planning budget

Planning Your 2019 Compliance Budget Part Two: Top 5 Budgeting Tips from ACA’s Former Regulators and CCOs

November 5, 2018 by Sean McKeveny, Lee Ann Wilson

As the 2018 finish line approaches, it is necessary to start looking ahead to how you want to shape your compliance program for the coming year. Last week, we discussed how to build the foundation of your budgeting process. This week, we asked the many former regulators and CCOs on ACA’s staff for their perspective on the most crucial components of building a compliance budget.

Here are some helpful tips from ACA’s former regulators and CCOs:

  • Don’t procrastinate when it comes to the budget process. This includes reassessing the budget and priorities, and adding new tasks, regulatory priorities, and conflict and risk mitigation efforts.
  • Cultivate internal support by understanding business pressures, identifying and addressing hidden costs, getting involved in committees to make compliance visible and transparent, and presenting options and explaining risks.
  • Build on prior years by determining which areas that were slated for the current year but were not addressed, and resolving outstanding items from regulatory examinations.
  • Consider staffing strategies such as secondments, quarterly or monthly support, and cross-training internal resources.
  • Utilize technology to identify upfront investments for long-term savings, perform vendor due diligence, conduct onboarding and monitoring, automate processes, and eliminate human error (understanding that monitoring is still required).

How ACA Can Help

ACA can help firms revisit 2018 developments and items on the 2019 regulatory landscape. As you undergo your 2019 budget planning process, if there are any areas where you would like to explore additional assistance or services, please reach out to your ACA Consultant or request a member of our team to contact you directly here.

Additional Resources

About the Authors

Lee Ann Wilson joined ACA in February 2011. She currently serves as a Senior Principal Consultant working out of the Boston area, as well as a Practice Specialist in ACA’s Private Equity Practice. Lee Ann specializes in SEC compliance for investment managers of private equity, real estate, venture capital, and private debt funds of all sizes. Her primary responsibilities include providing comprehensive compliance consulting services, including the development, implementation, and maintenance of customized compliance programs that are designed to ensure compliance with applicable rules under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as well as industry best practices. Lee Ann also prepares investment firms for registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and conducts mock SEC inspections to help these firms identify and address their unique compliance and operational risks. Lee Ann also participates in webcasts and industry events on various compliance topics. Prior to joining ACA, Lee Ann served as chief compliance officer and operations director for a Boston-based private equity firm. While there, she helped open four additional offices worldwide and oversaw all internal compliance matters. She also monitored compliance for the firm’s five funds. In addition, Lee Ann previously assisted with startup operations and compliance at a Boston-area hedge fund. During her tenure there as legal services manager, she developed all compliance procedures. She also liaised with investors and fund administrators on contract and reporting matters.

Prior to entering the financial services sector, Lee Ann worked primarily as a paralegal in law firms and in-house corporate legal departments, including Goodwin Procter in Boston, where she performed paralegal duties and developed trial databases for the firm’s litigation department.

Sean McKeveny rejoined ACA in September 2014 to support the launch of ACA’s Analysis and Review Center (“ARC”) in Pittsburgh. Sean had previously worked as a Compliance Analyst in ACA’s Morristown, New Jersey office. After spending three and a half years in Pittsburgh, Sean returned to Morristown, where, as a Principal Consultant, he oversees select ARC projects, provides support during mock exams, and serves as a practice specialist supporting sales and business development initiatives for ACA’s business process outsourcing segment.

Sean earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management (summa cum laude) from the University of Scranton. He also holds the Claritas Investment Certification issued by the CFA Institute and a graduate certification in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University.