Stephanie Hacksley 2 Mar 21 8 min read

Take the stress out of AML audits

So how do you breeze through audits?

We ran a webinar recently with industry experts to get some tips for our New Zealand communities as many compliance teams around the country prepare for their upcoming audits.

Those in the know shared some great advice on how to make your audits as seamless as possible. We discussed:

  • Trends, takeaways, and guidance from audit reviews and recent events  
  • Practical advice for compliance and preparing for audits
  • The role of technology in reporting, audits, and reviews

 

Hot tip – A family member can't audit your business! 

 

Industry experts shared their insights

Proudly hosted by product guru Ashley Bass, we were joined by:

  • Brandt Botha – Principal Advisor, Financial Markets Authority (FMA)
  • Victoria Ciurlionis Audit and Assurance Manager, Strategi Compliance
  • Colin Dixon – Senior Product Manager, Jade ThirdEye and Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS)
  • Uresha Wickramasinghe – Senior Auditor, Strategi Compliance

 

What to watch out for when preparing for audits

If you're using automated AML software, you still need to make sure it's set up to match your risk assessment.

It's not enough to just implement an AML solution. You need to set it up to suit your business and keep adjusting it in response to changes in your business, legislation, and the world.

Be careful of vendors trying to sell you "out-of-the-box" solutions. Each business has unique risk requirements. You need a flexible solution that addresses your particular needs.

 

What do auditors tend to find? 

Strategi shared that when you're audited, there are often insufficiencies with:

  • The way your customers have been assessed for risk
  • Risk-based policies, procedures, and controls for Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
  • Policies, procedures, and controls for identifying suspicious customer transactions
  • Watchlist screening practices

 

How to make your audits as seamless as possible

Here are some key points to consider at each step of the process:

  • checklist

    Before – Prepare your data and remember what you learnt from your previous audit if you've had one before. Get organised. Make sure everyone in your team knows what they need to do and by when. Auditors can be in high demand so book one that's right for your business ahead of time.
  • During – Give the auditors the information they need on time. If you're aware of any areas of non-compliance, make sure you disclose these. Be available to the auditors but let them get on and do their job.
  • After – When you get your detailed audit report signed off, implement any recommendations the auditors have made in good time. Don't wait till your next audit is looming. Make notes about what you can do to make your next audit smoother.

 

What can automated AML software do for you?

AML software like Jade ThirdEye gives you easy access to audit records. It can also retain your data indefinitely. And as well as enabling you to generate audit reports whenever you want to, it automatically keeps a log of everything anyone in your business has done in the software, which is useful for proving due diligence. You can even let your auditors log in to your system and do a remote, paperless audit. 

Apart from the obvious risk of human error with manual transaction monitoring, you're also likely in for a more time-consuming audit, which could end up costing your business more in time and money. In our humble opinion, you might be better off investing in an automated system like Jade ThirdEye so you can work more efficiently and see patterns in customer behaviour over time.

were-gonna-need-a-bigger-spreadsheet

 

Tell me more!

If you need more information on preparing for your audits, the FMA recommends the AML/CFT Audit Guidelines. If you prefer to listen or chat, you can watch the webinar recording or get in touch and we'll schedule some time to talk.


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