Regulators, such as FINRA (Rule 3110), require firms to conduct an annual review of the businesses in which it engages. Central to this review are branch audits whose purpose is to ensure that branch supervision and all activities are being conducted within the bounds of applicable laws and regulations. Implementing an effective branch audit program is an essential component of any firm’s supervisory system and is integral to a strong risk management posture.
In order to maintain compliance with regulations, firms must regularly evaluate their supervisory practices and devote sufficient time to reviewing the adequacy of their audit plan. For some firms, this challenge is exacerbated by regular increases in the number of annual branch office exams and the attendant time-consuming preparation and audit closure processes. The rigorous processes to ensure compliance include random client sampling, full branch audit and remediation documentation, audit trails, reporting, and close out letters. Effective management of the aggregate demands streamlined, efficient processes and the automated capture of audit and remediation activities. Today, many organizations still rely on manual, paper or email-driven systems to manage their branch audit program. These firms are significantly handicapped to assess their overall compliance status and remediate compliance failures on a timely basis, increasing their risk exposure and the potential of fines, sanctions and reputational impact.
Streamline the Audit Process and Increase the Efficiency of the Firm’s Audit Program
- Audit dashboards provide insight into individual audit status as well as the firm’s overall audit program to identify bottlenecks and reallocate audit schedules where required.
- Configurable audit cycles provide automatic due date calculation for precise audit program management.
- Fully customizable audit content with an extensive set of answer types for flexibility and consistency in data capture. Branching technology, question help and notes, hyperlinking, definitions and formatting highlight critical information and guide users through the audit process.
- HTML5 offline applet delivers the flexibility to perform audits with or without an internet connection.
- Support for mobile devices enables auditors to conduct audits onsite via tablet or other mobile device.
- Fully configurable workflow facilitates post audit review according to the firm’s business processes.
- Audit pre-population capabilities, including pre-audit questionnaires, reduce manual data entry and streamline the audit cycle.
Improve Speed and Effectiveness of Issue Resolution to Reduce Risk of Non-Compliance
- Integrated remediation and resolution capabilities enable auditors to efficiently follow-up and allow users to respond to identified deficiencies in a single, intuitive online interface.
- Auto-generated, firm-customized findings letters with live editing capabilities to reduce post-audit work, increase auditor efficiency and ensure consistency.
- Real-time identification of repeat deficiencies while conducting an audit, enables the firm to isolate negative trends and quickly address issues at the time of finding.
- Notifications and alerts identify outstanding tasks and audit tracking capabilities enable views of current status across all tasks to ensure their timely completion.
- Configurable audit scoring allows firms to easily assign ratings identify and monitor risk.
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