How to set up clients with paperless documents

How to set up clients with paperless documents

Paperless documents offer electronic delivery instead of by mail. Paperless Document categories include:

  • Statements & Account Documents
  • Trade Confirmations
  • Shareholder Materials Tooltip
  • Tax Forms Tooltip (Includes 1099 composites, 5498, 1099R, and 1099INT)

You can invite clients to enroll into paperless, however, to complete enrollment, the client must provide consent.

To set up clients with paperless documents you will need the following:

  • Access Paperless Documents Enrollment Tooltip
  • A valid email address

This process may be used to assist a group of clients with enrolling in paperless documents.

  1. Go to the Accounts section at Schwab Advisor Center, click Profiles, choose the appropriate master account, and then click Schwab Alliance & Paperless.
  2. If needed, use the filter options to identify accounts to enroll.
  3. Select the checkbox next to each account you want to enroll in paperless documents or select the checkbox in the Enroll column header to enroll all accounts under the master account (accounts already enrolled are not re-enrolled). Click Start Enrollment.
  4. On the confirmation screen, review the information. Confirm your clients have a valid email address, and if necessary, update the email addresses by clicking Edit.
  5. If there are any missing email addresses, click Add, enter the email address, and click Update. Your clients will receive an email letting them know that their email address on file was changed.
  6. Click Send Enrollment Emails, and your clients will be sent an email enabling them to enroll in paperless documents. You will see a confirmation page once the enrollment instructions have been sent.

This process may be used to assist an individual with enrolling in paperless documents.

  1. Go to the Accounts section at Schwab Advisor Center, click Profiles, choose the appropriate master account, and select the desired account.
  2. Click Profiles and then scroll to the Document Delivery section.
  3. Verify the client has a current email address. If necessary, click Add or Edit next to the Send to field and update.
  4. Click Send Enrollment Emails, and your clients will be sent an email enabling them to enroll in paperless documents. You will see a confirmation page once the enrollment instructions have been sent.

Once you initiate the paperless documents enrollment for a client:

  • You can update preferences for end-clients (who have a Schwab Alliance login) to view trade confirmations online. The online option requires end-clients to log in to Schwab Alliance to view complete details of the trade, reducing trade information provided through email.
    • To change the delivery method:
      1. Go to Profiles for the identified account.
      2. Next to Document Delivery, click Change Delivery Method.
      3. Next to Confirmations, change Email to Online under the Status drop-down.
      4. Click Update.
    • After the delivery method is updated, your client will start receiving emails directing them to log into to view trade details.
  • When a client enrolls in paperless documents via the paperless consent email or Schwab Alliance, the sub-account view of the Profiles page will be updated in real time. The master account Profiles page will be updated overnight. See the paperless documents profile columns for more information.
  • For new accounts, an email will be sent which includes the electronic agreements & disclosures. Clients who have not logged in to Schwab Alliance in the last 6 months have 48 hours to consent. Otherwise, the new account agreements & disclosures will be sent via paper.
  • For existing accounts, an email will be sent that confirms their enrollment or requests their consent. Clients who have not logged in to Schwab Alliance may have additional steps to complete enrollment.
  • You can monitor the paperless documents process with Account Change alerts on Schwab Advisor Center. For more information, see How to work with alerts.

To select a form, go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center. 

Resource: Schwab Alliance Enrollment Guide

Do I need to send a paperless email for each account for a particular client?
No. The paperless enrollment email is sent at the client level and applies to all their applicable accounts.

What are the SEC requirements for paperless documents?
See Amendments to Form ADV and Final Rule: Retention of Records Relevant to Audits and Reviews for more information.

Can I resend the enrollment instructions email?
Yes. You can resend the enrollment instructions email at any time until all eligible accounts are enrolled in all the paperless categories Statements & Account Documents, Trade Confirmations, Shareholder Materials Tooltip , and Tax Forms Tooltip . Enrollment instructions are not automatically resent to the client after a period of time, if they fail to enroll. Once enrollment instructions are sent, the paperless documents indicator in the Profile screen of the account under the Document Delivery section will show as Sent.

Why can't I directly enroll my clients in paperless documents, and why are there multiple steps involved?
Paperless documents include documents regulated by the SEC and FINRA. When clients consent, they agree to the following:

Why are some of my clients' accounts ineligible for paperless documents?
Some account types are not yet enabled for paperless delivery. If a client has full power of attorney on another account (a spouse is a common example), those accounts will show as ineligible as the actual account owner has to enroll for paperless.

For a list of statements and account documents ineligible for paperless delivery, see below:

  • SPS statements & account documents
  • Charitable
  • AS Pricing Guide
  • Inherited IRA with Trust as beneficiary statements
  • Form ADV Part 2A & 2b (brochure supplement)
  • 3a-4 regulatory mailing for Schwab Managed Accounts (Letter)
  • Other letters

For accounts with multiple account owners, who receives the paperless email?
The client who enrolls in paperless receives the email.

What is the privacy policy for paperless documents?
Schwab will use your clients' email addresses to send only the paperless documents noted in the Important Information about Your Informed Consent to Receive Paperless Documents along with the International Addendum. Schwab will not use your client’s email addresses for any other purpose without your consent. See Schwab’s Privacy Policy for more information.

How soon after a client enrolls in electronic delivery will the changes take effect?
When a client enrolls online, the changes will take effect within 1-2 business days. If your client placed trades or had a statement processed immediately after enrolling, they may receive these initial documents on paper. If your client is still receiving paper trade confirmations and/or statements after the initial activation period, contact your service team, or have your client contact Schwab Alliance at 800-515-2157.

Why did my client receive a letter from Schwab in the mail when they signed up for paperless on the account application?
For new clients, Schwab will mail the Account Verification letter for new accounts to ensure they receive critical information, such as the account number. Schwab will also send a letter as an anti-fraud mechanism, when a client's email address is updated.  

Why is my client receiving paper again after successfully enrolling in paperless documents?
After three consecutive months of unsuccessful paperless deliveries, account(s) will revert to paper delivery. An email may have been undeliverable because their email box was full, their Internet service provider was experiencing problems, or they have changed their email address. You or your client should check and update the email address to make sure it is correct. Once the email address is updated, the client will have to re-enroll in paperless on Schwab Alliance.

If Schwab does not have an electronic version of the prospectus, a paper confirmation is required. If the client is set up for the quarterly trade confirmation Tooltip report, this will suppress paperless Trade Confirmations. Initial mutual fund, ETF, money market fund, or certificate of deposit purchases are not eligible for confirm suppression because these trade confirmations must be accompanied by a prospectus or disclosure document at the "point of sale". Therefore, an immediate trade confirmation is generated and sent in these circumstances and included on the trade confirm report. See How to customize Schwab reporting for more information.

How will my client know when their statements and trade confirmations are available and at what frequency?
Statement frequency is determined by account activity. Statements are generated monthly if the account has activity or a negative cash balance at month-end. Statements are generated quarterly for all open accounts with a balance (including a cash balance).

Clients will receive a notification email from Schwab when their paperless statements are available, typically by the fifth business day of the month. Trade confirmations are generally available within 24 hours of trade execution.

Clients enrolled in paperless Trade Confirmations through the advisor-initiated process will receive trade confirmations bundled together in one email generated at the end of each day (assuming trade activity occurred).

If your client enrolls via Schwab Alliance, the client receives an option of bundled trade confirmations in one email or one trade confirmation per email.

What account types are ineligible for Statements & Account Documents enrollment?
Qualified retirement plans (QRPs) are not eligible for Statements & Account Documents enrollment. They:

  • Can view statements online
  • Cannot turn off paper

These accounts are still eligible for paperless Trade Confirmations. Investment advisors can notify Advisor Service Pricing by email to hard code these accounts for lower electronic equity trade commission pricing Tooltip since these accounts are ineligible for Statements & Account Documents.

Do electronic statements have different information than paper statements?
No. Electronic statements are PDF versions of the paper statement, so the client sees the same information online in their paper statements.

Are historical documents available?
Yes. The client will have access to 10 years Tooltip of their account statements and trade confirmations and nine years of tax reports.

Can my client change their delivery preferences on an account for which they have full power of attorney or limited power of attorney?
As a power of attorney, a client does not have the authority to turn off paper for regulatory documents. To comply with regulations, the account holder must consent to electronic delivery.

Can the client go back to paper delivery?
Yes. Your client can resume paper delivery at any time by logging on to Schwab Alliance and changing their delivery preferences or by calling Schwab Alliance at 800-515-2157. You can also turn on paper delivery from the profiles page on Schwab Advisor Center.

Resuming paper delivery may affect client eligibility for lower electronic equity trade commission pricing Tooltip . Even with paper delivery, the client can always access statements online.

How to add features to an account
How to customize Schwab reporting
How to invite your clients to Schwab Alliance
Introduction to paperless documents
Introduction to Schwab Alliance
Introduction to the Profiles tab

Refer your clients to the Client Learning Center to find out more about paperless.