When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator? I mean, really cleaned out your fridge: cleared out the old salad dressing bottles, swabbed the shelves, braved the foil-covered who-knows-whats hidden behind the apple cider vinegar?
If you can remember the last time, I applaud you: you’d probably be a fantastic auditor. Or perhaps you are an auditor; few have the stomach and skills to do what you do.
The truth is that most people dread internal audits. They’re arduous and time-consuming, and they routinely shine a light on a host of messy, sticky issues—but, in an industry bound by strict regulations, audits need to happen.
As they pertain to workforce compliance, audits are one of a few mechanisms through which government agencies, banking partners, and members of executive leadership can ensure that a business is actually adhering to its compliance and ethics program. Audits not only allow finance sources to verify that clients conform to their standards and industry regulations, but help organizations uncover areas of risk and take proactive corrective action. And don’t forget about third parties: consumer finance companies must themselves audit their third parties (e.g. collections agencies) to ensure they are complying with fair lending practices as well.
The same goes for consumer complaints. Complaints can be thought of as the first line of defense—indications that processes need reviewing (much like a weird smell emanating from your kitchen). Accordingly, regulators expect organizations to have in place system and procedures for consumer complaint intake, categorization, escalation, resolution, and analysis. Also consider whether your team follows a documented, repeatable procedure when taking corrective action based on trends among the complaints you receive.
In 2018, the level of complexity in lending regulations has reached an all-time high. But at the same time, organizations have unprecedented access to audit and complaint management tools that uncover key compliance data at the granular level.
Thinking back to our original metaphor, imagine that your restaurant-sized fridge could clean itself, or at least notify you when it’s time and illuminate the yogurt cups and salsa jars that need to be tossed out. This is the power of a robust compliance management system.
In two upcoming webinar, we’ll show you how such a system works. First, join us on January 31st for Internal Audit Insider Tips, in which we’ll review what you need to know to create a program that will keep you on the right side of regulations and regulators. Sign up here.
Then, on February 1st, don’t miss Can Customer Complaints Be Good for Business?, in which we’ll explore why regulators and your capital partners care about complaints, and how to use them to gain a competitive advantage. Sign up here.