The Importance of File Checks
Whilst it’s tempting to grunt at the idea of combing through countless reports, illustrations, and phonebook-sized provider KFDs, what if you were missing something on your client file? For most of us, it’s fairly clear what goes in to a file check. What isn’t quite so clear is what comes out of one. There are huge advantages of checking files which benefit both the firm itself as well as the individual checking.
As a firm, process is key. A smooth and efficient process is mandatory to generating a scalable and consistent business. By checking through files, you quickly notice areas of repetition. Identifying these bottlenecks within your process allows you to begin tackling them and drafting solutions. As a result of this, staff will be able to follow a more streamlined approach that will benefit them too. The result? Greater revenue and a happier workforce.
This is only one of a long list of benefits.
Another benefit is the ability to incorporate file checks into your Training and Competency Scheme. File checks generate some highly useful KPIs. Using these, you can identify training needs and any risks posed to your business. This again links right back to revenue and a happier, motivated working environment.
One of the biggest reasons for checking files is to assess suitability, correct disclosure and ultimately to avoid complaints. This leads us nicely on to the end client. As vital as it is to disclose things to clients, what’s not required is overwhelming them with unnecessary jargon or a mountain of documents. No client wants to come home to a damaged letter box or have to sit deciding what’s kindling as they wade through their annual suitability report. Reflecting properly on files allows you to really decide if the class of service you aim to deliver is the one that arrives to the client.
By going a step further and using third parties to check files, you open your business up to true and unbiased scrutiny. You receive the knowledge and advice of compliance experts who can give you a better understanding as to why things are or are not appropriate.
It is also a means for assessing staff with less awkwardness, favouritism, or workplace-politics getting in the way. The stigma surrounding file checks and compliance needs to be axed. As much as it’s about identifying where you went wrong, it’s about understanding the directions on the road to getting it right – increasing profits, satisfying clients, and retaining happy staff along the way.