Compliance approval processes are never as simple as they seem. The journey from creation to publication can be circuitous, repetitive, and sometimes difficult to track. Rather than following a straight path from the author to compliance to publication, the truth is that many firms utilize various iterations of workflow routing, often depending on their internal structure. Regardless, our recent 2021 Finserv Compliance Benchmark Report revealed the business importance of automating workflow routing rules, which was the top priority across all respondents.
At a very high level, compliance teams tend to be organized in one of two structures: centralized or decentralized, largely depending on the size of the workforce requiring supervision.
In centralized structures, all communications enter one hub, and workflow is managed by a group of highly-specialized reviewers. At first glance, these structures can seem straightforward in their risk management needs: Compliance reviews and approves or rejects publication. But in reality, there can be risks that other teams may need to weigh in on, e.g. brand, legal, or HR-related risks. In many cases, getting those other departments’ opinions on the communication can be a highly manual process.
Hearsay’s automated workflow routing capabilities—in combination with our lexicon’s classification functionality—automatically routes review to the correct team in a seamless and efficient manner when certain types of words or phrases are identified. For example, if a legal keyword is detected (e.g. “cease and desist”), the alert can be immediately routed to the legal team for review and discussion.
In the decentralized model, communications are generally sent to a regional delegate of the compliance team, who is typically tasked with more than just communications review. Although this person may be perfectly capable of handling day-to-day risks, they may be less comfortable with making decisions on complex risks.
For these structures, it’s beneficial to have an escalation process where risks that require a specialist can be routed directly to the specialist. This way, the specialist is comfortable that these risks aren’t being erroneously handled by the delegate, and the delegate doesn’t have to waste time deciding whether to involve the specialist.
For example, companies subject to FINRA rules must handle complaints in a very particular way. On social media, there is a very real risk that complaints may come in for connected registered reps. If a phrase like “you swindled me” is posted on a rep’s social media page, the specialist will want to handle that alert quickly and efficiently.
In both cases outlined above, automated workflow routing can help quickly direct risks to the right team in as frictionless a manner as possible. Ultimately, reducing time-to-market for field publication helps promote and scale authentic, original content, which research has shown significantly increases social engagement.
Hearsay has implemented workflow routing rules for many of its clients, and expects to continue doing so, as clients continue to prioritize business efficiency in the coming year. If the scenarios listed above resonate with you, reach out to a Hearsay representative to discuss how our workflow routing rules can help take your firm’s compliance approval process to the next level.