Qumas, the leading developer of enterprise governance, risk and compliance solutions, today announced the financial services industry’s first end-to-end closed-loop compliance solution.
The QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process highlights all of the core activities that fall under compliance and serves as the underlying framework for QUMAS technology and pre-configured suites.
Using the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process, financial services organizations can accurately review, correct, document and report compliance information and take corrective actions. For the first time financial services organizations can treat compliance as a single unified process rather than as a series of silos that vary with department or regulation.
Policies & Procedures Suite first in a series of pre-configured offerings
QUMAS plans to release several pre-configured suites during the course of the year that address specific components of the automated closed-loop compliance process. The QUMAS Policies and Procedures Suite announced today is the first in this series that will enable companies to quickly realize the full benefits of an automated closed-loop compliance process. Depending upon the maturity of its existing compliance program, a company can purchase one or all of the suites to fully derive the benefits of the closed-loop process. The modular approach from QUMAS allows companies to leverage existing equipment and technology investments, while integrating critical best practices to address evolving compliance needs.
The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite provides the only fully compliant software suite designed specifically for financial services firms that includes all of the critical components required to automate the creation, management, and enforcement of compliance policies and procedures lifecycles.
Elevating the visibility of compliance
"We are now able to provide chief compliance officers and other risk managers at financial services organizations with a complete compliance solution that spans the entire enterprise," said Kevin O'Leary, CEO of QUMAS. "Financial services organizations can automate compliance-related business processees across the enterprise and monitor internal processes, procedures and workflows from one centralized location. As a result, companies are able to make better informed strategic decisions quickly, providing them with a competitive advantage they are unable to realize with multiple solutions in place."
The QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process comprises the following critical activities to ensure ongoing compliance with a wide range of regulations and initiatives:
- Identify laws and regulations: Enables companies to determine critical regulations with which they must comply and to maintain them in a central repository dedicated to policy and procedure documentation
- Agree on interpretation and effect: Identifies processes so that process owners can review and achieve consensus when interpreting new legislation in a documented and traceable manner
- Issue policies and procedures: Allows policies and procedures to be automatically issued company-wide in a cohesive manner and as part of a controlled workflow process - creation, review, edit, approval, distribution, consumption, retirement, replacement - to manage new content and any subsequent regulatory changes
- Training: Provides a standardized, clear and documented feedback loop that ensures employees are aware of updates to policies and procedures while providing an electronic "read and understood" mechanism to validate that employees have verified their commitment to following prescribed policies and procedures
- Monitor compliance: Automates the testing of existing controls to ensure that proper activities are taking place to mitigate the potential for human error and fraud
- Investigate issues: Allows for a clear process that logs exceptions and alerts on a filtered, meaningful basis, so system administrators can prioritize critical events and take the appropriate corrective actions
- Take corrective action: Enables companies to be more proactive in being compliant and adjust programs accordingly, since compliance is addressed as a single unified process
- Make informed risk-based decisions: Ensures that risk should always be the lens through which financial firms view all compliance issues and activities; accordingly, risk-based decisions should not be factored in just at the end, but embedded throughout the entire compliance management process
A closed-loop compliance process ensures that all identified issues are resolved. All issues or weaknesses that may have a material effect are escalated to proper levels and are resolved by the person charged with that oversight. Effective governance means proactively resolving all anomalies and documenting the action taken. By addressing issues and resolving them, companies continually improve their business practices.
"Without an automated solution to track and manage a company's compliance obligations, no chief compliance officer has the certainty that individuals within his organization are following established policies and procedures," stated Warren Perry, senior compliance advisor for QUMAS. "For the first time, the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process makes it practical to deliver complete and consistent compliance across the enterprise."
Closed-Loop Process makes for quicker, accurate and better informed decisions
Using the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process, financial services organizations realize the following benefits:
- Better, more informed decisions - high integrity, risk-based information ensures informed decisions are made on compliance issues
- Faster responsiveness and improved accuracy - standardized and streamlined operations ensure faster reaction times to compliance tasks and lower error rates
- Maximized agility -increased capability to monitor and react to regulatory impact assessment and change program assessment
- Exceptional value with one robust solution - elimination of manual activity increases employee productivity and eliminates the need for multiple point solutions
- Improved business performance and predictability - new operational efficiencies gained from an automated information flow and a systematic process
- Regulatory advantage - firms can proactively manage regulatory relationships and minimize the risk of costly investigations and damage to reputation
Separately, QUMAS, the leading developer of enterprise governance, risk and compliance solutions, today announced the availability of the QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite. This suite provides financial services companies with a comprehensive software solution for policies and procedures management. It is the first in a series of pre-configured suites that QUMAS is introducing to the financial services market in 2007.
Corporate policies and procedures form the basic foundation for any company's compliance operations. However, firms typically store their policies and procedures in file storage locations, corporate Web sites, and even in file cabinets, with no central means of controlling, accessing, aggregating or auditing this information easily. This approach does not provide a clear way to identify issues or the steps taken to achieve a resolution. In fact, the SEC estimates that a large percentage of compliance issues are related to documentation that is not current or easily accessible to employees.
"Web-based storage systems do not provide enough control to companies to assure that employees are always accessing the most up-to-date version of a specific policy. In addition, these systems show their vulnerabilities at the time when you most need them - at the audit - because they have no audit trail of approvals, no point-in-time reporting and no systemic analysis of the impact of any changes," said Kevin O'Leary, chief executive officer, QUMAS. "The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite supports common audit requests and provides on-demand requests of any and all policies and procedures. With the Policies & Procedures Suite, companies can easily pull all of the necessary information they'll need during an audit without having to know the intricacies of the system."
The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite falls within the framework of the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process, which was also announced today. Using the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process, financial services organizations can accurately review, correct, document and report compliance information and take corrective actions. Rather than treating compliance as a series of silos that vary with department or regulation, financial services organizations, for the first time, can treat compliance as a single unified process.
The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite is the only fully compliant enterprise software suite designed specifically for financial services firms that includes all the critical components required to automate the creation, management and enforcement of compliance policies and procedures lifecycles. The suite features point-in-time reporting capabilities that give companies the ability to mount a stronger regulatory defence in the event of an audit. With point-in-time reporting, companies can easily assemble historic information on the policies and procedures in effect at the time of an adverse event and isolate problems down to an individual offender.
The suite is comprised of the following integrated components
- QUMAS DocCompliance: a content management system that lets companies create, manage and securely store all content, reports and records. Key features of DocCompliance include workflow and configuration management, advanced document lifecycle management, automated notification of document changes and approvals, role-based electronic signatures, "Read and Understood" traceability and a comprehensive audit trail.
- QUMAS Document Loading Tool: an advanced import/export tool to move large collections of documents and/or file folders from a file system and duplicate them within QUMAS DocCompliance. Users can also specify metadata such as document type, name, title, description, extended attributes and permissions for files and folders imported.
- Collaborative Review and Authoring Capabilities: technology from PleaseTech that provides a secure, structured and controlled review environment within the Web browser. This allows employees to simultaneously comment on the same copy of a document, including MS Word documents, PowerPoint slides, PDFs, images and image collections. This also enhances document quality and dramatically reduces the number of review cycles.
"By having a single repository of regulatory material, companies can view their policies and procedures the way that regulators view them," commented Warren Perry, senior compliance advisor for QUMAS. "This provides companies with a stronger regulatory defence and provides them with a competitive advantage, since they can make more informed decisions on an expedited basis."
In addition, the suite delivers a lower total cost of ownership as it frees up employee time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manually compiling and gathering data, as well as remediating the human errors that are a by-product of using spreadsheets or Internet file storage systems. The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite is easily configurable, deploys without a heavy IT footprint and includes implementation and training. Deployments typically take two to four months to complete.
Companies who implement the QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite are able to realize the following benefits:
- Provides effective and proactive regulatory defence
- Mitigates risk of fines and damage to brand and reputation
- Reduces reliance on expensive and time-consuming outside consultants
- Allows organizations to efficiently manage and standardize creation and delivery of P&P document management
- Reduces the per-document creation expense
- Expedites review cycles by eliminating the time a typical worker spends simply looking for information
- Enables companies to adapt quickly to regulator or internal changes with flexible configuration capabilities
- Reduces IT costs with flexible, out-of-the-box system complete with test scripts to accelerate deployments
- Enhances maturity of policies and procedures and document lifecycle processes to mitigate the risk of future compliance mandates, shifting business priorities and industry consolidation
The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite is available immediately and includes a set number of services days and test scripts to expedite deployment and optimize performance. Pricing starts at $250,000 for 25 users.