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3 ways to speed up AML work

17th Jun 2024
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Bright was created in 2021 when Thesaurus Software Ltd. and Relate Software Ltd. decided to join...
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The realities of everyday Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance extend far beyond box-ticking exercises, with some accountants comparing staying on top of it all to a full-time job. It’s a constant moving machine that you can’t just pick up once and then leave by the wayside. 

For example, when you see a transaction that seems suspicious, you must question it… 

“That’s a lot of cash, but is it too much cash?” 

“Surely that’s an old address that they entered by mistake, right?” 

“They said ‘All crypto businesses run like that’, but do they really?” 

This could end up leading you down a never-ending rabbit hole of detective work, and the amount of admin involved doesn’t make things easier. Unfortunately, this is the reality of everyday AML compliance. It doesn’t involve your team mapping out clues on the wall to unravel the bad guys over a strong brew of coffee. It usually just involves trying to squeeze in time in your day to tick a couple of boxes and verify some (snooze-inducing) paperwork. 

However, there are some ways to make this day-to-day AML compliance work less corrosive. 

To outsource or not to outsource? 

Some accountants find it more beneficial to outsource their AML work. On the one hand, we get it – why spend your valuable time on such a monotonous part of the job when you don’t have to? On the other hand, you are responsible for your clients, and the book stops with you, so choose wisely. For example, while outsourcing overseas can seem like a cost-effective choice, it can be difficult to know how knowledgeable an organisation is when it comes to UK legislation and your governing body’s regulations. 

To charge or not to charge? 

A common complaint from accountants is that AML is a bunch of non-billable compliance work that never sees the light of day. However, charging an onboarding fee could be a way to help with this. Now, while this may initially raise some eyebrows, charging an onboarding fee can go beyond AML work. It can cover the admin involved in preparing proposals and letters of engagement, getting professional clearance, and even requesting 64-8s. This can offset some of the costs that come with AML work as well as other areas of onboarding, and potentially turn all of that dreaded admin into a revenue stream. 

To automate or not to automate? 

A spoonful of automation helps the compliance work get done! By getting an efficient AML tool in place for your practice, you can cut down on all that arduous admin, without having to outsource or charge for it. Not only that, but it also prevents human error and provides a more robust framework for getting the work done. 

Take our own AML tool in our practice management software, BrightManager, as an example. With it, you can carry out AML ID and credit checks (that are cheap as chips, for the record), and there’s a built-in risk assessment checklist for KYC and CDD work. The ID comes back to you with either a pass or fail result. You can set a risk level for clients too, and you’re able to update the level at any time. 

An AML tool for accountants essentially means you have one less thing to worry about in your practice, so you’ve got more time to focus on why you became an accountant in the first place (those thrilling tax returns, obviously!). 

CPD webinar: How to speed up your AML work 

At the end of the day, AML work is about preventing your firm from facilitating illicit financial activities. However, if you’re looking for a quicker way to get through AML work, join our CPD Anti-Money Laundering webinar tomorrow at 11:00 am. We'll cover the basics of AML, signs to watch out for, and how you can speed up AML processes. 

That way, you can cut down on tedious compliance admin, and have more time to focus on work that generates value for your firm.  

Register now

eleanor vaughey

 

 

Written by Eleanor Vaughey | Bright

 

 

 

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