Why firms might need to reassess the use of in-house document and excel products

As regulations continue to become more stringent, the tools companies have got used to using may soon be inadequate for meeting compliance.

In the recent webinar, How to Bring Your Policy Management Process Into the 21st Century, experts from Clausematch, NovaVu, Royal Bank of Canada and Blanco Services discussed how companies can leverage new technology to improve compliance.

The panel was joined by Clausematch head of SMB Freddie Frith, NovaVu co-founder and managing director Adeel Liaqat, Royal Bank of Canada director, strategic integration, regulatory strategy and delivery, personal and commercial banking Melanie Wright, and Blanco Services CEO Koen Vanderhoydonk.

Since the financial crisis, regulators around the word have been trying to prevent a similar catastrophe happening again. Part of this effort has included an increased layer of regulation and many updates to legislations.

While software like Microsoft’s Word, Excel and SharePoint, have become staple tools in countless businesses, they might not be the best fit in terms of compliance. Wright explained that regulations are becoming more product agnostic and affecting more parts of the business. Firms should no longer rely on a few subject matter experts focused on a specific product or business practice.

Wright said, “Now with the maturation of the regulations and the growing presence of regulators across the globe, we can no longer rest on the shoulders of a handful of individuals sprinkled throughout the organization. We need to amp it up and have a much broader enterprise view of what’s going on, what the connections are and what the requirements are.”

One of the reasons given for why Microsoft Excel or Google Docs is not suitable for streamlining compliance is their lack of digital taxonomy. This makes it harder to meet current legislation but is likely to become more troublesome in the future.

It is not just the Microsoft, Google or other most common software providers that lack compliance support. Liaqat stated there are many organisations that use their own in-house products that share the same problems. These tools were not built for the current regulation standards and will continue to fall behind.

One of the common solutions financial institutions have for compliance issues is just throwing more people at the problem. This might work but is very expensive and can be inefficient.

Vanderhoydonk explained that firms need to be ready for future changes to regulations, but this is hard when using tools like Excel. These documents are isolated to the individual users, making it harder to track and manage everything that is happening on the platform.

Fortunately, there are many companies out there helping companies solve the challenges posed by their software. However, not all vendors will be a match and so a firm needs to identify the challenges they face and the solution best fit to fix it.

Read the full blog post here.

Find the full webinar here.  

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