Advisor Products this week upgraded AdvisorSites Compliance Engine to streamline advertising compliance for independent advisors and broker/dealers.
Advisor Products hosts websites for 1,200 independent advisory firms, and provides them with AdvisorSites BackOffice, a content management system that enables technology novices to add new text, graphics, and pages to their websites.
AdvisorSites Compliance Engine (ACE) is a component of the BackOffice content management system. When an advisory firm changes tax, graphics, or pages on its website, ACE automatically notifies the advisory firm's compliance specialist, typically at an independent broker/dealer. ACE can be enabled on any firm’s website and provided to broker/dealer or compliance consultant.
With ACE, a compliance specialist can accept, reject, or require revisions to the content, and the changes made by the advisory firm must be submitted and then approved by the compliance specialist before they are displayed on the firm's website.
The upgrade to ACE eases the workflow and organizes information between the advisory firm and its compliance officer when changes are needed to the advisory firm’s website. Here's a summary of the new features.
Attach Notes. An advisory firm can attach a note to any new content it submits for approval and the note is visible to the compliance analyst reviewing the content. An advisor can attach a note to a submission telling the compliance analyst that the content was previously approved and providing a reference number for the earlier submission, or an advisor can simply attach a note to a submission for his own reference.
A compliance analyst can also attach notes to a submission. If, for instance, content submitted by an advisory firm is rejected and requires changes, the compliance officer in rejecting the content can attach a note about changes required for approval.
Compliance History. The entire compliance history of each page of the advisor's website is saved and available to the advisor and so are all notes attached to each submission. The Compliance History Report lists dates of all content submissions and their results. An advisor and B/D can go back and see when a page on the website was last changed, or how long it takes for a compliance analyst to review submissions.
The Compliance History Report creates an ongoing record that the advisor and B/D compliance officer can make available in the event of an audit by FINRA, or state or federal securities regulators. The report displays the compliance history an advisory firm's entire website or the history of a particular page.
ACE has been used by scores of independent broker dealers for over a decade. It also automatically creates archives of advisory firm websites whenever changes are made to a site.
While ACE is used predominantly by independent broker/dealers to streamline compliance workflow, it can also be used by Registered Investment Advisers to outsource advertising review to a compliance consultant.
Advisor Products added the new features to ACE after a compliance analyst at a broker/dealer suggested ways to ease his workflow. If you are an independent broker/dealer or RIA and have suggestions for improving Advisor Products systems, please let me know.