3 Reasons a Good CRM Makes Compliance Easy
OCTOBER 31, 2019
By Adrian johnstone
As many financial advisors know, compliance boils down to making sure clients are treated fairly and that you’re following regulations. You want to provide the best possible level of service to your clients throughout their journey with you and your firm, but you also must be able to prove that you’re fulfilling requirements when the auditors come knocking.
When you may have to prove you’re meeting regulations at any given moment, it really pays to have thorough process controls, interaction tracking, and secure information storage to make compliance as easy as possible. In fact, by using a system that is compliant by design, compliance needs are addressed automatically, making it one less thing to think about.
A good CRM system that allows you to run your business efficiently and meet compliance requirements is essential for today’s financial advisors. Let’s look at exactly how a compliant-by-design CRM can help you achieve this.
Look for CRMs that have compliance needs built-in to your everyday workflows.
1. Client records as your source of truth
A well-designed CRM makes it easy for your whole team to record and review all client information, such as interactions, documents, holdings, services, communications and more. From the details of advice given to each and every email sent, it’s all logged.
While many CRMs offer financial advisors the option to record all this information, the best ones make it intuitive. These platforms find innovative ways to blend compliance with day-to-day business dynamics. As a result, meeting compliance requirements becomes a part of the advisory process, not a separate process. By working from a core client record, it’s easier for teams to log a communication and see everything about the customer’s journey to date. This means that when auditors are involved, they can see the communication or advice given and the team member who gave it.
Not only does having this information properly recorded and easy to access ensure that you can report it for compliance, but also that your advisory team are empowered with the tools they need to offer your clients the very best service.
2. Easy and customizable reporting tools
Recording your client interactions is one thing, but proving it to auditors is another. One of the major complaints of keeping up with compliance regulations is the amount of time it takes to do what’s required. However, having a good CRM system makes it easy to export all the crucial details in your client records and review it. You don’t need to waste time trying to turn a long list of data, email threads, and documents into something that meets compliance standards.
The best CRMs make this as simple as possible by offering a combination of standard and custom reports. Standard reports are those that most financial advisors will need in some shape or form. They’re pre-designed so that all you have to do is click a couple of buttons, and your data is presented is a digestible format. Meanwhile, custom reports allow you to review the data and information that matters the most to your business. This could range from analyzing the revenue from the services you offer, to reviewing interactions in order to supplement internal training and performance reviews.
Ultimately, having easily reportable information not only ensures your employees and clients are properly supported, but also proves helpful during regulatory audits.
The right business management tool enables you to meet regulatory requirements and provide a better service for your customers.
3. Flexible workflows and processes
It’s no secret that compliance regulations change. When they do, you need to adapt your working practices quickly, and preferably without huge costs or complex work-arounds. Having a good CRM platform that’s as flexible as you have to be, is crucial.
The most forward-thinking software teams ensure that you can edit workflows and templates when you need to, add fields, change drop-down menus and rework reports yourself. Whether the changes you want to make are compliance-inspired or are simply ways of streamlining your practices for the benefit of you and your clients – flexible business systems save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
But it’s not just about having a business system you can easily edit. Achieving and maintaining growth in a changing regulatory landscape is easier with a software partner, rather than a provider. Finding technology partners willing to work with you when changes arrive means you have a team dedicated to creating a product that truly works in your best interest. They have a flexible mindset, and know that their software must adapt as much as you have to.
A good CRM system with robust client records, easy reporting tools, and flexible workflows can really help simplify the compliance aspect of an advisory business. Being able to maintain, report, and prove that you’re meeting regulations ensures you’re prepared when an auditor comes knocking.
To learn about the 4 pillars of a compliant advice business, download our newest paper below.