As a kid, I watched about every iteration of the Scooby Doo cartoon series. I loved the art of the mystery, finding the clues, and then solving the case. I also thought Scooby Doo and Shaggy would have made great friends, we were all afraid of ghosts and loved to eat terrible food. I no longer eat terrible, because my metabolism has slowed down, but I am still afraid of ghosts. And I still love a great mystery.
Solving mysteries is something that compliance detectives must do to find those regulatory answers. We are the super sleuths within each of our organizations. While we are not trying to catch the “Snow Ghost” or the “Headless Specter,” we are trying to find answers to compliance issues that may be plaguing us.
“Ruh Roh,” sometimes finding an answer is not as easy as The Mystery Inc. gang figuring out that it was Old Man Withers behind the robbery.
For some of us who are new to the mysteries of compliance or who may be struggling with where to start sniffing out the clues, I have listed a few things that you may helpful when trying to conduct your research:
First, get to know your regulation suspects. The best way to do that in compliance is to remember the “alphabet.” I’m not talking about the letters above the chalk board during second grade, I am talking about the Regulation alphabet. For example, Regulation B is the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, Regulation V is the Fair Credit Reporting Act, and Regulation Z is the Truth in Lending Act. Knowing the letter of the regulation and what that regulation covers will help you better research these regulations.
Second, start snooping around and get familiar with the regulations that apply to the product, document, policy, etc. that you are reviewing or researching. A clue to whether the regulation applies to your product could be stated right within the actual name of the regulation. For example, Regulation B is the regulation for the Equal Credit Opportunity Act. The name of this regulation has “credit” right in it. You could deduce from this clue that the regulation deals with credit products or loans. Regulation C is the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act, and the clue here is “mortgage,” as the regulation covers requirements for mortgage loans.
“Zoinks!” Other regulations may not make it so easy. If you are wondering what the regulation covers, and the name does not give it away, research the requirements of rule under the section that contains the “purpose” of the regulation. For example, Regulation CC, the Funds Availability Act, under Section 229.1 – Authority and purpose, states that the purpose for the regulation is to provide rules for the availability of deposits and rules to expedite the collection and return of checks. This should hopefully bring you closer to solving the mystery of the ghostly Yeti, or the processes for placing holds on checks.
Third, outside of taking the Mystery Machine to the haunted alphabet regulations, or looking for the purpose within them, you may just need additional help. Like Scooby had help from the Harlem Globetrotters, Phyllis Diller, or Jerry Reed, you can find help from your League, trade associations, hired compliance consultants, attorneys, or a search engine like Google. Doing a simple search on the internet is sometimes the quickest and easiest way to find information you are looking for about a regulation or requirement.
Hopefully this will help start you down the path to help with your research. Just know there are great resources available to you and won’t need the help of some meddling kids and their dog to solve your compliance mysteries. And after all that research, remember to enjoy a Scooby snack.