Man on computer managing regulatory compliance certifications

Everything you need to know about transitioning to a new compliance platform

Fact: transitioning compliance platforms is a huge undertaking. However, with risk – cyber and otherwise – at an all-time high, chief compliance officers (CCOs) must prioritize long-term success rather than settling for what seems easiest in the short-term.

Whether you are moving away from manual processes or transitioning between compliance platforms for your financial services firm, there are a few key factors (internally and externally) to take into consideration when selecting and transitioning to your new compliance platform.

1. Finding a partner as dedicated and meticulous as you are.

Your compliance technology partner should be just that, a partner. However, oftentimes finding a true partner for your compliance program is easier said than done.

You will have to thoroughly vet your options to find the right partner for you. Their capabilities should meet your firm’s needs. They should have a clear understanding of your firm’s goals, and they should be enthusiastic about working with your firm to help you meet those goals. When evaluating possible partners, you ask yourself the following questions.

  • What don’t you like about your current compliance platform?
  • What are your must-haves and your nice-to-haves in a compliance platform?
  • Does the provider have industry expertise?
  • What kind of support will the provider offer in implementation, as well as long-term?
  • Does the provider continue to offer new and innovative product features, meeting the demands of the evolving compliance landscape?
  • Does the technology enable you to more efficiently meet your compliance goals and needs?

2. Determining who from your internal team needs to be involved.

While your compliance team will likely be the most active users of the new compliance software, your internal team should include personnel from multiple departments. For instance, given the SEC’s emphasis on cybersecurity, it might be helpful to include members of your IT department. They will be a critical resource for system integrations and data migration.

Having a diverse internal team can be helpful in ensuring your compliance platform meets your needs holistically. For instance, members will be able to pinpoint risks of noncompliance that might be specific to their departments.

Remember, automation often performs at its best when it’s backed by a good team. Who you determine to be a part of your internal team will determine how smooth or rocky the transition to a new compliance platform will be.

3. Setting a project plan and working with your vendor to set clear short and long-term KPIs.

Part of knowing where you want to go is having a plan to get there…and transitioning to a new compliance software is no different. You and your vendor should work together to determine your firm’s compliance plan and the KPIs you can use to determine your firm’s success. Having a project plan and clear KPIs will be essential for your firm as you continue to scale and expand your compliance program and the technology supporting it.

4. Integrations with other systems.

You will want to consider the level to which your compliance software integrates with the other systems you use. How well a new compliance software integrates with your existing tech stack can make a big difference in determining how convenient or rocky your firm’s experience will be. After all, you don’t want to spend your days logging in and out of platforms in the name of achieving your goals.

5. Readying your team for a new system.

Transitioning to a new compliance software can be a stressful endeavor for your firm, especially for those long-term employees who have grown accustomed to your historical processes. To ready your firm for a new system, you might want to consider implementing a test site, which allows your internal team to experiment with the functionality of the platform prior to launching it firm wide. After your internal team has had a chance to test drive the compliance platform, they can spread the news to other members of your firm and get them excited about the transition, too.

Note: You might also consider a phased roll-out, which allows your firm, not just your internal team, to become more familiar with the compliance software and provides the opportunity to assess the technology and make recommendations for future improvements.

At the end of the day, finding the right partner and platform is crucial to your compliance program’s long-term effectiveness. After all, as stated in a 2021 Forbes article, “in 2018, poor-quality software cost organizations $2.8 trillion in the U.S. alone, according to the Consortium for IT Software Quality (CISQ).” And if you’re relying on an outdated, ineffective technology, chances are, your program is going to suffer – possibly to the extent of risking damages, fines and reputational ramifications.

You’re making dozens of critical choices every day and selecting the right compliance platform may be one of those. Critically comparing alternatives and finding the best compliance platform for your team, while time-consuming up front, will be well worth the effort.

Ready to transition to a new compliance platform? Schedule a demo today!