Credit unions spend significant time and money on meeting changing regulatory expectations, and lately, that’s translated to rolling out new policies, procedures, or disclosures to align with ever-changing COVID-19 demands. Keeping policies up to date isn’t just a matter making it easier for credit union staff to do their job—it can also be a compliance imperative.
That’s why it’s important to approach policy and document management with best practices and intuitive technology, including these five tips.
1. Create well-defined procedures on policy management
As you assess the process your credit union currently uses to manage documents, look to determine if there are gaps in tracking and lifecycle management (a methodical workflow of taking a document from start to finish) and work on clearly defining procedures, at each step in the process, no matter what type of compliance management system your credit union is using. The process should be a consistent method of steps based on the document type (policy, procedure, disclosure) that assigns ownership, implements a review process, follows an approval protocol, publishing standards, staff training and attestation.
2. Collaborate with peers on industry best practices
The unique cooperative values of the credit union movement have always been a strategic advantage. Your peers have likely experienced a similar business challenge to the one that you’re facing and are often open to helping you solve it.
Even if you have collaborated with peers in the past, you may be looking for more ways to connect. Consider joining the CUNA Compliance Community to continue to build your network virtually.
With more than 6,000 credit union compliance professionals belonging to CUNA Compliance Community, you’ll have access to a wealth of industry knowledge. Community members engage in discussions and share information and resources on pressing compliance issues. You’ll find the file share library particularly useful in assessing industry best practices for specific policy/document creation and implementation.
Or, if you’re a compliance or risk focused professional involved in setting your credit union’s strategies, you can also join the new CUNA Compliance & Risk Council. This professional network for CUNA member credit unions provides an unmatched platform for collaborating on compliance and risk strategy.
3. Leverage technology to automate document and policy management
These days, document management is about more than digital storage.
With the industry facing an unprecedented wave of regulatory upheaval, the complexity of keeping up with policy and procedural updates manually is even more challenging. State-of-the-art software solutions automate policy and document management, making it possible to store information in a central location, collaborate and create process efficiencies that can reduce duplicated efforts, not to mention potential problems from litigation and non-compliance.
Credit Union Compliance Management System PLUS™ (CU CMS+) is one option available for you to keep track of all the details. This centralized, web-based platform has a policy and document management functionality that can automate and streamline your workflows. You’ll also have the ability to track exceptions and manage the life-cycle of your policies.
Establishing task assignments within your policy/document management process can be cumbersome. Utilizing technology for task management can bring significant efficiency and accountability to your existing process. Task management functionality allows you to assign tasks at each step of the process, monitor and report on progress, identify bottle necks and issues that slow the process down and report on all document/policy changes periodically to minimize non-compliance risk. This type of functionality pushes out notifications to the assignees reminding them of due dates and tasks to assist in meeting deadlines.
Bonus: As you work through assessing your current procedures, you may find opportunities for workflow efficiencies.
5. Establish a document approval process
A robust compliance management system will address every business area of your credit union, so it’s necessary to consider which policies need to be approved by whom (board, management or an auditing committee). Creating a well-defined and documented workflow for approvals is pivotal to getting essential compliance updates disseminated throughout your credit union as quickly as possible.
You have a lot of options when it comes to choosing workflow management tools that can create efficiencies and reduce processing time. Many compliance management systems, including Credit Union Compliance Management System PLUS™ (CU CMS+), have approval management features to automate your approval process.
Learn more about the benefits and cost savings of streamlining compliance operation and gaining more control over policy and document management with Credit Union Compliance Management System PLUS™ (CU CMS+) by reaching out to schedule a demo.