Consumer Credit Counseling Services
NAVEX Global’s PolicyTech policy management software helps one of America’s premier nonprofit credit counseling agencies manage many policy and procedure documents to maintain compliance standards for multiple oversight bodies.
Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Greater Atlanta (CCCS) is a nonprofit 501(c)( 3) community-service agency dedicated to helping families achieve financial stability. With 33 locations across four states that serve more than 500,000 consumers annually, CCCS is faced with numerous regulatory, internal and geographical issues when managing policies. CCCS is governed by a diverse, community-based Board of Directors. It employs professionally certified counselors to help clients successfully manage their finances, control debt and secure their housing.
With the burgeoning need for financial counseling and the expanding oversight of financial services regulators, maintaining their reputation and meeting all compliance laws is one of the agency’s major objectives.
Compliance challenges facing CCCS include:
- Numerous federal government regulations;
- Quarterly reporting to National Foundation for Credit Counseling (NFCC);
- An audit by the Council on Accreditation (COA) every four years;
- Multiple state audits;
- Numerous federal government regulations; and
- Monthly internal policy and procedural assessments.
CCCS of Greater Atlanta also deals with policy management challenges such as:
- Receiving frequent policy or procedural changes from regulatory bodies and business partners;
- Developing a central repository to house agency policies and procedures; and
- Promoting consistency of agency documentation across all physical locations.
By adopting NAVEX Global’s policy management, CCCS enhanced practices by:
- Storing documents in one easy-to-access location online;
- Simplifying major audit and accreditation procedures;
- Creating uniformity in policies across departments;
- Creating broad awareness of policy updates;
- Improving policy training practices; and
- Enabling centralized oversight of all company policy documents.
CCCS of Greater Atlanta had two major challenges in managing its policies and procedures. First, it needed to comply with state and federal government regulations, as well as those involving its accreditation. Second, it needed to keep each of its employees—located in 33 offices in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Mississippi—apprised of all policies.
“Going forward, we now have one place to house all such data and, as a result, preparing for CoA reaccreditation will be an ongoing process rather than a major event every four years” - Tim Spearin, Vice President of Quality Assurance, CCCS of Greater Atlanta.
Their growing workload is carried on by more than 300 certified credit counselors and more than 200 service staff and administrators. CCCS also has a 26-member community-based board of directors from distinguished business, higher education and financial institutions.
When CCCS began looking for robust policy management software, its leaders wanted a solution that provided a central location to store policies, helped streamline the procedural documentation process and could ease time and energy spent completing various audits—all at an affordable price.
NAVEX Global’s policy management software helped the agency manage its training, compliance and policy needs.
Because the agency provides counseling to people in all 50 states, a critical need was meeting the requirements of audits by each state – a time-consuming process. The compliance department is now able to quickly access the agency’s policies and procedures, critical when conducting regulatory compliance audits. They are more efficient since they can quickly provide documentation about specific procedures to auditors who may need to assess how the agency addresses client grievances, manages client funds or meets regulatory requirements. Through our policy management software, the agency is able to respond to these inquiries quickly and provide proof of proper internal controls.
Next, our software helps CCCS of Greater Atlanta prepare for various outside regulatory and third-party reviews, such as the Council on Accreditation (CoA) compliance audit. This audit occurs every four years and requires extensive preparation to ensure all standards are met and documented. To aid this process, the system has built-in reminders to review and update documents, as well as a structured process of reviewers and approvers to ensure each document’s accuracy.
Bringing it all together.
“PolicyTech will help the agency manage the audit much better,” says Tim Spearin, the agency’s vice president of Quality Assurance. “During our last reaccreditation effort, we had no central repository to house all agency documents and evidence substantiating our compliance with the CoA’s standards. We were forced to find information kept within various departments,” continued Spearin. “Going forward, we now have one place to house all such data and, as a result, preparing for CoA reaccreditation will be an ongoing process rather than a major event every four years.”
Finally, the policy process has been vastly simplified overall. using built-in policy wizards, all of CCCS’ policies are now created uniformly and allow Spearin to easily evaluate each document to ensure compliance. As policies are completed, they are instantly available to all affected departments for use and review.
Prior to using the software, it was unclear which managers were responsible for documents and there wasn’t a consistent format for writing procedures. The informality of the review and approval processes made it somewhat difficult to manage. Now, our policy management solution allows the agency to clearly define document owners and who should review and finally approve agency procedures. All affected departments are automatically notified when changes are made and the entire process has become more formal, better organized and clearly communicated throughout management.
About NAVEX Global, Inc.
NAVEX Global’s comprehensive suite of ethics and compliance software, content and services helps organizations protect their people, reputation and bottom line. Trusted by 95 of the FORTUNE 100 and more than 12,500 clients, our solutions are informed by the largest ethics and compliance community in the world.