Transaction Management (TM) systems have evolved greatly over the last five years. The Business Services team at AAR works hard to keep up-to-date on new systems and, in fact, has test accounts for many. When we look at TM systems, we consider several important aspects:

• Strength of security and robustness of server infrastructure.
• Agent-level features and user friendliness.
• Admin/broker level features and user friendliness.
• Presence of task lists and auto-notification.
• End-game policies for retention and access to documents after a broker changes TM companies.
• Training and support capabilities.
• Ability to integrate with other applications.
• Compliance with ADRE standards.

The compliance issue is one of the stickiest. Current ADRE rules and statements don’t specify a single vendor or approach. In our study of different approaches, we’ve come to the conclusion that all systems can keep brokers in compliance; the differences between systems lies in how much work the broker needs to do to keep in compliance. A system like SureClose® has many features that keep the broker in compliance, such as automatically triggered tasks with notifications of completion or missed deadlines. SureClose® does a lot of the work to keep a broker in compliance. However, simple document storage systems (such as Dropbox) could be considered a very primitive transaction management system but they require the broker to do all of the work to keep files in compliance; they only store the file. Other systems available to brokers lie somewhere in between these two examples.

As we move forward, AAR’s Business Services team is developing lists of questions or issues brokers should address as they review TM options. We’ll keep our brokers posted as we create and update these lists.