A lot of the problems faced by companies in all sectors could be solved by simple knowledge management. By organizing knowledge into easily shareable knowledge bases, team members, clients, and customers can easily find the information they need to solve problems before they escalate.
This is as true of financial compliance as it is for anything else. When businesses are diligent about capturing, organizing, and sharing relevant knowledge, it’s a lot easier to manage risk on an ongoing basis. This, in turn, helps to make sure that you’re compliant at all times.
But that’s not all. As well as helping with financial compliance, a good knowledge base can empower your employees, boost your reputation, build relationships with customers, and take a lot of pressure off your support workers.
How can a good knowledge base do all of this? Let’s take a deep dive into what a knowledge base is, how it benefits business in general, and how it can specifically help with financial compliance:
Understanding the knowledge base concept
The concept of a knowledge base is simple: a central hub with a collection of information and processes that can help your customers and your employees.
A knowledge base is sometimes similar to a blog, especially when it comes to things such as FAQ pages. You may even find that some blog posts fit well in your knowledge base. But they’re not entirely the same thing. The main difference is in the purpose of each resource:
A blog aims to:
- Entertain customers.
- Bring new customers in.
- Provide content.
- Boost SEO, scrape Google for effective SEO strategy.
- Build relationships with customers.
- Develop your brand voice and persona.
- Spread your values to your audience.
- Assist customers with any questions they may have.
A knowledge base, on the other hand, is more purely practical. A knowledge base aims to:
- Help customers troubleshoot their problems.
- Gather useful information in one place.
- Help employees understand vital processes and protocols.
- Give access to training resources.
- Make things such as product manuals easy to find and use.
So, while there is a reasonable amount of overlap between a knowledge base and a blog, they are not quite the same.
Ultimately, a knowledge base is all about giving access to the knowledge your customers and employees need. A knowledge base can be an incredibly useful resource when it comes to something as important as financial compliance.
Remember, a knowledge base is only useful if it’s well-organized, accessible, and easy to use. That’s where Smart Tribune comes in. By using our system to build your knowledge base, you will be able to craft an optimized knowledge base that works for everyone.
Smart Tribune knowledge base features include comprehensive analytics, a smart dashboard that helps you organize all your knowledge base content, search monitoring, and integrations with other essential tools and platforms.
Benefits for employees
We tend to think of customers when we consider the impact and benefits of a knowledge base. But a good knowledge base can be a great resource for employees as well, especially when it comes to financial compliance:
Easy access to comprehensive compliance info
Sometimes, businesses fall out of financial compliance for the simple (and relatively innocent) reason that they don’t know compliance requirements. While this may happen by mistake, unfortunately, the penalties are just as severe for accidental non-compliance as they are for deliberate non-compliance.
So, it’s important that all employees have easy access to compliance information, including:
- Relevant rules and regulations
- Compliance protocols
- Compliance responsibilities
- Penalties for non-compliance
- Relevant dates and times
- Compliance forms
With a good knowledge base, you can gather all of these (plus any new information that may become relevant over time) and file it away neatly in your knowledge base. Assuming that your knowledge base is well-organized (and, ideally, searchable), it will let your employees quickly and easily find any compliance information they need quickly and easily.
Consistent financial training and updates
A well-organized knowledge base is a brilliant training resource. You can add training materials to your knowledge base whenever needed and easily update old resources whenever something changes.
This has great implications for your recruitment and onboarding process. New employees can get up to speed on everything from your ledger accounting system to your accounts payable system as soon as possible and have access to these documents later on if they need a refresher.
How does this relate to financial compliance?
Well, let’s say you switch to a new accounting software. Your team will likely need training on the new software. If it’s used incorrectly, you could soon find that your system is littered with confusion and errors, which could spell disaster for your company when it comes to compliance and tax season.
With a knowledge base, you can upload training documents and materials to an easily accessible centralized hub, including training documents and courses provided by the software vendor.
Suppose your staff needs a refresher on how to use your new accounts payable software. In that case, all they will need to do is click on your knowledge base and browse the materials there.
Streamlined compliance processes
Without a knowledge base to reference, compliance processes can become disjointed and unwieldy. But with a knowledge base, you can lay out all your processes and protocols in detail.
This means that employees can bring up compliance processes with a single click and find out exactly what to do in any given situation. This makes everything much more streamlined and saves a lot of time and confusion.
Perhaps most importantly, a knowledge base gives employees the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about compliance. This doesn’t just help to keep everything compliant; it’s also very empowering.
Employees who know exactly what they’re doing with compliance are more confident, more proactive, and more productive. This kind of empowerment resonates throughout your finance team and builds a positive, productive culture.
Benefits for customers
Knowledge bases are also a great resource for customers. Let’s take a look at how a knowledge base solution such as Smart Tribune can benefit your customers:
Building trust with transparency
When it comes to financial compliance, trust is vital. Customers want to be sure that the brands they deal with are completely above board and beyond reproach.
With a publically accessible knowledge base, you can show customers you are truly dedicated to compliance. Customers can log into the knowledge base and see all your compliance protocols laid out before them with total transparency.
You can even provide information and advice, such as which accounts payable solutions you use and prefer or IRS tax tips, signaling how important compliance is to your institution and boosting your reputation as a knowledge leader.
This kind of transparency is great for building trust with your customer base. And customers who trust you will stick with you.
Nobody likes to spend hours on hold for customer service. In fact, 81% of consumers want more self-service options. If people can solve their own problems, they often will.
A knowledge base with answers to common questions, training documents, and any other information that customers may find helpful is great for empowering self-service. Rather than having to go through your dedicated customer support service, customers can simply log into your knowledge base and work things out for themselves.
This doesn’t mean that you can get rid of your customer service in favor of a knowledge base. But, if you have an easy-to-use knowledge base that lets customers find answers to their questions, you could scale back things such as your customer support line. This will save you money in the long run, as well as empowering your customers.
Our client Sofinco was able to transform their online help experience through self-service. With a knowledge hub, you could too.
Enhancing customer experience
The kind of transparency and self-empowerment that a knowledge base can provide is great for your customer experience. A knowledge base can also help your customers get the absolute most out of your product or service, boosting their experience.
For example, if you make software, customers could use your knowledge base to find tools and features of your software that they may not have found otherwise.
Implementing the knowledge base
Setting up your knowledge base for financial compliance is easy with Smart Tribune. Our system lets you easily centralize your processes within a smart, powerful knowledge hub. Colleagues and collaborators can easily access, share, and contribute to your Smart Tribune knowledge base, making it simple to scale your system as your company grows and changes.
Smart Tribune offers unlimited content and processes, so you can fit as much data as you need into your knowledge base. You can also use our Knowledge Editor to alter information as and when needed and Knowledge Analytics to understand how your knowledge base is being used and how well it’s working.
Our Smart search engine makes it easy for both employees and customers to quickly find what they’re looking for in your knowledge base. What’s more, our Mirror Response technology lets admins see what people are searching for. This means you can concentrate on the pages and processes that people are most interested in.
Measuring success and impact
There are several ways to measure the success and impact of your knowledge base for financial compliance:
- Compliance itself: If your knowledge base improves financial compliance, the obvious impact will be in compliance. Your finance team will pull your finances into perfect working order, and you will be found compliant if audited.
- Track page visits: It’s very easy to monitor page visit metrics. If your knowledge base is getting a lot of hits, it’s usually a sign that it’s doing its job well.
- Compare contact rate with page visits: If your knowledge base gets a lot of hits, but your customer service contact rate doesn’t go down, you could infer that people aren’t finding the information they need in your knowledge base. Check out which pages people are visiting the most, look at what they’re searching for, and consider improving your content in these areas.
- Monitor failed searches: If people are frequently searching for things that don’t exist in your knowledge base, you could boost your base’s impact by adding content relevant to these searches.
- Use of knowledge base: Track how often your support team uses or references knowledge-base documents. Your support team is on the front line of your troubleshooting strategy. If they find your knowledge base useful for solving customer queries, that’s a great indicator that it’s having a positive impact. Now, all you need to do is advertise your knowledge base more widely so customers can find their own way to the information they need.
Use a knowledge base for financial compliance and customer satisfaction
A knowledge base is a powerful tool for any company. It acts as a central hub for vital information, helping employees quickly access compliance protocols, regulations, and training materials.
This empowers informed decision-making and fosters a positive culture. For customers, the knowledge base promotes transparency and empowerment. It showcases compliance standards and supports self-service, allowing customers to find solutions independently.
In summary, a good knowledge base can:
- Empower employees with access to all the compliance information they need.
- Gain financial transparency and build trust with your customers.
- Give your customers the ability to solve their own problems quickly and easily.
- Streamline your compliance process.
- Help your company become financially compliant (and stay that way).
- Give easy access to training.
- Quickly update things such as training, regulations, and protocols whenever needed.
With Smart Tribune, you can build an accessible, well-organized, and efficient knowledge base that will help with financial compliance and bring all these other benefits into the bargain. If you’d like to know more, why not schedule a demo or check out our other blogs?