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QUMAS, the leading developer of enterprise governance, risk and compliance solutions, today announced the availability of the QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite™. This suite provides financial services companies with a comprehensive software solution for policies and procedures management. It is the first in a series of pre-configured suites that QUMAS is introducing to the financial services market in 2007.
Corporate policies and procedures form the basic foundation for any company’s compliance operations. However, firms typically store their policies and procedures in file storage locations, corporate Web sites, and even in file cabinets, with no central means of controlling, accessing, aggregating or auditing this information easily. This approach does not provide a clear way to identify issues or the steps taken to achieve a resolution. In fact, the SEC estimates that a large percentage of compliance issues are related to documentation that is not current or easily accessible to employees.
“Web-based storage systems do not provide enough control to companies to assure that employees are always accessing the most up-to-date version of a specific policy. In addition, these systems show their vulnerabilities at the time when you most need them – at the audit – because they have no audit trail of approvals, no point-in-time reporting and no systemic analysis of the impact of any changes,” said Kevin O’Leary, chief executive officer, QUMAS. “The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite supports common audit requests and provides on-demand requests of any and all policies and procedures. With the Policies & Procedures Suite, companies can easily pull all of the necessary information they’ll need during an audit without having to know the intricacies of the system.”
The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite falls within the framework of the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process™, which was also announced today. Using the QUMAS Compliance Closed-Loop Process, financial services organizations can accurately review, correct, document and report compliance information and take corrective actions. Rather than treating compliance as a series of silos that vary with department or regulation, financial services organizations, for the first time, can treat compliance as a single unified process.
The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite is the only fully compliant enterprise software suite designed specifically for financial services firms that includes all the critical components required to automate the creation, management and enforcement of compliance policies and procedures lifecycles. The suite features point-in-time reporting capabilities that give companies the ability to mount a stronger regulatory defence in the event of an audit. With point-in-time reporting, companies can easily assemble historic information on the policies and procedures in effect at the time of an adverse event and isolate problems down to an individual offender.
The suite is comprised of the following integrated components:
• QUMAS DocCompliance: a content management system that lets companies create, manage and securely store all content, reports and records. Key features of DocCompliance include workflow and configuration management, advanced document lifecycle management, automated notification of document changes and approvals, role-based electronic signatures, “Read and Understood” traceability and a comprehensive audit trail.
• QUMAS Document Loading Tool: an advanced import/export tool to move large collections of documents and/or file folders from a file system and duplicate them within QUMAS DocCompliance. Users can also specify metadata such as document type, name, title, description, extended attributes and permissions for files and folders imported.
• Collaborative Review and Authoring Capabilities: technology from PleaseTech that provides a secure, structured and controlled review environment within the Web browser. This allows employees to simultaneously comment on the same copy of a document, including MS Word documents, PowerPoint slides, PDFs, images and image collections. This also enhances document quality and dramatically reduces the number of review cycles.
“By having a single repository of regulatory material, companies can view their policies and procedures the way that regulators view them,” commented Warren Perry, senior compliance advisor for QUMAS. “This provides companies with a stronger regulatory defence and provides them with a competitive advantage, since they can make more informed decisions on an expedited basis.”
In addition, the suite delivers a lower total cost of ownership as it frees up employee time and resources that would otherwise be spent on manually compiling and gathering data, as well as remediating the human errors that are a by-product of using spreadsheets or Internet file storage systems. The QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite is easily configurable, deploys without a heavy IT footprint and includes implementation and training. Deployments typically take two to four months to complete.
Companies who implement the QUMAS Policies & Procedures Suite are able to realize the following benefits:
• Provides effective and proactive regulatory defence
• Mitigates risk of fines and damage to brand and reputation
• Reduces reliance on expensive and time-consuming outside consultants
• Allows organizations to efficiently manage and standardize creation and delivery of P&P document management
• Reduces the per-document creation expense
• Expedites review cycles by eliminating the time a typical worker spends simply looking for information
• Enables companies to adapt quickly to regulator or internal changes with flexible configuration capabilities
• Reduces IT costs with flexible, out-of-the-box system complete with test scripts to accelerate deployments
• Enhances maturity of policies and procedures and document lifecycle processes to mitigate the risk of future compliance mandates, shifting business priorities and industry consolidation
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