More than 50% of CASS firms use a form of technology toolkit to manage their CASS environment. As regulatory software develops and is increasingly adopted, what barriers do you see for firms when making a move from spreadsheet to software?
There are a number of challenges that firms can face in implementing such software solutions. Some of these are detailed below:
- End users who are accustomed to working with spreadsheets may resist adopting new software. They may be comfortable with their existing processes and reluctant to learn and adapt to new software. Overcoming this resistance requires effective change management strategies, such as early adoption, clear communication about the benefits of the software and ensuring the ultimate users of such software are included within such implementations as soon as is practical to do so.
- Successfully transitioning to regulatory software requires buy-in from various stakeholders, including senior management, compliance teams, IT departments, and crucially the end-users. It is essential to align the interests and expectations of these stakeholders to secure their support and ensure a smooth transition.
- Implementing regulatory software bears a financial cost and firms need to assess the financial feasibility of adopting the software and weigh it against the potential long-term benefits and efficiency gains. Speed to implement and promote to a business as usual state is crucial in assessing feasibility.
- Migrating from spreadsheets to software requires transferring existing data into a new system. This process can sometimes be complex, particularly when dealing with large volumes of data or when the data is structured differently in the software compared to spreadsheets. Integration with other systems and databases may also present challenges, as data needs to flow completely and promptly between different applications.
- Firms generally have unique regulatory requirements and workflows that may not be easily accommodated by off-the-shelf regulatory software. Customization options and flexibility are crucial to ensure that the software aligns with the firm’s specific requirements. However, extensive customization can sometimes increase implementation time and costs.
- Regulations and compliance requirements frequently evolve, requiring software to be regularly updated to stay aligned to current sourcebooks and legislation. Firms must consider the software vendor’s ability to provide timely updates and support for regulatory changes to ensure ongoing compliance. Where possible, the automation of such updates should be considered as a key consideration.
- The pressure of preparing for forthcoming audits, managing in flight engagements or remediation of observations from a completed audit cycle can often result firms perpetually in “audit mode” with a limited window in which to implement change and remediation programmes of work. This can be compounded by key SME resource being stretched across various workstreams, including mission critical BAU activities. Speed of implementation is therefore critical and vendors that can support this process over and beyond the provision of the software should be considered.
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