According to Schedule 1 of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act (FICA) law firms are classified as Accountable Institutions and so all lawyers, attorneys and law firms are subject to comply with the FIC Act to protect both themselves and their legal practices from falling prey to potential financial criminals.

While the act has brought South African legislation closer to international anti-money laundering standards and best practices, it has also placed a heavy administrative burden on time-strapped legal practitioners as there are a number of requirements within FICA that legal practitioners must comply with. These requirements range from identifying, verifying and screening of clients to keeping records and reporting suspicions, each barring their own administrative tasks.

To ease the amount of time spent on these administrative tasks, law firms can lean on systems like DocFox to simplify the FICA compliance process through streamlined document analysis, risk rating and watchlist screening.

Rather than wasting valuable billing hours checking and chasing documents, DocFox does the hard work for you by automatically analysing information and documents submitted against third-party data from home affairs, credit bureaus, and CIPC. Mismatches are recorded in the system and presented back, only leaving you with the task of making a decision.

Freeing up your capacity even further, DocFox automatically performs daily watchlist screenings and adverse media checks to help you determine your clients’ risk profile and identify possible ongoing threats, meaning your firm does not have to dedicate, already scarce resources and time to manually search the web for information on your client.

Struggling to implement a standardised risk rating process?

DocFox standarisies your FICA process and ensures all your clients are risk-rated according to the same rules. ​​The methodology for determining each client’s risk rating is guided by your firm’s existing Risk Management Compliance Programme (RMCP) and DocFox can be configured to adhere to your specified rules. If your firm doesn’t have an RMCP in place, our compliance team can assist with an expertly crafted and tested RMCP template that addresses key FICA requirements along with a supporting step-by-step guide to implement it in your firm.

As with any business, we understand that law firms are constrained by time and so spending a huge amount of time on FICA compliance can be costly but with DocFox as your FICA compliance partner you can have peace of mind knowing that your firm’s FICA policies are implemented right the first time, and every time after that.

Don’t take our word for it, request a live demo and see for yourself how DocFox can streamline your firm’s FICA process and have you ready for a FIC inspection in no time.