Zero. That’s how much revenue your registered reps may be generating for the two to three months it takes to complete the license-and-registration process. Here, Star Product Manager Will Haggerty lays out how Star’s L&R software solution improves the efficiency of a multistep process prone to delays
Your brokers and advisers are at your firm for one reason: to generate revenue. To get them to that point, however, they need to be fully registered and licensed through FINRA. The problem is, that license-and-registration process is a notoriously lengthy one; on average, it can be anywhere from two to three months before your reps can do what you hired them to do. It’s also a complex process, with multiple steps and milestones to hit along the way. Combine all this with a serious lack of visibility into what’s going on behind the scenes as FINRA processes your reps’ applications, and you might find yourself wondering if there’s a better way to go about it all.
There is a better way. Introducing the latest software solution from Star: License & Registration. License & Registration, or L&R, solves for the challenges you’re facing when it comes to getting your registered reps up and running, advising clients, and making money for the firm. It provides visibility into this opaque process as only a modern software platform can: by automating essential tasks and giving you a single place from which to monitor progress. Here are three ways L&R brings automation, efficiency, and increased confidence to the management of such a critical compliance process.
1. INCREASED TRANSPARENCY
With L&R, you’ll skip the guessing game. The software solution offers a level of transparency into the license-and-registration process previously unattainable. You’ll have all your critical data hosted in a single, centralized location, accessed through a user interface focused on intuitive use and efficient workflows. And with improved progress and time tracking, paired with enterprise reporting capabilities, you’ll know exactly where your advisers’ applications are sitting in the FINRA system.
2. DECREASED WORKLOAD
In the years following the financial crisis, compliance department budgets at financial services firms grew at a healthy rate. As a result, so did staff. With the leveling off of spending on the compliance function, with no concurrent leveling off of regulation to attend to (just the opposite, in fact), compliance increasingly needs to do more work with less people. As is so often the case in the modern age, the digital age, automation is the answer. In this regard, L&R lets firms connect directly with FINRA, stay up-to-date on Continuing Education (CE) due dates, view exam-window expirations and employee-submission statuses, and more.
3. EASIER MANAGEMENT
With L&R, we wanted to simplify what is a very complex licensing process. For an adviser to be fully licensed by FINRA, steps include a pre-hire background check, a definitive hire date, comprehensive onboarding, a complete U4 submission, fingerprinting, and extensive exam preparation. So while part of simplifying the licensing process was improving visibility into it, we also sought to make the whole endeavor easier to manage.
As such, we’ve given L&R expansive reporting functionality. And it’s timely data collection and collation capabilities allow for highly accurate revenue projections. In the end, the efficiencies gained with L&R come down to due fewer requests being delayed due to action items (like those listed above, and more) falling through the cracks, or inaccuracies in the significant amount of information being submitted to FINRA for each adviser you need to license. L&R solves for all of this.
ADDRESSING AN INDUSTRY-WIDE PROBLEM
By improving the visibility into and efficiency of the lengthy license-and-registration process, Star is addressing the industry-wide problem of firms not being able to immediately capitalize on the activities of their registered representatives. But better tracking and monitoring capabilities go beyond just immediate concerns about firm revenue. There’s also firm reputation to consider. And jumping the gun on a new adviser’s readiness to sell could lead to regulatory action, which could damage the brand in the long term and in that way affect the ability of the firm to compete for business. Business risk can take a myriad of forms. By allowing you to manage your FINRA licensing workflows with confidence and ease, Star’s L&R software solution gives you one less to worry about.