It seems as though the number of risks facing our business is forever increasing. There is greater emphasis on us taking steps to deal with them. But what’s the best way of going about alleviating these risks?

A risk we will always face is human error. No matter how well trained we are, no matter how much of an expert we are in our respective fields, there is always room for human error. What we can do is invest our expertise in the technology that we use so that it can be applied as a tool to decrease our chances of running into bother.

Man vs machine
The area of regulation, especially the regulators themselves have been hot topics this past year. Debates have lead the Insolvency Service to investigate the idea of having a single regulator. An immediate result has been an increased demand on reports being made available to certain regulators. Rather than rushing through data and panicking when reports are due, why not invest time now setting report parameters and putting a process in place that will mean that, come due date, reports can be produced in minutes by following the process and extracting the correct data?

If this can be done by a human hand in minutes, how quickly could this be done by machine? The technology exists to have reports running on an automated basis, based off parameters set by the user and presented in the manner that the user wishes to view the data. We can be turned off from using software as at the outset it requires an investment of time and money. However, if we think further ahead, the initial investment of time and money pales in comparison to the long-term savings.

Use technology to remain compliant
One example of this would be the implementation of automated management information reports. Taking an insolvency practice as an example, these could range from a simple report highlighting overdue tasks on all cases, to a more complex report showing how actual-time costs are comparing to the time costs estimated on the statement of affairs. The real-time saving comes in having scheduled reports being sent to you rather than having to go and find them.

There is an increased stringency on reporting by the regulators. The frequency at which these reports are required has increased. An option would be to use a service that builds these reports for you on a scheduled basis. The main benefit here is the saving on time and the associated costs in having a member(s) of staff build these detailed reports when required by the regulator.

Automation and compliance
On 25 May 2018, the phenomenon that is the GDPR came into our lives. Since then we have seen extraordinary fines handed to some of the world’s largest software companies in respect of their handling of customer data – a clear sign that we all must ensure we remain GDPR compliant. However, we must also ensure we don’t lose out on efficiencies that we depend on to drive our business forward. Fortunately, there are functionalities available to use that do just that.

The introduction of open banking has ‘opened up’ (pardon the pun) great possibilities for the insolvency sector. Whether that be in streamlining a firm’s everyday banking activities or gathering essential information in the building of a case. Existing technologies such as automated credit checks, automated AML and KYC searches and online asset searches also aid efficiency. However, as noted previously, it’s imperative that we remain GDPR compliant.

No need to complicate things
Thankfully the solution does not have to be complicated. In fact, there are solutions that encompass all of the efficient tools noted above and also carry out the required consent checks, which in turn follows up in setting the correct controls against the case (for example contact preferences). Not only does this mitigate the risk of receiving a hefty fine in respect of GDPR, but it also ensures the data collected is accurate, alleviating the risk of human error.

While it may seem like we are becoming more and more exposed to risk with each passing day and that our workload will suffer as a result of the safeguards we’ll have to put in place, there will always be a smart process or an intuitive product that will take a risk, nullify it and then create opportunities for us. The key is to find what will work for you!

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