleshooting printing problems. Often, resolving a scanner issue requires nothing more than restarting your scanner or computer. Checking that your scanner is properly connected and updating your scanner driver can also be helpful.

If you’re still having trouble scanning a document, try the following:

  • Clean the scanner glass. Smudges or fingerprints on the glass can interfere with the scanning process.
  • Adjust the scan settings. Sometimes you need to change the resolution, color mode, or file format in order for the document to scan properly.
  • Verify that Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) is running. This is a software service that manages communication between scanners and computers. To check if it’s running, open the Services control panel and find Windows Image Acquisition. WIA is working correctly if its status is set to “Started” or “Running” and the Startup Type is “Automatic.”
  • If the status is “Disabled” or there is no displayed status, right-click Windows Image Acquisition. Click Properties > General, then select “Automatic” from the Startup Type menu and click Start.

Connecting to the internet with a VPN

A virtual private network (VPN) is critical to securely connecting to the internet, especially when working remotely. If you can’t connect to your VPN, try the following:

  • Double-check your login credentials. Make sure you’re using the correct username and password, and that your password hasn’t expired.
  • Uninstall and reinstall your VPN client software. This will ensure that you have the latest version with all the necessary updates.
  • If you’re not using a Secure Sockets Layer VPN, check that your internet service provider is not blocking IP addresses associated with your VPN provider.
  • Reach out to your IT partner or managed IT services provider (MSP) to check if there are any changes that have been made or need to be made to your network firewall.

Block an email

By default, Office 365 quarantines phishing and other potentially malicious emails, holding them in a separate folder so that they can’t be delivered to your inbox. You have two options for dealing with these emails: block the sender or release the email from quarantine.

To block an email, log in to the quarantine dashboard and select the message you want to block. Click the Block Sender button at the top of the message preview pane. The sender will be added to your Blocked Senders list, and future messages from that sender will be automatically quarantined.

If you’re still receiving messages from a sender you’ve blocked, contact your IT partner or MSP. They can investigate and take additional steps to stop the messages from getting through.

Release an email

If you receive an email that’s been incorrectly quarantined, you can release it from the quarantine dashboard as well. Simply log in to the dashboard and select the message you want to release. Click the Release button and the message will be delivered to your inbox.

If you find that a lot of emails are being quarantined, you may need to adjust your organization’s spam filtering settings. In this case, reach out to your IT partner or MSP.

Giving access to a specific file or folder

Sometimes you need to give another user access to a local file or folder on your computer, or a file or folder that’s stored in SharePoint.

  • Local file or folder: To give another user access to a local file or folder, you’ll need to add them as a member of the security group that has permissions to that file or folder. Your IT partner or MSP can help you with this.
  • SharePoint file or folder: Azure Active Directory Security Groups are used to control access to SharePoint sites. To give a user access to a specific file or folder in SharePoint, an administrator will need to add them to the appropriate security group. Reach out to your IT partner or MSP to get this done.

Syncing data in SharePoint

You may notice that the changes you make to files stored in SharePoint are not appearing on your local computer, or that changes made locally are not being reflected in SharePoint.

The system will usually automatically provide you with instructions to resolve sync issues. For example, if a folder name contains unsupported characters, you’ll be given the option to rename it. Or, if a file cannot be saved for specific reasons, SharePoint will suggest possible solutions, such as overwriting the existing file, merging the changes, and creating another copy of the file.

Related reading: Many RIAs fail to backup SharePoint. Change that with these tips

If you’re still having trouble resolving these common IT issues, our experts at RIA WorkSpace are here to help. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can support your RIA firm.