Financial rules are becoming more far-reaching and limited. At the same time, employees are working from home and trading at higher volumes across more platforms than ever before.
Yet the compliance team has limited budgets and staff resources, and many are struggling with hundreds or even thousands of employees to implement effective risk-mitigation measures in financial services companies.
It is becoming increasingly clear that in order to reduce risk, companies need the help of dedicated compliance software.
But buying and implementing that software between the team and the workflow is just the first step in a much bigger process. It trusts employees to use compliant software that will really make a difference.
Adopting driving software
Why might employees be slow to comply or hesitant to use compliance software? The answer is fairly obvious. For most employees in the financial services industry, compliance can seem like a tedious administrative task that does not directly benefit them. Although consent groups understand that broad organizational consensus depends on everyone’s participation, employees may have a more difficult time understanding how their own consent role is inseparable from the overall mission of the organization.
What’s more, financial services companies often combine several in-house or third-party technology solutions to support compliance requirements. However, these disconnected devices are distributed across different systems. If employees do not immediately know how or where to complete the compliance task, there is little incentive to adopt the software.
How can the compliance team accept the software in light of this challenge? It simplifies compliance tasks and strongly encourages the creation of a culture of compliance by highlighting the importance of each task for each organization.
The following tips can help compliance teams buy employees, encourage adoption and reduce their firm’s risk:
1. Include first-line managers
The responsibility to lead the adoption of the software and the consequences of implementing a failed software often falls solely on the consent team. The members of the compliance team, however, sit in a completely different part of the organization from their employees who have to use the software in their daily work.
When first-rate managers take on some of that responsibility, it can lead to greater acceptance and accountability. By ensuring that their direct reports on compliance expectations are implemented, managers can help create a strong culture of compliance across an organization. So keep managers up to date on employee compliance activity so they can focus on those who may need extra push. Compliance software can support this effort through dashboards, automatic alerts, or even predefined reporting-all of which can reduce the need for one-on-one communication from the compliance officer and ensure that they have what they need to help the right people. .
2. Effectively update compliance and distribute information
If an employee has a consent-related question and cannot find an easy solution, they may be discouraged or delayed using loyalty software. So give them an easy way to find the answer when they are stuck and no consent officer is available to help directly.
Create a document library (database that is easily accessible) in your compliance software that employees can search and use. Include elements that answer the general consent question. For example, what is the firm’s policy regarding gifts and entertainment? At what point do employees need to submit an approval request for that item? Will these and other policies change when an employee works in another country?
The most common questions will vary from firm to firm, but answering them – and making those answers easier to find – is a good place to start.
3. Automate manual tasks where possible
Highlighting how the software can automate manual tasks এবং and therefore freeing up power for high-value work সম্ম will encourage its acceptance within the compliance team. Manual work always creates additional headaches. Take the brokerage statement, for example: it takes time for employees themselves or members of the compliance team who are responsible for accessing the system. And then there is the extra administrative work of ensuring that everything is done properly and that people are held accountable.
Instead, rely on a platform that can automatically accept trades executed through an electronic broker feed, or rely on a company that provides a service for paper broker statement processing. This saves time for both the employee and the compliance officer while increasing the chances of the compliance team catching, investigating and disabling any suspicious activity.
Compliance software provides a promising solution for compliance with regulations, but only if compliance teams can address some common causes of organizational pushback. In order to promote sales and adoption of software, parties must distribute consent information well, automate consent claims whenever possible, and include first-line managers. These solutions can help manage organizational risk, avoid costly regulatory penalties, and prevent reputable losses.
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All posts are the author’s opinion. As such, they should not be construed as investment advice, or the opinions expressed must not reflect the views of the CFA Institute or the author’s employer.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images / Eric Isaacson
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