With regulatory reform underway, a lot of focus is on what the future holds from a regulatory/compliance standpoint. But compliance needs don’t disappear during this transition and advisers have many demands on their time—so implementing an effective compliance process now will pay dividends in the long run.
Today—the first day of FPA Denver 2010 (the annual conference for the financial planning profession)—FPA released the third report in the FPA-ActiFi Adviser Technology Series, which focuses on compliance solutions. The report offers suggestions and questions that will help you assess and enhance your compliance systems for each of your needs. It also reviews compliance technology vendors who address practice management activities and workflows, and provides suggestions and questions to ask about the rest of your compliance needs and where other tools and solutions may fit.
As a starting point, ask yourself these questions:
1. Is my practice operating compliantly or are there gaps? If I’m not sure, do I need someone to help me make sure?
2. What opportunities do I have to bring a compliance need together with everything else I do, such as prospecting or service processes?
3. Do people in my office who perform each process understand their roles and responsibilities?
4. Do my systems enable me to respond to an audit or other compliance situation?
5. Are we performing a process effectively and efficiently?
6. When I step back and look, do my people, processes and tools make sense for how I can best operate?
Then go to www.FPAnet.org/AdviserTechnologySeries and download the compliance report. Be sure to check out the section on maximizing your benefits to pinpoint ideas you can implement to help you achieve your business goals.
Manager, FPA Research Center