At a recent conference, I listened to concerned speakers about the topic of compliance. At the invitation of the host company, several automotive dealers were invited to express their concerns in the industry. At the head of the list in dealers concerns, was the topic of compliance. I suppose it is not so surprising since there are at least 84 Federal Regulations on the books. Add to the Federal Regulations were a host of State laws. That is a concern.
Robert Shimberg, a partner at Hill, Ward and Henderson in Tampa FL. wrote an article in the February 2005 issue of the F&I Management & Technology magazine entitled “The Best Defense is a Good Offense”. Preparation is the key to Shimberg’s article explaining how the dealer can be proactive and have the dealership personnel trained and train in internal processes and procedures. 84 Federal Regulations are a bunch of regulations to contend with in a normal dealership. Since it is a requirement to have an appointed compliance officer in the dealership, appointing a person is a great start if the dealership does not have a compliance officer already. The dealers full support for the qualified person, in time, money, and assistance for the compliance officers job would go a long way. Dealerships should also consider monetary or other rewards for employers who regularly add to the dealerships reputation in the compliance area. Let’s save money on those legal fees.