Branch Audit Management – Technology with a Human Factor

A perennial hurdle for many firms considering the jump from a paper-based audit management solution to a web-based one, is the concern of it being unable to mirror the natural, conversational, and at times, unpredictable workflows that a live audit can take. While the use of audit technology is steadily becoming an industry standard, firms are oftentimes reluctant to trade in their current, manual processes for something that feels so mechanic and unfamiliar, regardless of how efficient it may be.

To remedy this resistance, Quest CE developed an audit management platform that incorporates all the household familiarities of a pen and paper solution, with all the automated functionalities of a tech-based system, creating a hybrid between the two that is both robust and intuitive. This technology/human integration can be showcased in the platform’s ability to dynamically communicate with one-to-many branch office locations and representatives, establishing a top-down culture of compliance.

Avoiding the bloat of paper processing, Quest CE’s web-based solution allows auditors to seamlessly store audit documentation online, from a centralized, easily-accessible platform. From here, auditors can easily assign pre-audit questionnaires, audit questionnaires, and electronic attestations to a branch’s individual representatives/supervisors and proactively email discrepancies to the necessary end-users, enabling quicker and more thorough response to audit investigations.

Quest CE’s management platform helps auditors prepare for a conversational rep interview by giving them the ability to assign and email pre-audit surveys to registered representatives and supervisors for completion, prior to the scheduled audit. This value-added step gives auditors the option to review materials prior to arriving onsite for the branch audit, as well as prepare topics or ‘areas of concern’ to be discussed during the audit.

Additionally, during the onsite audit, an auditor can easily select an interviewee from a list of active branch representative from within the Quest CE Branch Audit Tool, grab the individual reps pre-formatted questionnaire, and immediately execute an interview with branch reps.  Featuring a reactive design layout, audit interview questions can expand and collapse as needed, allowing tablet users to easily jump from question to question, replicating the essence of a ‘back-and-forth’ of interview.

Once an audit has been successfully completed, Quest CE’s platform helps firms initiate quick remediation by generating digital rep/supervisor audit attestations and reports to be sent through the system’s internal email exchange system. To ensure firm-wide compliance, each audited individual is emailed an attestation for which they must electronically sign, stating that they attest to the audit findings and future remediation measures.

During audit review, auditors can leverage Quest CE’s powerful reporting dashboard to create real-time reports summarizing branch and representative audit findings. Information can be filtered and sorted by a variety of reporting queues to assess potential compliance gaps and provide a defensible compliance history. Additionally, Quest CE’s platform maintains an easily accessible and secure time-stamped audit trail of all audit documents incurred throughout the audit process.

Quest CE’s user-friendly platform maintains all the comforts of a paper-based solution, with all the power of a modern management system, allowing internal auditors to seamlessly create, manage and execute audits, while program administrators can easily track, report and define risk and deficiencies. For questions regarding Quest CE’s Branch Audit Management platform, please contact a Quest CE Sales Executive at 877-593-3366 or e-mail sales@questce.com.

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About Quest CE

For over twenty-five years, Quest CE has been the premier provider of Compliance Education to the financial services industry. In addition to offering Providership Administration and insurance continuing education (CE) for professionals holding insurance licenses and professional designations like the CFP, CPA, CLE, CIMA and CLU/ChFC designations, Quest CE also provides a complete spectrum of FINRA compliance training solutions including annually required Firm Element Training for registered representatives, on-demand Annual Compliance Meetings, Annual Compliance Questionnaires, Needs Analysis Surveys, Outside Business Activity Tracking, Gifts and Entertainment Tracking and Political Contributions Tracking.

Serving more than 630 leading insurance carriers, broker-dealers, banks, and other financial institutions, Quest CE is committed to providing advanced custom solutions at cost effective rates, while providing a level of service that greatly surpasses their competitors. Quest CE is the single source solution for organizations seeking training and compliance needs.