82% of accountancy firms using automated AML checks

Eighty-two per cent of decision makers in accountancy are now using automation as part of their anti-money laundering (AML) checks, research from SmartSearch has found.

This is despite 50% of those surveyed expressing a level of distrust in electronic verification checks.

The SmartSearch research, which surveyed 500 senior business decision makers, revealed that 9% of senior business figures in accountancy don’t trust current automated customer verification checks, while another 41% revealed they only “somewhat” trust them.

The AML specialist suggested the adoption of automated checks became common during the UK’s first lockdown. However, the study found that 23% of UK businesses across the board still have no automated processes in place when it comes to AML.

SmartSearch has urged businesses to consider better automation processes to improve efficiencies and accuracy, to help “navigate an ever-challenging” business landscape.

“When lockdown hit first time around, businesses suffered when it came to their AML checks,” said SmartSearch CEO, John Dobson.

“These businesses rely heavily on those working in the accounting and finance industries to help steer them through challenging times, so it is somewhat encouraging to see trust levels in automation in finance are slightly higher than average – 32% said they fully trust automated processes.

“However, we can see at a UK level that 23% of businesses still have no automation in place when it comes to AML checks. Lockdown or not, introducing automation in your business is going to create major efficiencies and free up time to focus on other business priorities.”

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