If you search ‘benefits of automated workflow systems’ online, you will find a host of websites citing the advantages for operations but compliance teams can also benefit from streamlining processes. Automating financial promotions approval, in particular, can have huge advantages from a
compliance point of view.
In this blog, we look at these advantages in more detail.
1. An automated workflow system makes compliance central to the marketing process
By automating the marketing workflow, you can make sure that compliance approval is enforced for all collateral before documents are released for publication. More sophisticated systems will even stamp drafts with a watermark that can only be removed once the correct sign-off has been logged – making compliance approval a compulsory part of the process.
2. Automation reduces the risk of breaching regulatory guidelines
When marketing processes are handled manually, it can be labour-intensive to ensure that the correct audit trails are captured and correctly documented. Plus, of course, the more manual a process is the higher the risk for human error.
Automated workflows instantly capture an online audit trail. You can request that all comments, changes and approvals are documented, and create specific checklists for each type of collateral and approval stage. In this way, you can make sure that nothing is issued without the necessary sign-off from the approved person.
If you need to produce evidence of your sign-off process for regulatory audits or visits, everything is stored in one place, making it easy to find and share.
3. Automation makes review and sign-off more efficient and transparent
Rather than all reviewers making changes on paper or soft copies, which then need to be collated by a member of the team and fed back to design, automated systems enable proofs to be stored centrally.
This means that all reviewers can make amendments in real time. Changes from other reviewers are visible to all, and each proof is saved automatically, making it easy to identify where previous revisions were made.
4. You can keep control of financial promotion expiry dates
Manually keeping track of compliance expiry dates can be a headache. By automating the process, you can make sure no deadlines are missed as alerts and warnings can be sent when expiry dates are approaching.
5. Reassurance that collateral is correct if regulations, disclaimers or other information changes
You know what a nightmare it can be when, say, your assets under management or regulated statement changes. Making sure the information is correct on every version of documents stored locally is virtually impossible. With an automated workflow system, documents are stored centrally so you can ensure that changes are made across the board. The ability to ‘lock down’ documents where compliance needs to approve any updates vastly reduces the chances of promotions going out with incorrect content.
As this quick look at the compliance benefits of automation shows, automated workflow systems clearly don’t just benefit the marketing team. There can be substantial advantages for compliance too.
If you would like to read more about the impact of automated workflows on the compliance process, you might want to download our free whitepaper, The Benefits of Automated Workflow Systems. You can download a copy here.