Once a reporting entity (a business covered by the AML/CFT regime) completes its risk assessment, it must then put in place an AML/CFT (Anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism) programme that manages and mitigates these risks. A compliance programme has a direct relationship with the business risk assessment and must be based on it. When evaluating your programme (and risk assessment), supervisors and auditors will want to explore both its adequacy and effectiveness.
The foundation of a business’ AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism) regime is an adequate and effective risk assessment. Businesses covered by the AML/CFT regime (known as reporting entities) have to assess the risk of money laundering and financing of terrorism they may reasonably expect to face in the course of business. This is called a risk assessment and must be done before creating an AML/CFT compliance programme.
It involves identifying the inherent risks faced by your business. ‘Inherent’ risks are those that exist before the controls required by the AML/CFT regime are put into place in your business.
Businesses covered by the AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism) regime are known as reporting entities. If you operate a business that is a reporting entity you need to appoint a compliance officer to administer and maintain your AML/CFT programme.
The AML/CFT compliance officer is a key role in any organisation and any appointment to that role needs to be carefully considered. It is not a matter of simply assigning an employee, or yourself, to this role to demonstrate compliance with the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act.
The AML/CFT (anti-money laundering and countering financing of terrorism) regime helps businesses take precautions against people who would seek to misuse the business for criminal gain. It aids in protecting the professional reputation of businesses in both NZ and international markets. In order to achieve these goals, the regime requires businesses covered by the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act to put systems and processes in place to prevent criminals from trying to exploit any perceived vulnerabilities in those businesses.
Legitimate businesses have a contributing role in preventing the misuse of financial and professional services. Businesses operating in the financial, legal, property and high-value goods markets are at the frontline for countering criminal activity in NZ. They are the gatekeepers.
When criminals make money from illegal activities such as fraud, drugs and tax evasion they need to ‘clean’ it in order to spend it in the legal economy. They need to convert the proceeds of crime so that they can realise and enjoy the financial benefits of their offending.
Money laundering is a process that cleans illegally obtained funds of their dirty criminal origins. The money is laundered so it looks like it comes from a legitimate source, enabling criminals to cover their tracks and avoid being detected. Successful money laundering allows criminals to enjoy profits and furthers the cycle of criminality by making funds available for reinvestment in crime.
Money laundering is happening every day all over the world. And New Zealand is not immune. In fact it would surprise most New Zealanders to learn that money laundering is big here, very big. More than $1.35 billion in proceeds from drug dealing and fraud is laundered every year through legitimate NZ businesses. This is just the ballpark figure for 2018.
The actual transactional value of money laundering is likely to be several times that amount, as launderers move funds through multiple transactions. And the reality is that the true cost to the country, which includes the social cost of the organised crime and the suffering it causes, is estimated to be a great deal higher.
Risk is on the rise for New Zealand businesses, according to a recent survey. It also showed that those risks are occurring faster than they were before, with 52% of respondents confirming this.
Dealing with risk is an inherent aspect of business management, and it’s important to control and limit that risk so that you can focus on more important things, like growing your business and focusing on success.
If you talk to any big business owner, or their management team, they’ll tell you that managing mitigating and reducing risk is one of their top priorities. What they understand is that any investment they make to help reduce risk in their business is well worth it. They’ve assessed and calculated the risks and challenges their business faces, and have taken steps to eliminate them – or reduce them as much as possible.
When you think of professionals who business owners consider a trusted financial advisor, accountants would be among the first to spring to mind. And yet, in a 2018 survey of MYOB clients, only 6% thought of their accountant as a trusted financial advisor. That’s in stark contrast to the 72% of accountants who viewed themselves as trusted financial advisors.
It’s no secret that small businesses have it tough relative to their larger counterparts. It’s equally undoubted that a lack of resources, financially or otherwise, affects anything from credit ratings and capital raising through to people-power and technological capability. Due to the limited resources, small businesses are typically more exposed to external risks beyond their control, whether that’s an economic slowdown, a key employee resigning or losing an important contract.
The most innovative business teams are going agile. How can your team join the movement?
Up until recently, the agile methodology was a project management tool reserved exclusively for software teams. That’s because the original Agile Manifesto was designed by techies, for techies. Now business and strategy teams are adopting agile, and it’s taking off.