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Can your compliance officer protect your business?

(Nov. 16, 2012) -- Training session Dec. 5 in Chicago will provide training and certification to dealership compliance officers, those people appointed by the business to be the point of contact for any compliance-related questions posed by federal regulators. "The truth is, if you are like the vast majority of people in our industry, your compliance officer is not ready for an encounter with federal agents," said Rishel. 

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — “Sooner or later, a federal regulator or examiner is going to walk through your doors to check what you are doing in relation to your compliance responsibilities,” said Ken Rishel, president of Rishel Consulting, a regulatory consultant serving the RV and manufactured housing industries.

“It might be the IRS to examine tax returns or to discuss cash payments your organization received, or it might be the FBI chasing some suspected drug dealer or terrorist, or it could be the CFPB looking into your seller finance efforts, or even the FTC following up on a consumer or competitor complaint about your advertising,” he added. “They expect to talk to your designated compliance officer first and foremost. If your compliance officer doesn’t know what they are talking about, or they inadvertently give away too much information, what might have been routine will turn into a full-blown examination with your organization on the losing end.”

Rishel will be conducting a meeting Dec. 5 in Chicago to provide training and certification for compliance officers.  

“Almost every community owner and retailer in the RV and manufactured housing industry is caught up in one of two kinds (or both) of compliance responsibilities. For those of you who are not engaged in some form of seller financing, anti money laundering responsibilities has been your introduction to compliance management systems,” said Rishel. “For those of you who are engaged in some form of seller-financing (including lease-option) this workshop is also critical to a working compliance management system.”

“If you are like most business owners, you strongly dislike this ‘new’ need to deal with all of this compliance stuff,” he added. “You resent the money and time it takes to do it, and mostly you are just trying to ‘cover the bases,’ rather than living compliance responsibility. I fully understand that, because it was the way I viewed compliance myself, until I saw how serious it was getting a few years ago.

“So, if that is your attitude, you most likely appointed whoever you thought had the time and was going to stay the longest as your compliance officer. Maybe, you got lucky and had an employee who used to work in a bank,” said Rishel. “The point is, you most likely didn’t think about the fact that the person you appointed was going to hold the fate of your organization in their hands because they were going to be the person who the regulators were going to want to deal with. 

“Do you really believe you can bet your company on their knowledge and expertise as a compliance officer?” he asked.

Even business owners who have appointed themselves as compliance officer because there was no one else in the company who could handle the job are at risk unless they really know how to deal federal regulators, rules of consensual disclosure, rules of evidence, and all the other things necessary to protect the business from fines and penalties, he explained.

“The truth is, if you are like the vast majority of people in our industry, your compliance officer is not ready for an encounter with federal agents,” said Rishel. 

The Dec. 5 training session is designed to prepare compliance officers to understand their responsibilities and how they must organize and protect information required under a variety of new federal rules. 

More information about the conference can be found in a brochure by clicking here.

To register, dealers may call Donna at 217.899.9268. 

Dealers can also call Rishel at 217.971.3968.

SOURCE: Rishel Consulting press release

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About Greg Gerber

Greg Gerber is a freelance writer and podcaster who has been writing about the RV industry since 2000. He is the former editor of RV Daily Report.

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