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Flexible working? Get flexible compliance!

16 August 2021 3246 Views
Flexible working? Get flexible compliance!

Recent research shows that when asked what their ideal working set up would be, most agents said ‘hybrid’* and with proposals for a legal change that would prevent employers from forcing staff to come into the office unless they can prove it is essential, it seems 100% office-based jobs might be a thing of the past.

And while a default right for estate agents to work flexibly could be great for achieving a good work life balance, the practical side of managing a hybrid workforce may not be quite there for many businesses.

For example, most estate agents still do manual AML checks, which rely heavily on paper-based procedures and record keeping and having face to face contact with clients, and if agents are going to be working from home more - or in some cases, permanently - having an AML system that is tied to a branch is not practical.

John Dobson, CEO at AML experts SmartSearch said:

“The pandemic has brought a lot of changes, and while some have been hugely disruptive for the industry, one of the positives has been the realisation for many agents that staff can successfully work from home. In fact, in many cases, the flexibility of being able to work around home life has actually made staff more efficient.

“But there are some issues around office-based procedures, such as due diligence and compliance programmes. For many agents, it is difficult or even impossible for staff to access these systems from home, either due to practical reasons, because of security concerns, or both.”

John says now - when staff are likely to be working both from home and from the office for the foreseeable future - is the perfect time to introduce a cloud-based compliance system, that can be used to run AML checks from the office or from home, offering a secure and reliable way to ensure estate agents are meeting their legal AML requirements.

“Our cloud-based AML platform can be accessed anytime, anywhere, making running AML checks easier than ever,” said John.

“All agents need to do is enter or scan the clients’ details - via desktop, tablet or phone - and SmartSearch will run a full AML check with screening.

“The results are received in a matter of seconds, and any search run by anyone within the agency will be hosted centrally and monitored daily to ensure watertight record keeping.”

This means all agents, no matter what time they are working, and no matter if they are in the office, working from home, or out with a client, can run an AML check quickly, easily and securely. The system also automatically runs enhanced due diligence on any names that match with watchlists, cutting down false positives and making sure agents are only informed if there is reason for concern.

John concludes: “With SmartSearch, checks are quicker, easier and more accurate, which saves agents time and money and ensures they have an AML programme that works alongside this post-pandemic ‘hybrid-working’ world.”

*44% of people said they’re ideal working set up would be hybrid according to LifeSearch’s Health Wealth and Happiness report, compared to 36% who said 100% office based and 15% who said 100% home based

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