Regulation Dominance: How Financial Institutions Can Navigate Regulatory Shifts with Automation

If you work in the financial sector, you know how challenging it can be to keep up with the ever-changing regulatory landscape. Compliance is not only a legal obligation, but also a competitive advantage. But how can you ensure compliance amidst regulatory shifts without compromising efficiency and customer satisfaction? The answer is workflow automation.

Workflow automation is the process of using software to automate repetitive and manual tasks, such as data entry, document generation, approval workflows, and reporting.

Workflow automation can help financial institutions streamline their compliance processes, reduce human errors, save time and money, and improve customer experience. In this blog post, we will explore the power of workflow automation and how it can help you achieve compliance excellence.

Why Workflow Automation is Essential for Compliance

Compliance is a complex and dynamic process that involves multiple stakeholders, documents, rules, and regulations. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming to manage compliance manually, especially when regulations change frequently and vary across different jurisdictions.

Some of the common challenges faced by financial institutions in compliance are:

  • Lack of visibility and transparency: Manual compliance processes often rely on paper-based documents, emails, spreadsheets, and siloed systems that make it difficult to track and monitor compliance activities and outcomes. This can lead to missed deadlines, incomplete documentation, inconsistent data, and audit risks.
  • Human errors and inefficiencies: Manual compliance processes are prone to human errors, such as typos, omissions, duplications, and misinterpretations. These errors can result in inaccurate or incomplete data, non-compliance, penalties, reputational damage, and customer dissatisfaction. Moreover, manual compliance processes are inefficient and costly, as they require a lot of time and resources to perform and verify.
  • Poor customer experience: Manual compliance processes can negatively affect customer experience, as they can cause delays, errors, confusion, and frustration. Customers expect fast, accurate, and seamless service from their financial providers. If they encounter long wait times, multiple requests for information, or inconsistent communication, they may lose trust and loyalty.

Workflow automation can help overcome these challenges by automating and optimizing compliance processes. Workflow automation can provide the following benefits for compliance:

  • Enhanced visibility and transparency: Workflow automation can centralize and digitize compliance data and documents in a secure cloud-based platform that can be accessed by authorized users anytime and anywhere.
  • Automation can also provide real-time visibility into compliance status, progress, issues, and results through dashboards, alerts, notifications, and reports. This can enable faster and better decision making, risk management, and audit readiness.
  • Reduced errors and inefficiencies: Workflow automation can eliminate or minimize human errors by validating data inputs, generating documents based on predefined templates and rules, enforcing approval workflows and deadlines, and integrating with other systems and sources of data.
  • Automation can also increase efficiency and productivity by reducing manual workloads, streamlining workflows, accelerating processes, and freeing up staff time for higher-value tasks.
  • Improved customer experience: Workflow automation can improve customer experience by providing faster, more accurate, and more consistent service.
  • Automation can reduce wait times by automating data collection, document generation, verification, and delivery. Workflow automation can also enhance communication by sending automated messages to customers to inform them of their status, request additional information, or confirm completion.

How to Implement Workflow Automation for Compliance

Workflow automation is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It requires careful planning, design, and execution to ensure that it meets your specific compliance needs and goals. Here are some steps to follow when implementing workflow automation for compliance:

  • Define your compliance objectives: What are the main compliance challenges that you want to address? What are the desired outcomes that you want to achieve? How will you measure your success?
  • Identify your compliance processes: What are the key compliance processes that you want to automate? How are they currently performed? Who are the involved stakeholders? What are the inputs, outputs, and dependencies of each process?

Important notes for successful implementation of workflow automation

Before we move down to further points on this section. It is important to know that up to this point is where most teams excel in. They know their process, risks, rules and all the related dependencies.

When it comes to knowing what platforms are available, which are best, which ones will suit my team and how to implement them, this is where the barrier to entry becomes a solid wall.

Internal IT teams don’t have time or capacity to implement projects for finance, matter of fact, neither does the finance team. This is where finding a trusted and tried workflow implementation partner eliminates this barrier and keeps the automation dream alive.

More details on this later on the article. Lets continue, sorry for the side bar there:

  • Choose your workflow automation platform: What are the features, functions, and capabilities that you need from a workflow automation platform? How easy is it to use, customize, and integrate with your existing systems and data sources?
  • Design your workflows: How will you map out your workflows using the workflow automation platform? What are the steps, tasks, rules, and conditions of each workflow? How will you assign roles, responsibilities, and permissions to each stakeholder?
  • Test your workflows: How will you test your workflows before deploying them? How will you ensure that they work as expected and comply with the relevant regulations?
  • Deploy your workflows: How will you deploy your workflows to your target users and customers? How will you train them on how to use them? How will you monitor and troubleshoot any issues or feedback?

Examples of Workflow Automation for Compliance

Workflow automation can be applied to various compliance processes across different functions and domains in the financial sector. Here are some examples of workflow automation for compliance:

  • Invoice Processing: Invoice processing involves receiving, verifying, and paying supplier invoices. Automation can streamline this process by capturing data from invoices, validating them against purchase orders, and automating approval workflows, reducing errors and processing time.
  • Expense Management: Managing employee expenses, including submission, approval, and reimbursement, can be time-consuming. Automation can facilitate the submission of digital receipts, automate approval processes based on predefined rules, and integrate with accounting systems for seamless reimbursement.
  • Capex Requests: Capital Expenditure (Capex) requests involve proposals for investments like equipment, buildings or technology. Automation streamlines the submission process, automates approval workflows based on predefined criteria, and provides real-time tracking, ensuring efficient allocation of financial resources
  • Vendor/Supplier Onboarding: Vendor onboarding encompasses collecting necessary documentation, evaluating vendor capabilities, and integrating them into the supply chain. Automation digitizes document submission, validates information, and automates approval processes, reducing onboarding time and ensuring compliance with procurement policies.
  • Digital Signing of any internal process: Digital signing involves electronically signing documents, contracts, or approvals. Automation facilitates the creation of digital signatures, integrates them into approval workflows, and ensures secure, legally binding electronic signatures, eliminating the need for physical paperwork and expediting processes.

Automation is a powerful tool that can help financial institutions ensure compliance amidst regulatory shifts. By automating and optimizing compliance processes, workflow automation can enhance visibility, transparency, accuracy, efficiency, productivity, and customer experience.

Automation can also help financial institutions reduce risks, costs, and penalties, and gain a competitive edge in the market.

Workflow Automation Implementation Partner

As mentioned above, finding the right partner is crucial for the successful implementation of getting your workflows into production for your team.

A good implementation partner is one that can identify the best platform for your needs, and can fulfil the required roles from the inception to go live for the project.

The skills should include experience in the market, business and technical analysis, development, testing and even project management skills.

With these skill sets in a partner, all you need to do is handover the requirement and the rest is taken care of. Depending on the process, workflows could be built and deployed, ready for use, within 4–5 weeks from kickoff.

As a successful implementer of automation projects, we Greenlight Solutions, have over 12 years experience in this space and have the required skills for successful workflow implementations

If you want to learn more about how workflow automation can help you achieve compliance excellence, contact us or book a meeting today. We are here to help you design and implement the best workflow automation solution for your compliance needs and goals.