“Let’s put that in the 2021 compliance technology budget.”
“Let’s wait until the beginning of the year.”
How often have you heard, or used, that phrase when you’re shopping for new ways to support your team/department and improve your processes?
It’s easy to romanticize next year as this mythical time when all the upheaval of #2020 will finally be over and we can get back to business as usual. However, when you really think about it, we’re just going to flip a page on the calendar and head right into more projects, higher expectations, and more work.
Is it worth it to wait a few more months before making a decision on technology that can make your work faster, more effective and more audit-ready? Often, waiting to evaluate a new technology resource means getting behind or putting it on the backburner, only to abandon the search process when you get snowed under with the many other tasks that make up your daily routine.
Instead of waiting until next year and hoping for the best, there are plenty of compelling reasons why you should start shopping, reviewing and even implementing new technology now.
1. Buying Compliance Technology Now Means Less Catch Up Before Audits.
Every indication from regulators shows that there will be very little leniency in audit processes this year.
Despite the fact that firms have been economically impacted, that team members have likely worked remotely, that staffing may have been cut or hours shifted to support families with COVID-related impacts (like elder care or childcare responsibilities), audits appear to be going forward in much the same manner as usual – no shifting of dates, deadlines or requirements.
When you invest in compliance technology to support your audit management responsibilities, you can reduce the time and touches required to get your documentation in order. Instead of multiple touches and pen-and-paper processes, you can maintain everything online and keep a thorough audit trail from the start, rather than trying to re-create one by piecing together email chains and sign-off sheets.
2. Adding Compliance Technology Can Help Your Organization Build More Streamlined Processes.
Everyone could use more time… or at least, could use burden-shifting processes so they can make the most of the time they have.
Clunky compliance processes generally mean that there’s more back-and-forth, slower time to market, and more frustration when things don’t stay perfectly on track. Putting technology in place can help by making processes smoother and more specifically delineated.
And, investing in technology should generally give you some insight into data as well. Instead of being in the dark about whose desk an item was last on, or how long someone’s held on to it, you can build out processes with specific steps and acceptable timeframes for each phase – which leads to better dialogue and better relationships.
3. When You Invest in Compliance Technology, You Have The Capability to Make Better Business Decisions for your Department.
By preparing for a new technology purchase now, you can establish a timeline for implementation before the new year begins.
You’ll be able to start the new year with an idea of how your desired technology will impact your team, whether you’ll need to allocate time and resources for training, and how your team’s capacity planning may be able to shift.
4. Investing in Compliance Technology Gives You The Bandwidth to Make Better strategic Decisions.
When you’re using technology that streamlines routine compliance processes, your efficiency allows you to invest your time wisely in other areas.
Instead of asking your highly qualified compliance professionals, and their counterparts in other departments, to manage relationships and processes manually, you can dedicate your resources to making your compliance team a strategic resource for your organization.
Your compliance team members can move from playing defense to being on the offense, being proactive, participating in corporate discussions on decision-making and providing more fully integrated risk management as part of your role within the organization. In this way, you’re not only able to do a better job in your role, you also gain visibility and position compliance as a strategic force and advantage within the business.
5. Getting the Process Started Now Can Keep You From Hitting Hurdles Prior to Implementation.
Creating your list of requirements, getting your internal constituents on board, reviewing vendors and scheduling time for conversations and demos – those processes are all part of the technology acquisition process and they all take time.
Add in this set of facts: people are working remotely and juggling school schedules; fraudsters are attacking even more frequently in this economic environment, and the holidays are swiftly approaching.
Even the best intentions for the new year and for scouting out new technology can go awry when you’re faced with a phalanx of time-sucking and resource-draining challenges. When you consider all these factors together, it makes sense to start the conversations now, rather than waiting until the new year rolls around and you’re responsible for new goals or responsibilities.
6. Compliance Fines Continue to Be Levied; Invest In Compliance Technology to Safeguard Your Firm.
As previously mentioned, audit processes aren’t stopping because of COVID or other impacts. Neither are regulatory fines. In 2019, SEC enforcement reached its second-highest total ever, with more than $4.3 billion in fines and disgorgements levied.
Having a weak compliance program is a frequent citation during SEC reviews, and regulators frequently make inquiries regarding the technology companies are using to manage their processes.
There’s an expectation that companies will be proactive in finding the resources they need, maintaining the appropriate documentation, and keeping up to speed with fast-moving regulatory changes. By investing in technology now, you have the potential to avoid this discussion with regulators when they’re on your doorstep.
Instead of hoping the new year will give you the time and resources you need to evaluate and invest in compliance technology, start the process with something concrete. Start the process of finding the compliance technology resources you need to start the new year strong.
Wondering about how to make this happen? Read our recent post on advocating for technology in the budget process. And, if you’re ready to start evaluating options for compliance technology, schedule a demo of Red Oak’s flagship software, and of our new Smart Review enhancement, today.
About Red Oak Compliance Solutions
Red Oak Compliance Solutions is the global advertising review software of choice in the financial services industry, serving clients with more than $19 trillion in assets under management. Red Oak’s advertising compliance review software offers quick implementation timelines, as well as agile technology that responds to client needs and is 100% Books and Records compliant. Our clients report 35% faster approvals and 70% fewer touches, with many experiencing even better results. Are you ready to minimize risk, reduce costs, and improve efficiency? Contact the Red Oak team to learn how.