Office 365 For Advisor Compliance

Monday, May 18, 2015 19:05
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When you open a document in Office 365 that was edited by another user, or by you on another device, all of the changes are highlighted in green.

 
This is not Microsoft Word’s “Track Changes” feature that many veteran Office users know how to use. It's a new thing and and example of what it looks like is in the screen-cap below showing how Office 365 highlights in green changes to a document made by those with permission to edit it in Office 365. (Office 365 is the cloud version of the Microsoft productivity that  everyone loves to hate but that remains the most powerful suite in for creating content and sharing it in a regulated business.)
 
 
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Office 365 Training For Advisors is the most recent online class in series of 12 monthly sessions for RIA owners, chief compliance officers, and chief operating officers at state- or SEC-registered investment advisers as well as consultants. Learn how to set up Office 365’s built-in features to satisfy regulatory compliance requirements at this webinar. Robert Clark, founder of LucidPointe, a Microsoft Cloud Partner specializing in helping advisors migrate to Office 365, and shows how Office 365 enables:
• Journaling
• Archiving
• Auditing
• Retention policies and tags
• Data loss prevention
• Scanning for sensitive data
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When you collaborate with your team by sharing documents, Office 365 can store all previous versions of each document and maintains an audit trail on every document. Since RIAs need to be WORM compliant, this feature is important. In this webinar we cover how this Office 365 feature, while not giving you WORM technology, gives an RIA the same effect. While Office 365 is not set up out of the box to be used this way, it is a way to meet regulatory requirements using a combination of policies and best practices.
 
In a regulated industry, financial professionals need a platform for sharing documents among a team comprised of staff, vendors, institutions and other professionals. Office 365 is the best platform for this purpose in an investment advisory practice because it gives you the greatest flexibility in cloud collaboration and content creation using the powerful Microsoft Office Suite. But you need to make it work for your RIA by making some changes to settings and doing some other important detailed set-up tasks involving technology. In the webinar, Clark explains those details and answers questions.
 
The screen-caps below, for example, show how to access Office 365's trail of previous versions of every document are accessble anytime from the cloud.
 
It used to be that you had to hire a Microsoft certified technican to change these settings. Now, you do it on your own.
 
I will ask a compliance consultant or two to comment on whether the version control feature is a good way for an RIA using Office 365 to comply with books and records rules. 
 
Microsoft Exchange for Office 365 For Archiving Emails 
Robert Clark, in this session, talks about how to set up Office 365's Exchange email platform to journal all emails to an external third-party site to satisfy email compliance requirements for RIAs. On the webinar, Clark also talks about and how the archiving feature in Office 365 is not the same as using an email archiving app, like Global Relay, Erado. Archiving apps and compliance consultants should please feel free to make their case for using these apps versus setting up journaling yourself to a third-party or other remote site in Office 365.
 
This topic confused one attendee, who slammed us in his comment below for being misleading by advertising that this webinar would deal with how to use Office 365 to comply with SEC and state regulation of RIAs.  Since the overall rating for the session was a a 4.9 rating out of 5, it is fair to say that the attendee misunderstood. This is a complicated evolving technology solutoin and it invoilves a regulatory matter, so let's crowdsource the answer by asking a compliance professional or someone from the archiving apps to opine on this topic. To the advisor who slammed us, I am sorry and want to try to clear up any confusion.

 The 4.9 rating is pretty amazing, considering the technical nature of the subject. I thought Robert was fantatsic and I learned a lot.

 If you have  compliance questions for Robert Clark about Office 365, please post them here.

This was the fitth session in our monthly series for advisors on using Office 365 and each session attracts a handful of new subscribers to the ongoing 12-class course. You get 24/7 access for subscribing to the series for $99 a year and it's discounted $10 for A4A menbers using  discount code: A4AMEMBER  

 

Robert’s average rating: 4.9

 

Comments:

It was Awesome!

Very good, as usual. Thank you,

The title of the program was misleading.  It specifically states "Compliance" and Robert specifically stated in his presentation that he is not a compliance expert.  I got the impression that Office 365 can handle archiving, it cannot.  I need to hire another service which I'm sure would be happy to walk me through the set up process.  And lastly, Robert only knew about Redtail Archiving and not the many other common players in this industry, Smarsh and Erado.  Very disappointed.

I would have loved to spend much less time talking about E3 and start up stuff (repeat for most of us I am sure) and getting right down to business instead.

 

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Comments (1)

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rtclark
Robert here. Wanted to be clear from the start of the presentation that it was about Office 365, in which I am an expert, and how Office 365 supports certain, but not all, related compliance needs of ia's. As we illustrated, there are features that sound like they may present a comprehensive solution - but do not. We talked about Office 365 journaling and used Redtail as an example of an archive destination for the data....the key is a separate application is necessary as Microsoft expressly prohibits 'looping back' journaled output into Office 365. Compliance is a topic that goes far beyond journaling...Office 365 has features that help an ia be compliant, but...as we covered on the call and across the entire series...the drivers to adopt Office 365 are the capabilities it introduces to help an ia run their firm/practice better....collaboration and sharing, a flexible platform that allows for multiple ways to get work done, and the economics of the cloud...
rtclark , May 26, 2015

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