Empowering accountancy firms through efficient and appropriate due diligence

Empowering accountancy firms through efficient and appropriate due diligence

The intricacies of onboarding in the financial sector are not lost on us, nor should they be lost on other firms operating within the industry.

Where there is money, there is the potential for financial misconduct and money laundering.

For this reason, due diligence in the form of anti-money laundering (AML), Know Your Client (KYC) and credit checks are not just the first step in the onboarding of any client – it is the foundation on which client relationships and brand reputation is built.

Without it, client trust can be damaged at best, and accountancy firms may face significant penalties at worst.

We understand this, having grown from our own needs as accountants, which is why we have applied our knowledge to creating an onboarding platform that serves this purpose.

A three-tiered system

When onboarding clients, firms are required to follow one of three due diligence processes depending on the level of risk presented by the client.

Each level is designed to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with global financial regulations, including AML directives and fraud prevention measures. They are:

  • Simplified – This can be applied in scenarios where there is little or no risk and requires minimal information from clients, although accountancy firms will rarely face no risk at all due to the nature of their work.
  • Standard – Firms will collect personal information and confirm it with official documentation under standard due diligence, which is the most common type for a medium risk level.
  • Enhanced – If a client is high risk, such as a politically exposed person or high net worth individual, additional information and ongoing monitoring may be required.

Choosing the correct level of due diligence is crucial for compliance and safeguarding your firm against financial crimes and reputational damage.

However, we find that firms can become so concerned with getting this part of the process right that they fail to consider client experience and cost savings through efficient workflows.

The role of good client onboarding

A well-structured client onboarding process is instrumental in addressing these levels of due diligence and delivering excellent client experience.

The Summa Tech solutions facilitate an efficient, accurate, and user-friendly onboarding experience. By integrating KYC and AML checks into the rest of the onboarding process, our software significantly reduces the manual effort and time typically associated with due diligence – while maintaining compliance.

The integrations we offer to practice management solutions also serve to reduce the manual input and duplication of effort

In particular, we have developed a solution which helps firms balance different types of due diligence on a case-by-case basis.

In addition to being tailored to each risk level, our solution allows each client to adjust AML and onboarding information depending on risk aversion and their sector requirements.

This helps to significantly reduce the potential of missing additional checks on high-risk clients or collecting unnecessary data for lower risk clients. It also supports our clients in collecting exactly the data that they want from their own clients, facilitating data protection and further risk reduction.

For accountancy firms onboarding clients, an efficient process which integrates due diligence is no longer a ‘nice to have’ addition. It is essential.

As accountants ourselves, we understand that the highest priority for firms seeking to optimise their onboarding processes are:

  • Compliance – Our onboarding solutions ensure that KYC and AML checks are not just thorough but also efficiently executed at every level. This efficiency is critical in maintaining a smooth client journey without sacrificing compliance by safely collating and storing the data appropriate to each client’s risk level.
  • Risk management – By automating the due diligence process, our solutions enable firms to more effectively identify, assess, and manage the risks associated with new clients.
  • Building trust – Perhaps most importantly, the ability to meet client and stakeholder expectations over due diligence and demonstrate steps towards best practice compliance can build strong and lasting relationships with clients.

Our solution, combined with our extensive experience in the sector, helps other firms to achieve this, designed with the flexibility to adapt to various due diligence requirements.

Our technology enables firms to seamlessly escalate from one level of due diligence to another, ensuring that each client relationship begins on a foundation of trust and compliance.

To book a demo, please contact us today.

Scroll to Top