How financial services can achieve faster document generation

Chloe Stevens
Senior Content Manager
February 14, 2024

In the fast-paced landscape of financial services, the way your team builds documents has a significant impact on overall business success.

Whether conveyed through a pitchbook, email correspondence, or your website, the quality of client and prospect engagement hinges on the standard of your documentation. A subpar deliverable could tarnish the trust your clients have in your business and impact market perceptions.

Not only that, ‘digital debt’ is becoming increasingly challenging for businesses; particularly in the finance sector, where a staggering 30% of investment bankers spend up to 40 hours in Microsoft 365 crafting documents, time that could be redirected towards more strategic pursuits.

So, how can financial services achieve faster document generation while ensuring high-quality output?

Read on to discover our expert tips on building documents faster in Microsoft 365.

Start with standardized Office 365 templates

The first step to generating documents faster is building and distributing high-quality templates. These templates serve as the cornerstone for document creation, making it easier for teams to maintain brand consistency and save valuable time in the process.

UpSlide’s design experts, Amelie and Marianne, have been helping clients in the financial services create powerful corporate templates for years and have shared some invaluable tips to consider when building templates:

Ensure consistency across all template elements

Align titles, subtitles and footers from one slide to the next, and use the same colour palette throughout.

Limit text in documents that will be presented orally

Create an alternative, more detailed template to send as a written follow-up.

Reserve space for logos

Ensure your and your client’s logo looks high-quality by having a dedicated placeholder with a white background.

Create dividers for documents that include 15+ slides

It gives your audience a chance to pause and also provides an opportunity to highlight your brand values. For example, we include our B Corp Certified logo on our divider template.

Diagram showing how to standardize your Microsoft 365 templates

Read this blog to find out more tips on building user-friendly templates

You must also gather your front-line teams’ input in the early stages of building the templates. There is no point in creating something that is aesthetically pleasing but doesn’t suit your employees’ needs or use cases, as it will inevitably be left unused. We also recommend conducting training sessions once the template is built to ensure they know how to use it properly.

Once you’ve created your high-quality templates, your workforce will be in a much better position to generate documents faster.

Access business marketing materials via a centralized repository

Inefficient content management and distribution create challenges for multiple teams within your business. Your marketing team loses visibility on the documents being sent out to clients so can’t guarantee they’re up-to-date, high-quality, or brand consistent.

Your junior bankers spend too much time sourcing the right information and materials – especially when they’re collaborating with global colleagues across different time zones and departments.

The result? Inefficient processes, frustrated employees, and heightened brand and reputational risks.

Optimize content workflows in Microsoft 365 by embedding all business marketing materials into a centralized hub. This will enable your sales and consulting teams can instantly find quality, marketing-approved materials.

There are a number of content enablement tools on the market, like UpSlide, that enable teams to access every corporate document, template and asset from within PowerPoint, Excel or Word in seconds.

Since integrating UpSlide, the quality of documents produced across the company has increased.

It’s encouraged better engagement between marketing and the rest of the business, as we now have time to give more valuable advice on improving content quality, as opposed to just formatting.

Samantha Cottle

Marketing Director

Invest in document generation software

As mentioned in the section above, there are a few document automation tools on the market designed to help you achieve faster document generation.

While the features and offerings may change slightly, most software works to boost efficiency, guarantee brand consistency and ensure data accuracy.

Here’s a handy list of what to consider when choosing the right document generation tool for your business, from overall budget to the support you’ll need.  

Typically, the tools will offer template and content management functionalities, as well as PowerPoint, Excel and Word formatting features to help teams construct polished, professional documents faster.

In the short term, investing in automation will enable more efficient workflows and result in better-quality output. Looking towards the long-term, investing in document generation will help your company to remain competitive, win more business, and boost employee satisfaction.

Use Microsoft Office shortcuts

Even with the aid of software, mastering the native tools and shortcuts within Microsoft 365 is key to achieving faster document generation.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

Excel shortcuts

Discover our Excel shortcuts cheat sheet:

  • Ctrl + arrow keys = Navigate quickly through data.
  • Ctrl + H + E + F = Clear cell formats
  • Ctrl + Shift + “+” = Insert new cells
  • ↑ + < > = Select cell range

PowerPoint shortcuts

Here are a few of our favourite PowerPoint shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + M = Insert a new slide
  • Ctrl + ↑+ D = Duplicate a slide
  • Ctrl + G = Group
  • Alt + Shift + → = Demote a bullet point

Word shortcuts

Here are a few of our most-used Word shortcuts:

  • Ctrl + L or R = Align text left or right
  • Ctrl + < or > = Decrease or increase text size
  • Ctrl + ↑ + < or > = Select text to the left or right
  • Ctrl + alt + H = Highlight text

Use these shortcuts to become a power user in Excel, PowerPoint, and Word, unlocking the full potential of Microsoft Office for faster and more streamlined document creation.

Infographic showing top Microsoft Word keyboard shortcuts

The future of faster document generation

Throughout this article, we’ve shared many ways financial services companies can streamline document creation; from empowering teams with standardized templates and a centralized content hub, to investing in cutting-edge document generation software. Incorporate these practices into your workflows to save valuable time and elevate the quality of your documents.

And for those hungry for more efficiency tips in Microsoft 365 or seeking to solidify their brand identity, bookmark our Knowledge Hub for a wealth of resources.

Chloe Stevens
Chloe is a Senior Content and Social Media Manager with five years of experience in the finance and technology industries. She has a keen interest in writing about brand management and the different technologies that can improve the way we work.

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