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CRM2 requirements went into full force two years ago. Advisors and clients alike welcomed the changes. But adapting to the new rules has only just begun. Indeed, according to the Ontario Securities Commision, many practices still don’t follow basic requirements, including robust KYC documentation and tracking of emails.

The reasons why don’t take a crystal ball to see. Advisors commonly view compliance as a chore — while a visit from their internal Compliance Officer is often viewed akin to a visit to their dentist. Compounding matters, when do you have time to update your processes?

There’s no magic bullet. But making sure you’re on side with new rules doesn’t have to be onerous. A few simple adjustments to the way you do business now can yield massive benefits down the road. Here are some often overlooked strategies that will help you leverage compliance to deliver an outstanding compliance experience to all involved.

Why compliance is a good thing

A recent report and presentation by Deloitte warns of the dire consequences of not creating a culture of compliance. Companies that don’t, risk locking themselves into local markets — or having to play a game of continuous catch-up, costing time, money and opportunity. In contrast, those that can convert compliance into an ongoing process right now stand to reap a potential windfall by acquiring first-adopter status each time a new law is passed.

Indeed, modernization of your operations now can help prepare you for legislation down the road, minimizing the cost each time the rules change. Meanwhile, since compliance touches on so many aspects of your practice — you can leverage its holistic nature to your advantage. This strategic jujitsu, according to many analysts, has become ever more important as the rule-books seem to get thicker every year.

Compliance and client experiences

Susan Silma, writing for Investment Executive, says practices can actually leverage compliance to deliver better service and client intimacy, and enhanced client visibility into what you’re doing with their money.

The secret is developing robust compliance procedures, including detailed histories of client preferences, choices and their evolving financial needs. With these, you will not only build rock-solid documentation and auditability; you can also get better context for decisions, deliver better targeted recommendations, and achieve easier conversations that pick up effortlessly where you last left off.

Leveraging software solutions

There are a few proven strategies you can use to unlock these compliance advantages — starting with how you target your technology investments. When looking for an upgrade, consider the following:

  • Docu-Sign –  Implemented correctly, an e-signature solution can enhance your security, while cutting hours, even days, off consent collection processes, improving client experiences while driving efficiency across your practice.
  • Financial CRM – A CRM designed for Financial Advisors helps create centralized documentation of communications, including emails and call notes; while embedding processes to deal with KYC. Paired with your CRM’s automatic reminders and notifications, these built-in workflows guarantee your team never skip a beat.
    Another advantage: by building an organized, clearly structured Book of Business, with your processes built in, you simplify succession — another troublespot identified by the OSC.
  • Integrations – Disjointed systems and apps can hamstring your compliance efforts, while hindering your team’s ability to collaborate. A quick workaround is the simple, cost-effective integration. Consider solutions that come with an App Directory or App Market loaded with pre-built connections to your business-critical apps, including (most importantly) your email solution.
  • Cloud Storage – As we’ve detailed in a previous blog post, cloud storage provides practices a safe, secure and convenient environment to store their numerous documents, especially their PDF invoices and forms.
    You could turn to a secondary source, like DropBox. Or a CRM provider with a generous cloud storage offer.
    Here at Maximizer, for example, we find our Financial Advisor customers are among our biggest storage users. For that reason, we give them — and all our customers — plenty of space: 75GB as part of their basic subscription.

The bottom line

Compliance can seem like a chore, and it is getting more complicated every year. But with the right attitude, you can transform it into an opportunity to streamline your operations for outstanding compliance experiences, both for clients and advisors.