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Streamlining Wall Street: The Move from Email Folders to Integrated SaaS Workflows
3 min read

The Risks and Inefficiencies of Using Email Folders for Document Storage

person accidentally deleting an important emailIt can no longer be denied that the financial industry, particularly Wall Street firms, are increasingly reliant on digital systems as they conduct their day-to-day operations. Within this digital landscape, some Wall Street firms still opt to use email folders as a system for storing and sharing important business documents, instead of adopting a workflow Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. This approach may seem convenient, but it comes with numerous potential problems and inefficiencies. This article will delve into these drawbacks, emphasizing the importance of transitioning to an integrated workflow solution.

Problems Arising from Using Email Folders

  • Shared mailboxes:
    Shared email accounts, which are often integral in organizing and sharing documents, frequently lead to communication breakdowns and operational inefficiencies. Information stored in these accounts can be hard to find or even lost, which can lead to wasted time and energy. These accounts do not typically mandate specific access permissions and can be accessed by multiple employees, potentially causing sensitive data to be shared with unauthorized personnel.
  • Coordination concerns:
    Using email folders often creates confusion and added stress for employees as they collaborate on tasks and projects. Flagging, labeling, and replying to emails as well as storing and retrieving documents: all these activities simultaneously involve multiple team members. The lack of coordination and clarity inevitably results in tasks slipping through the cracks or being redundantly completed.
  • "junk" email tab filled with important messagesHuman error vulnerability:
    Depending on email folders for document storage heightens the risk of inadvertent mistakes, such as accidentally deleting important messages or failing to respond to a crucial request. When your business relies on email communication for critical tasks like fund verification and response, such oversights may incur severe consequences.
  • Compliance issues:
    Complying with regulatory requirements, such as the SEC’s Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) storage requirements, becomes more challenging when using email folders for document storage. The preservation of essential records and easier access during audits is significantly complicated by the use of email accounts.
  • T+1 settlement challenges:
    With the industry increasingly moving toward T+1 settlement, the volume of transactions and associated documentation will inevitably rise. Utilizing email folders as a storage system will simply exacerbate these challenges.
  • email being passed around between multiple team membersVersion and revision tracking:
    Having multiple document versions circulating via email compromises the ability to track changes, manage revisions, and pinpoint the most updated version. This can lead to errors and inefficiencies in operations and decision-making.

The Need for an Integrated Workflow SaaS Solution

Given these concerns, it is clear that the traditional use of email folders for storing and sharing business documents is unsustainable. A sophisticated, well-designed workflow SaaS solution can help Wall Street firms overcome these challenges, saving time and resources while enhancing security and compliance. Enhanced collaboration, easy access to up-to-date information, and an organized system are just a few of the benefits that adopting an integrated workflow solution can offer.


While the adoption of email folders for document storage may have been a logical choice in the past, it’s time for Wall Street firms to evolve and embrace dynamic workflow SaaS solutions. By transitioning to a robust and adaptive system, firms can streamline operations, improve collaboration, and mitigate risks, ensuring their long-term success in the ever-changing world of finance.

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