Why your RIA should ditch OneDrive and Use SharePoint Instead

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SharePoint and OneDrive, two of Microsoft’s cloud-based collaboration platforms, are designed to help businesses manage, store, and share their documents and data. While both platforms offer similar functionalities, some distinct features make SharePoint a better choice for your registered investment advisory (RIA) firm.

Let’s discuss these features to understand why SharePoint stands out for RIAs and financial advisors.

Real-time document collaboration

One of the key features that make SharePoint better than OneDrive is its real-time document collaboration capability. By default, OneDrive files can only be edited and viewed by the owner of the library, and files need to be explicitly shared with others for collaboration.

On the other hand, SharePoint allows multiple users to edit a document simultaneously, making it easier for your RIA team to collaborate and work on projects together in real time. Not only does this feature improve efficiency, but it also ensures that all team members have access to the latest version of a document.

Secure file sharing and access control

RIAs and financial advisors deal with sensitive financial information, so security is crucial when it comes to document sharing. SharePoint offers advanced security features that allow RIAs to control who can access, view, or edit specific files and folders. OneDrive does not provide this level of granular access control, as files are either shared with everyone or restricted to specific individuals.

Additionally, SharePoint’s integration with Active Directory allows for central management of user access, making it easier for administrators to control permissions and ensure data security.

Security groups and permissions

Related to the previous point, SharePoint also offers the option to create security groups with specific permissions for different types of documents. This allows administrators to control access at a group level rather than having to manage individual user permissions for each document.

For example, your RIA firm can have a “confidential” security group where only certain members have access to sensitive documents, while another group can have access to less sensitive documents. With this level of control, document management becomes more efficient and secure.

File versioning and document history

In the financial industry, it is essential to keep track of document versions and changes for compliance purposes. SharePoint offers advanced version control features that allow RIAs to see a complete history of changes made to a document, who made them, and when they were made.

SharePoint’s file versioning is particularly useful when multiple team members are collaborating on a document, as it provides an audit trail for any changes made. OneDrive also has a versioning feature, but it is limited to only the last few versions of a document and does not provide detailed information on changes.

File archiving and retention policies

RIAs are required to comply with various regulations and often need to retain documents for a certain period. SharePoint offers the ability to archive files, set retention policies, and even create legal holds on specific documents.

This feature is beneficial for RIAs, as it supports compliance with regulatory requirements, such as SEC Rule 17a-4, which mandates that certain financial records must be retained for a specific period. OneDrive does not offer similar archiving and retention capabilities, making it challenging for RIAs to remain compliant.

Data loss prevention (DLP) capabilities

Another critical feature that makes SharePoint a better choice for RIAs is its DLP capabilities. DLP allows administrators to create policies that prevent users from sharing sensitive information outside the organization or exposing it to unauthorized individuals. Such capabilities are especially important in the financial industry, where data breaches can have far-reaching consequences.

OneDrive does not have DLP capabilities, making it less suitable for RIAs who need to ensure the security and privacy of their clients’ financial information.

Listen to our podcast about data loss prevention for RIAs and financial advisors.

All-in-one solution for content management

While OneDrive focuses on document storage and sharing, SharePoint offers a broader range of features that make it an all-in-one solution for content management. In addition to document collaboration, security, and compliance features, SharePoint also includes tools for project management, workflow automation, and business intelligence. This makes SharePoint a more comprehensive platform for your RIA or financial advisory firm, as it can cater to a wide range of business needs in one centralized location.

Ultimately, SharePoint emerges as a powerhouse for RIAs seeking a robust, secure, and collaborative document management solution. With its advanced features and capabilities, SharePoint provides your RIA firm with the necessary tools to streamline business processes, ensure compliance, and enhance productivity. Consider making the switch to SharePoint today and see the difference it can make.

Our team at RIA WorkSpace is here to help you with the migration process and provide ongoing support for your SharePoint needs. Contact us today to learn more.