Choosing The Right AML/CTF Adviser

New guidance from the AU Regulator on choosing the right AML/CTF adviser or auditor.

Confused about how to comply with the AML/CTF Act? Unsure what your obligations are as a professional or a business? Looking to get a fresh, independent perspective on your current AML/CTF risk assessment or program? Engaging the services of an adviser specialising in AML/CTF can help you understand and meet your obligations as a reporting entity. This article looks at new guidance from the AU regulator on choosing and engaging with an AML/CTF adviser.

Choosing an AML/CTF adviser

The AML/CTF Act 2006 requires all reporting entities to have their Risk Assessment, and AML/CTF Programs reviewed regularly. It is not an obligation to engage an AML/CTF adviser for this purpose; however, there are benefits and efficiencies to be gained within your business by engaging a third-party consultant to help you meet your obligations.

Specialist AML/CTF adviser services include:

  • advising on the current and emerging money laundering and  risks facing your industry
  • providing ongoing advice and guidance relating to KYC, OCDD, transaction monitoring, and AML/CTF reporting obligations
  • conducting a robust money laundering and terrorism financing risk assessment of your business
  • tailoring a bespoke AML/CTF program for your business
  • upskilling your employees on AML/CTF matters
  • conducting a full independent review of your AML/CTF risk assessment or AML/CTF program.

A word of caution: although you may engage an AML/CTF adviser, it ultimately remains your responsibility to meet your AML/CTF obligations. You must ensure that any AML/CTF adviser you engage is qualified and experienced to provide products or services that comply with your obligations to avoid receiving any warnings or penalties for non-compliance.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) has released updated guidance, recommending a number of factors you should consider and address before engaging an AML/CTF adviser.

What to consider when engaging an AML/CTF adviser

Before engaging an adviser, AUSTRAC recommends talking with them and considering the following factors to make sure they are a good fit for your business:

Qualification and experience

Check for knowledge and experience in AML/CTF and the specifics of your industry.

Do they demonstrate:

  • sound knowledge of AML/CTF either through relevant qualifications and/or experience providing AML/CTF advice? Can they provide details, referees, or references?
  • a thorough understanding of the AML/CTF regulatory framework and the legal obligations your business must meet?
  • an understanding or capacity to understand the related risks and operational challenges your industry sector and business might reasonably face?

Off the rack or tailored solutions

An adviser’s services should be based on your unique business situation.

  • Will they conduct a tailored risk assessment to address the risks specific to your business?
  • Will they tailor your AML/CTF program to address the specific needs of your business and the risks relevant to your customers, your services, and where and how you operate?
  • Do they clearly explain how their services will help you meet your AML/CTF obligations, including anything they cannot do?

Level of support

Your advisor should be able to assist you with your business’s ongoing learning journey.

  • Do they offer ongoing support and guidance (e.g. risk updates, technical advice) to help you continuously maintain AML/CTF compliance?
  • Do they provide regular, practical, effective training to your staff, tailored to suit your business operating environment?

Conflicts of interest/independence

If you are engaging an advisor for a review, the advisor should be fully independent.

  • Do they demonstrate independence from the development or operation of your AML/CTF program when conducting the review?

Note: These are suggestions for your consideration, and it is not an exhaustive list.

Why choose ONE AML as your AML/CTF adviser

At One AML, we make reviews easy. We are qualified to independently review all reporting entities in Australia, and our AML/CTF advisers are industry experts with formal AML/CTF certifications (ACAMS).

As an experienced AML/CTF review company, we can take care of all your review needs, including a full independent review of your AML/CTF Risk Assessment and AML/CTF Program. Our review ensures your documentation is aligned with critical sections of the AML/CTF Act, identifies any areas of non-compliance, and provides comprehensive recommendations for remediation.

If you do not have an AML/CTF Risk Assessment or program, we can work with you to create a robust Risk Assessment and bespoke AML/CTF program or provide you with a complete framework and guidance to assist you in creating your Risk Assessment and Programs.

We can also assist with your ongoing queries and training requirements on AML/CTF matters, no matter where in your learning journey you may be.

Book a call with an AML/CTF adviser

If you would like to find out more about how an AML/CTF adviser can benefit your business or work with One AML Review, book a free 15-minute consultation here.