One of my first clients was a financial advisor who was under a large corporate umbrella. She was part of a beta test group to use social media while still adhering to compliance standards of the financial services industry. To say it was an uphill battle would be an understatement. Every piece of content we created had to go through the compliance department who had their own set of standards that aligned with FINRA and SEC.
It seemed like we were at the whim of whoever was at the compliance desk on the day we submitted content. What I didn’t understand then, and understand better today, is that the industry is held to standards, including the need for IT Compliance Services, in addition to content approvals.
When the advisor went from under the corporate umbrella to her own firm, she needed to employ the services of someone who understood not only the importance of compliance, but someone who could ensure IT compliance standards of the firm were being met. She was luckier than most to have her own husband, a seasoned IT professional, who was able to create networks and security for the firm.
What if you don’t have IT Compliance Services?
If you’re a financial service firm working under the umbrella of a big box investment group, then the corporation is taking care of security and compliance. If you ever have questions, you can contact them, but if you’re like my former client, you need to find IT compliance services as you open the doors to your new business.
- SEC and FINRA require standards for securing, storing, transmitting, and receiving client information. If found to be in violation, it can shut down the firm for a period of time or forever and cost you in fines. As a firm, you’re held to the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 and related documents which, while subject to reasonable interpretation, are the standard.
- Digital assets also fall under the compliance standards for financial firms. This was a new idea when I started working with my client more than a decade ago. Social media wasn’t widely used or accepted for the industry making our work groundbreaking, paving the way for the standards that are in place today. Understanding what is acceptable, and perhaps more importantly, what is not, will help your firm stay compliant.
- Cybersecurity is of utmost importance. If hackers breach data, especially client data, that can spell hefty fines for your firm, not to mention the cost to rebuild a more secure infrastructure. Get cybersecurity in place and save yourself the headache and cost in the future.
While it seems like a huge upfront cost, it is simply a cost of doing business in the financial services industry. The TekConcierge team provides IT Compliance Services to forms of all sizes. If you’re not sure that current measures meet standards, we’d love to chat with you!