The financial services industry is one of the most heavily regulated sectors of our economy. There is Dodd-Frank and Sarbanes-Oxley to contend with, among so many others. There is also the myriad of acronym-labeled organizations and agencies, on both domestic soil and abroad, tasked with overseeing the enforcement of these rules and regulations or the investigation of companies or individuals believed to have breached them. Granted, there have been a few outrageous dealings and unscrupulous scandals (okay, maybe more than a few) that had a rather significant impact on the economy at large. Because of these unfortunate occurrences and their considerable or lingering repercussions, some level of increased scrutiny and heightened disclosure rules was to be expected. Not surprisingly, this increased level of scrutiny also applies to how a financial services firm manages its contracts.
It is clear that the regulations implemented are meant to promote transparency and accountability within and among financial services firms. The hope, of course, is that this will protect the interests and well-being of consumers and prevent any future financial disasters. In an effort to improve matters, there are now some pretty strict rules regarding client data protection and records management. With all of these policies and agencies to consider, most companies need an entire team devoted to regulating the companies’ compliance with regulations. This is all well and good for large operations. For small to mid-sized businesses, on the other hand, trying to keep up may simply break the budget or lead to a naively optimistic hope that everything is fine as is and any issues can be addressed if or when they arise. Obviously, the latter approach is far from ideal.
For many financial institutions, particularly investment banks, brokerage firms, and insurance companies, some of the most important documentation that must be closely monitored includes a company’s contracts. These may be loan documents, security instruments, broker-deal arrangements, or some other financial service agreement formalized in writing. Regardless of the type of arrangement that exists, financial firms must ensure that such contracts are in compliance with current regulations, from the execution stage to complete fulfillment of the contractual terms. An obvious auditing process and secure contract repository is all-but-mandatory. These days, effective contract management is a necessity amid the many, complicated financial regulations.
Fortunately, maintaining client data and records as it pertains to these contracts is easier than ever. There are plenty of contract management services specifically designed to meet a host of different needs. By selecting a service that has a simple user interface with practical features, implementing a contract management solution can be surprisingly quick and painless. And, perhaps more importantly, effective yet affordable contract management systems are available, irrespective of a company’s size or budget.