Software to make compliance easy for financial advisers

Two software providers are working to document ongoing compliance tasks: BasisCode Compliance and RIA in a Box

Jun 7, 2016 @ 11:41 am

By Sheryl Rowling

Following through and documenting ongoing compliance tasks can sometimes be overwhelming. Yet, this is a reality all financial advisers must face. From returns dispersion to reporting, billing to fee schedules, advertising to gift recording, model compliance to ongoing management documentation, and monthly employee activity reports to annual compliance reviews, there is a never-ending stream of activities to perform and records to keep. How can firms comply while trying to run the business?

Two software providers have addressed this need and are anxious to bid for your business: BasisCode Compliance and RIA in a Box. Both systems will provide a centralized means of tracking, performing and documenting compliance tasks. BasisCode Compliance is designed to be used with any compliance consultant while RIA in a Box provides compliance services with its package.

According to BasisCode senior sales executive Joe Daigle, BasisCode Compliance maintains continuous audit readiness with easily extractible evidence-specific summaries with time stamps, findings, impacts and attachments. Calendar tasks are more than just a task list; BasisCode allows any number of activities and frequencies while including purpose, procedures and owners. Additionally, tasks can be assigned to one or more specific individuals — including outside the firm if needed.

BasisCode's centralized platform includes:

• Calendar-based reminders, checklists and alerts

• Document management and archival with version control

• User-defined query and search capabilities

• Complete audit trail of performed tests

• Rich analytics and robust reporting

Their testing module, which is displayed within the BasisCode Dashboard, displays an inventory of the firm's compliance risk, allowing supervisors to conduct ad hoc or recurring tests and provides the ability to view metrics.

RIA in a Box aims to be a one-stop compliance offering and is primarily designed for firms with under $1 billion in assets under management. RIA in a Box president G.H. King states that, “What separates our service is that we offer not just software, but also the RIA compliance logic, administrative and consulting support along with our MyRIACompliance software platform.”

RIA in a Box works closely with first-time users to build a compliance calendar and workflows tailored for each specific firm. They will also build and customize a policies and procedures manual and then ensure that the gift, entertainment, outside business activities and other policies unique to the firm are properly mapped into MyRIACompliance. With their integrated approach, RIA in a Box can automatically track a firm's state registration requirements.

Of course, many firms opt to use their CRM to manage compliance tasks and retain documentation. This requires building workflows from the bottom up, rather than utilizing the expertise built into tools designed specifically for compliance functions.

No matter which path is chosen, compliance is made easier and more effective through technology. If your firm is not using technology to implement compliance tasks, now is a good time to start.

Sheryl Rowling is head of rebalancing solutions at Morningstar Inc. and principal at Rowling & Associates. She considers herself a non-techie user of technology.

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