The FCA Operational Resilience Assessment focuses on business continuity. The assessment flags up any processes that carry risk and could in turn impact the day-to-day running of a business, should they be compromised.
When it comes to a firm’s financial processes, the main highlighted risk is that of people; finance professionals need to become proactive when it comes to reducing risk, payment fraud and error within their firm’s finance operations for better business continuity. The main way they can do this is to remove the need for manual intervention wherever possible.
Human Error in Corporate Finance Operations
When it comes to the processing of payments, these are often time-consuming yet essential; with payments being the backbone to a Financial Services (FS) firm’s business offering, dealing with different systems, banks, and an over-reliance on people becomes a risk that can’t be avoided.
So, how can human-error be prevented? Firms need centralised control over the security of their users, systems, and applications.
In fact, did you know that most security issues faced by finance and treasury teams are simply caused by human error and that 68% of data breaches are not cause my maliciousness, but by genuine mistakes.
As aforementioned, prevention is an essential component to mitigating risk and aiding Operational Resilience.
Even SWIFT note that “ensuring that the most effective and appropriate internal strategies and controls are in place will help protect your funds and your organisation” which also supports the FCAs advice to adapt, respond to, recover, and learn from operational disruptions.
This is where Corporate-to-Bank Integration comes in.
Reducing Risk and Aiding Operational Resilience with Corporate-to-Bank Integration
Corporate-to-Bank Integration promotes the idea of straight-through-processing of payments and statements from your bank to your back-office.
In turn, this makes the actual process of exchanging payment files and statements a lot less manual, resulting in:
- Segregation between different entities and work-streams to ensure a walls-up approach to payment approvals
- Rationalization of bank accounts improves reconciliation, increases control of bank relationships and enables standardized payment initiation processes
- Enhanced regulatory compliance as the automated flow of payments & statement files between bank and back-office significantly reduces manual reconciliation and data aggregation. Furthermore, the flow of data is recorded in detailed audit trails and transaction reports for additional peace of mind.
Firms can now manage user access, create workflow rules and user profiles for walls-up approval and submission of payments. With one single point of entry and the capability to track user behaviour, and exception management, auditing and investigation times are reduced from hours to minutes.
Automating such processes is not only more resilient, but you are also able to access a more accurate and reliable picture of your firm’s finances, which also means your firm is also audit-ready for essential PRA reports.
AccessPay enables Darlington Building Society to absorb a variety of their old processes and reflect their control environments. This would include verification of payment files and 4-eyes approval. Unlike other providers, AccessPay’s single system makes controls even easier.
What’s more, a single, centralised platform can be used for all payment types, statement retrievals and bank connections. One login, one password, no tokens, no paper.
By consolidating all bank access and transaction management into one system, finance professionals can limit the requirement for individual bank portal access and reduce any security risk associated with logging into multiple banking portals.
For those in the Financial Services industry, where the organisation’s money must be segregated from the client’s and held in separate bank accounts, the ability to view these bank accounts and transactions side-by-side and across one platform is a formidable feature, especially when reporting and reconciling external client money.
Going further, proactive and pre-emptive flags highlight potentially fraudulent activity and erroneous transactions, meaning firms receive automated alerts, sent in real-time thus allowing an action to be taken immediately, or prevention of an event completely.
By automating typically manual tasks, firms can better protect themselves from financial crime, reduce the risk associated with people and human error, and better comply with the FCA and PRA.
For a closer look at how we help firms achieve Operational Resilience, Find out more here.