January 20, 2023

Is employee political contributions compliance still mission critical for regulatory compliance programs in off years?

Short answer. Yes.

Employee political contributions compliance, otherwise known as pay-to-play compliance, remains a core compliance challenge both in on and off election years. While major elections, like we saw in 2022, draws in more excitement and awareness, your employees are likely contributing to their political parties’ years round, every year.

How do we know?

Based on polling taken across on and off election years, we found a constant increase in political contribution and giving. Although the increases were greater in on election years, we continued to see increases year-over-year even as we moved from an on to an off election year.

A trend which indicates the continued presence and risk for firms who rely on government contracted work and cannot simply turn off their political contribution verification and monitoring program simply because a major election will not be occurring in the coming 12 months.

Meeting employee political contributions compliance requirements with automated solutions

With the quantity of both contributions and dollars spent each year, manually monitoring and verifying each of your covered associated political contributions has become near impossible. Especially when you take into consideration the need for firms to comply with the multiple and varied requirements from federal, state and local political contributions compliance regulations.

Which is where technology and automation come into play.

By embracing an automated answer to your political contributions compliance challenge, you ease the burden placed on yourself and your team, allowing your compliance program to take action based on the analysis of contributions being made. Instead of getting lost in the busy-work of verifying and reverifying who contributed what to which party.

While technology is by no means a catch all for your entire compliance program – after all you still need policies, procedures and processes in place to support your technology – it does aid in relieving manual processes and decreasing the risk of human error.

Backed by strong political contribution policies and procedures, a firm-wide culture of compliance and a comprehensive political contribution verification and monitoring technology, your firm can reduce risk and remain compliant in on and off years alike.

compliance updates

We may just be wrapping up the final run-up elections for the 2022 midterm year, but for financial advisory firms subject to pay-to-play regulations such as the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 206(4)-5, the regulatory ramifications are just getting started. As was made obvious in 2022 with the SEC’s fines and penalties reaching a recording breaking $6.4 billion, the Division of Examinations is making strides to ensure firms are regarding rules, regulations and penalties with the necessary level of consideration.

compliance updates

Did you know? Funding for the 2022 midterm elections reached a whopping $9.3 billion. A number which, for those of you keeping track, surpasses the 2018 election by $2 billion.

compliance updates

Pay-to-play rules and regulations, including the well-known Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) pay-to-play-rules, have become a focal point for compliance teams navigating the midterm elections in 2022. However, even in off years, or years with no major elections, for those firms who rely heavily on government contracted work, political contribution compliance can’t just turn off.