Ensure compliance is a dream and not a nightmare!
By Paul Field – CEO @ Improved Apps
Make sure you fill in your expenses carefully when you get back from Dreamforce, you wouldn’t want to fall foul of any of your organisation’s policies or guidelines! It’s bad news for you if you step on the wrong side of your corporate governance, but it is disastrous news for your enterprise if you ignore the compliance rules and regulations that affect your industry…
There is considerable focus in both the US and the UK on compliance to ensure advice provided by agents and advisors relating to retirement investments meets the interests of the client rather than those of whoever is providing the advice. As a result, legislation has been introduced in both countries to impose codes of conduct on the industry along with significant penalties for non-compliance. These new laws relate to the ways in which advice is provided and the disclosure of commission and other pertinent information that should encourage advisors to provide the best impartial suggestions and for clients to make the best informed decisions.
Financial services businesses deal with product just as much as a manufacturer: Furthermore, the process of New Product Introduction is one that is highly regulated and is subject to a high rate of change. New offerings must be understood and incorporated into the portfolio being made available to investors.
Similarly, organisations need to be certain both when they bring customers on board (‘know your customer’) and when they close business with new or existing clients that the business conforms to both existing and new regulations.
CRM systems such as Salesforce offer businesses a way to collect vast amounts of data regarding clients, and to lay out a process to be followed, yet the challenge remains: How do you ensure advisors have all the facts at their fingertips in an environment of constant change, whilst also transacting business in line with company expectations?
- When new financial products are introduced – how do you communicate this to employees and agents? How do you know the information has been received and understood?
- Where do you put the information related to each product and ensure it can be retrieved immediately so clients are provided with quick, accurate and appropriate guidance?
- How can you ensure the right questions are being asked when on-boarding customers and where is that data recorded?
- How do you confirm monthly/quarterly business transacted by anybody receiving commission has been transacted according to the rules?
Improved Apps provide two solutions – Improved Help and Improved Noticeboard – that work natively within Salesforce and provide (amongst other things) very specific answers to these questions:
Improved Noticeboard empowers organisations with the ability to manage critical communications within Salesforce:
- This means new product notifications can be sent directly to those people affected within Salesforce itself (if products are market or geography specific only impacted advisors will need to see the notification).
- Users can be forced to acknowledge they have read and understood the notice. Furthermore, the user can be directed to additional supporting information via seamless integration with the Improved Help application.
- Users can be sent a periodic message demanding they confirm the business they have been involved with is compliant with regulations. Organisations can audit such acknowledgement and escalate accordingly.
Improved Help gives organisations the ability to provide context-based information to employees using Salesforce:
- Guidance during the on-boarding process to ensure the right questions are asked and the answers recorded in the right format and in the right place.
- Product information that is automatically in context with the user’s specific need, which means exemplar behaviour is always employed.
- Regulatory guidance can be incorporated within Salesforce and activated depending on the regulations relevant to the process/activity being followed.
In fact, these uses represent only a fraction of the ways Improved Apps customers use our solutions today to promote efficiency and proficiency.
If you operate in the Financial Services arena, these are not benefits to how you do business, but pre-requisites to doing business.
Paul Field – CEO @ Improved Apps