Compliance team member on computer

Why firms need accurate, dependable financial compliance software

Think back over a typical day in your life as chief compliance officer (CCO) or compliance professional. What does your 9 to 5 look like? It is likely filled with Zoom calls, emails, Slack messages, logins and logouts. Why? Because in today’s fast-paced environment, businesses simply could not function without the support of software, technology and automation.

And compliance is no different.

With the pace of change in the financial regulatory landscape, firms without the support of accurate and dependable financial compliance software will struggle to remain compliant.

Why the right financial compliance software is so crucial

Surely any software is better than no software, right? Not always. 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 it’s not just going to cost you dollars and cents. The wrong financial compliance software could lead to:

  • Time wasted working around a solution that was meant to make your life easier.
  • Lack of credibility associated with your compliance program.
  • Missed goals.
  • And, most importantly, a potential lack of compliance.

When your software really works, it creates efficiencies and improves accuracy. But when it doesn’t, it can cost you. Read more about the cost of bad software.

How to find the right compliance software partner for your firm

So how exactly do you go about finding the needle in the haystack? How do you locate the right financial compliance software to complement your team’s superhuman ability to juggle day-to-day tasks, while continuing to think long-term and big picture? Follow this five-step process:

1. Need.

The first (and more important) step is establishing what makes sense for your firm.

  1. Do you have an antiquated system in place already?
  2. Are you manually completing tasks?
  3. What don’t you like about your current system?

Understanding these baselines will help you make a better decision down the line and determine your perspective on benefits and cost.

2. Buy vs. build.

After you have decided what you need, you will have to determine how to get it. Some firms would rather spend the time and resources up front to build a system in house, while others would prefer to work with an industry partner for expert software integration. Much of this will depend on the time, resources and requirements of your firm.

3. Must-haves vs. nice-to-haves.

Next comes one of the more difficult aspects – delineating your must-haves from your nice-to-haves. This can be tricky because, like most things, we want our investment to encompass everything under the sun. But more often than not, a keen understanding of what will make or break your daily workflow versus what will be a great add-on can help you determine who the right vendor is for your firm.

4. Comparing the competitors.

Competition is heated and you want to make sure you get the best value for your dollar. To help alleviate some of the work we’ve developed a quick checklist to guide your decision-making process.

  1. Does the provider have industry expertise?
  2. How customizable is the solution?
  3. What kind of implementation and ongoing support will the provider offer?
  4. Does the provider continue to offer new and innovative product features, meeting the demands of the evolving compliance landscape?
  5. Does the solution enable you to more efficiently meet your compliance goals and needs?

5. Implementation.

Finally, the time is here. You’ve selected your compliance software partner and are ready for implementation. Now what? While your vendor is focused on the technical aspects, you will want to focus on the people aspect. After all, if no one uses the software, does it really help? To get your team ready and excited for this new solution, you should consider:

  1. Designating an advocate or evangelist within each department. This person will be trained ahead of the team and will help their respective departments with any questions or concerns.
  2. Training early and often.
  3. Being there to help with any onboarding glitches or human errors.
  4. Contextualizing the why behind your compliance software purchase. Show the team how this helps ease the day-to-day, not only for your compliance team, but for every employee.
  5. Continuing to offer support and scale your process to include any new hires coming on board.

Simply put, your financial compliance software should feel like a partner in your team, enabling you to achieve your goals and meet your requirements. And by following these steps you can rest assured you won’t end up with buyer’s remorse.

Read more about the strategic plays you should be incorporating in your firm’s compliance program in 2022…and how financial compliance software can help you achieve your goals in our 2022 CCO Playbook.