“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and nowhere is that more applicable than in the world of finance.
Preventative, proactive compliance programs save enormous amounts of time, money, and sanity. As most firms are well aware, deficiency letters, regulatory actions, sanctions, fines, and enforcement actions aren’t a simple hassle that can be handled overnight.
Rather, these issues, will not only damage a firm’s existing business by siphoning off resources, but can actually damage a firm’s ability to do business in the future. In hindsight, many firms realize that in most cases, the issues could have been corrected or prevented simply and with a small amount of work by a compliance professional. Even regular examinations, while not damaging to a firm, will take up a great deal of time and money if a firm is unprepared.
Preventative compliance stops these issues in their tracks. This is especially true for small firms, which are often both keen to stay in compliance and lacking in the resources to do so properly. By investing in an outside compliance service early on, a growing firm can actively work towards a proactive approach to compliance, rather than reactive.
Most Small Firms Struggle to Keep up With Regulatory Changes
Few industries must navigate as convoluted a web of regulations as finance, and it is for this precise reason that even seasoned CCOs struggle to stay abreast of regulatory changes and ensure compliance.
The vast majority of firms do everything they can to stay in compliance with all applicable regulations. Often though, these firms simply don’t have the available budget to hire a full-time CCO, nor do they have the hours to rigorously review known compliance issues – let alone to follow every single regulatory change and its implications.
While many small firms take basic measures to ensure compliance, like performing annual risk assessments, in many cases, the sheer quantity of regulations, rules, guidance, and changes is simply too much for a small team or a single CCO to handle. Hiring an outside compliance consultant ensures you have a team on your side that is well-versed inapplicable regulations, and prepared to take on the heavy work of responding to and appeasing regulators while you focus on your business.
Always Be Prepared for Examination or Regulatory Action
Heading off problems before they explode into full-blown regulatory issues is wonderful, but it’s simply not always possible — sometimes, despite your best efforts, you find regulators coming to call. Additionally, many small firms find themselves facing issues because their compliance team (if they have one) isn’t able to administer compliance within the firm and keep up with the complex and changing landscape of rules and regulations. Small to mid-sized firms have employees who often wear many hats, compliance being one of them, which can lead to not having enough resources to keep up.
The last thing you want is to have to scramble to find all the necessary documents and paperwork needed to respond to the examination or potential crisis. Regulators can often require very quick responses, even during regular examinations. Firms that are not only doing their best to proactively prevent issues, but that are also prepared to respond to any issue that crops up, are better able to react to an unavoidable regulatory issue or to a regular examination.
Outside Compliance Consultants Streamline Your Response to Regulators
This is where having the services of an outside compliance consultant can come in particularly handy. CCLS and other compliance consultants are constantly working on documentation, disclosures, and other aspects of compliance with regulatory scrutiny in mind.
We are well-equipped to help you not only quickly respond to the requirements of regulators, but to help you do so accurately and systematically, even if you haven’t been as proactive about compliance as you’d like to be.