AML as a competitive advantage
You may not have considered the competitive advantages to having robust and convenient compliance systems in place, say AML experts Amiqus.
Have you had a client engage but then disappear after starting your AML process? Was it perhaps the best client you never had or the best transaction you never got involved with?
Rather than narrowly avoiding a suspicious high risk client, perhaps they decided to go elsewhere due to a terrible experience being asked to share sensitive company information or ID documents in an unencrypted email to you, or perhaps they didn’t want to take time out of their busy working day to come to your office?
The realities of anti money laundering compliance
It’s no secret that money laundering is a very real threat to legitimate businesses and costs our economy billions every year. It also funds serious organised crime, human trafficking and terrorism around the world and damages the communities we live in.
The accountancy profession has the enormous responsibility of reducing the impact of money laundering, but this poses many practical challenges.
It can sometimes feel like the work required to ensure compliance is ever-increasing. You’re expected to conduct anti-money laundering checks; work to higher data privacy standards; implement risk-based cyber security policies and educate staff on all regulatory changes. But you’re not alone - compliance is an issue across many professional services, from letting to legal.
Research shows that the average professional service firms spend four days every month on their compliance (SRA research). AML in 2019 isn’t as simple as performing an identity check. It’s the implementation of a systematic, risk-based approach to knowing, assessing and monitoring every client and understanding their transactions.
It is increasingly difficult to perform these tasks efficiently with a photocopier and fingers crossed. Disjointed, manual, paper-based processes － of form filling and unencrypted emails to clients － are becoming both unsuitable and unsustainable in terms of risk, time and distribution of resources.
Technology shouldn’t replace human interaction
Technology won’t solve all your problems. In fact, the wrong technology procurement might even make them worse. For example, it shouldn’t replace human interaction. Instead, use technology for administrative tasks and make your time with clients meaningful.
Imagine having an extra four days every month to engage with and advise your clients. The right technology has the power to significantly reduce costs, add brand value, keep your clients happy and keep the data you hold secure. It’s definitely an investment worth exploring.
Compliance is important, but it’s also an ongoing commitment you can make in the knowledge that it’s helping to prevent crime while simultaneously building your brand - through increased customer trust and satisfaction - if you’re willing to make it a key selling point of what you do.
If you missed it, you can still watch the ICAS and Amiqus 20 minute webinar on how you can use technology to create a real competitive advantage.
This blog is one of a series of articles from our commercial partners.
The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of ICAS.