The benefits of having an accurate, holistic, and accessible view of your operation functions across your firm is something that cannot be understated.

A scenario, which certain demographics may recall, is finding yourself stranded in your car, thumbing through an A-Z on the side of an unnamed road. Trying to retrace your turns to determine where you are, only then can you work out how to get to your destination. Without a clear view of your current position, plotting a course of action, determining the resources you will need, or preparing for the obstacles you may face is made particularly challenging.

Understanding not only the processes completed by your teams but having a complete taxonomy of all said processes is crucial and can highlight what you are not doing in terms of regulatory compliance. This can also enable us to understand the scope of changes and how the deliverables from the work can influence other teams or to identify common areas within these processes and ensure they’re completed consistently, and that controls and risks are handled uniformly across the area.

At Simplify Consulting we accelerate the delivery of an ‘As-Is’ view by using our Simplify DNA model, which includes a repository of over 130 best-in-class process maps. This enables us to quickly create process flows and map the existing processes by having “version 0.9s” before meeting with a subject matter expert inside the firm. Our comprehensive list of processes would also be used to determine where the challenges are, identify and rank process improvement opportunities, and identify any processes we would have expected the business to be completing but is not.

Controls are a hot button topic with our clients as of late. A comprehensive As-Is view enables us to map and assess the effectiveness of existing controls within the business. We collaborate with our clients to ensure that risks of regulatory breaches and errors are mitigated as much as possible by identifying and presenting improvement opportunities, ensuring consistency, and flagging where controls are needed but are not current in place.

The Financial Conduct Authority has for the first time put into place a regulatory requirement to capture and maintain an accurate As-Is view of critical processes. With the Operational Resilience deadline of 31st March 2022 having passed earlier this year firms are expected to have identified their key business services, determine and document impact tolerance and have conducted mapping and testing to a level of sophistication. Undoubtedly, a big ask, but one with many benefits. Identifying the vulnerabilities in your operations is the first stage of implementing additional testing, mitigative actions, and reducing said vulnerabilities. The challenge for businesses is to make sure these are consistently reviewed and updated to ensure that they reflect an up-to-date view of the firm’s processes.

A less apparent benefit of maintaining an accurate As-Is view of your firm is the ability to quickly respond to regulatory demands in which compliance doesn’t require said view. An example of this would be compliance to Consumer Duty, your as-is process flows will play a pivotal role to ensure that a service proposition is robust and can deliver against the wider aim of delivering good outcomes to customers.

At Simplify we can help with all aspects of servicing; from optimising operations, to delivering digital and regulatory change and so much more. Get in touch with us today.

Thomas Shearwood

Junior Wealth Consultant