“We just don’t have the budget.”
“Times are tough, we need to cut back on spend.”
“Maybe we can work it in next year.”
When periods of economic downturn hit, it’s natural for financial advisory firms, including broker-dealers, hedge funds and investment advisers, to lock up the budget and pull back on spending, keeping costs low to ensure the doors stay open. And whether that translates to decreased travel, reduced advertising spend or a reduction in paid events, these types of savings can be the difference between a firm that lasts until the economic upswing and one that doesn’t.
One budgetary line item, however, which shouldn’t fall to the wayside in your endeavor to reduce spend? Your regulatory compliance program.
Why a financial regulatory compliance software is business critical
While other line items might assist in drawing the attention of new business or engaging current clients, your regulatory compliance program quite literally keeps your financial advisory firm functional, ensuring you comply with relevant regulatory requirements and standards of conduct while avoiding the potentially devastating consequences of a compliance violation.
In fact, financial regulatory compliance software can help you:
- Cross your Ts and dot your Is, keeping your compliance program functioning at the optimal level.
- Automate manual, time-consuming activities that eat away at your day and make it difficult to focus on big-picture priorities.
- Determine gaps in your compliance program that could leave you open to risk.
- Report on all compliance activities, providing an audit trail for your firm and any regulatory bodies that come knocking.
Compliance risk doesn’t simply go away because the industry is facing an economic downturn. And depending on the size and complexity of your firm’s program, integrating a compliance technology could be the answer you’ve been looking for. You just have to be willing to make the investment and understand how to capitalize on that investment to ensure your firm reaps the benefits.
How to make the most of your financial regulatory compliance software investment
Every dollar matters during a period of economic downturn. Which makes prioritizing your spend essential to keeping your financial advisory firm at the peak of performance, investing where appropriate for long-term success while not over-reaching and potentially overspending.
So how do you save money and stave off potential compliance complications? Let’s dig in. To make the most of your compliance program, regardless of the economy’s up or down swings, firms should:
1.Work with the right compliance technology partner.
Your firm has unique requirements, challenges and budgetary constraints. The right compliance technology partner should address those needs with a custom approach to compliance (including technology, education and consulting) that will suit your firm’s goals and your budget.
2. Prioritize your fiduciary education.
The key to remaining compliant is remaining up to date on the latest updates and amendments from relevant regulatory bodies including but not limited to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). By prioritizing your education, and ensuring your firm prioritizes its employee’s education, you reduce the chance of being caught off guard by a breach in compliance.
3. Bring in outside help as needed.
You are an expert in your field, however, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t rely on outside help from time to time. Regulatory compliance consultants specialize in addressing gaps in an advisory firm’s compliance program and providing the appropriate support to make sure those gaps don’t result in potential fines (aka even more spend in a time when you’re looking to save dollars and cents).
4. Create a culture that prioritizes compliance.
At the end of the day, technology can only do so much. In order to truly get the most out of your investment, you have to create a culture that prioritizes the success of your compliance program. The support of your firm’s employees is crucial to your overall success, make sure you contextualize the why behind your compliance program initiatives and investments.
5. Lean into your *free* resources.
Compliance resources are out there, it’s up to you to take advantage of them. Whether it’s attending a webinar or downloading a whitepaper, dedicate an hour or two every week to sharpening your skills.
When the economy takes a bit of a dive, it’s natural to want to take a red pen to your financial advisory firm’s budget. But at the end of the day, if your firm is found to be in violation of a compliance regulation or protocol, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) auditors won’t care about excuses, budgetary or otherwise.
Compliance is arguably one of the most critical factors to your firm’s ongoing success. And that should be reflected in your budget. Ready to see how ComplySci can help you achieve compliance without breaking the bank? Schedule a demo today!