Compliance- AKA the “Rules” Part 2

This is the second in a multi part series about “Rules”. Last time we raised questions about how important it is to get compliant. As a small business owner and operator, you know it can be tough keeping up on what’s going on in your business, much less what is going on in the world around you. We began a discussion about how you find time to address all the “Rules”. Which rules are more important than others? What are the risks involved in not following a “Rule”? How much are typical fines for an item? Most importantly, how do you know where to spend your time?

In my last blog, I discussed the State Independent Dealer Associations.  Hopefully, you have at least looked around to see what they have to offer. This link will take you to that Blog :https://afsdealers.blog/2019/02/08/compliance-aka-the-rules/

The Bureau of Consumer Finance Protection (BCFP), is another resource you can use. The web site offers many articles and frequently asked questions are answered in a simple, plain English format. Also, there are articles about emerging topics and proposed laws.  For example, how exciting would it be to have a customer come in and ask for a date change on their account, bringing their own spreadsheet and budget with them? The BCFP’s blog page offers just such a spreadsheet for the consumer to use. (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/about-us/blog/adjusting-your-bill-due-dates-can-help-you-stay-top-your-bills-and-manage-your-cash-flow/). You might even be able to get your customer to use the tool kit provided by the Bureau to help them finish paying for their vehicle.

The Bureau also issues reports on what types of complaints they get and from where- see (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/data-research/research-reports/complaint-snapshot-50-state-report/)  to find your state in the list.

Lastly, the Bureau released a new version of its electronic regulation platform called Interactive Bureau Regulations (previously known as eRegulations). Interactive Bureau Regulations includes the most used features that were available through eRegulations, but now allows the Bureau to more quickly and efficiently amend the content of the regulations presented on the Bureau’s website. This means that the information provided will be more accurate and up-to-date than what was previously available through eRegulations. Interactive Bureau Regulations also includes a new feature that allows users to select multiple regulations when conducting a word or term search.   Most notably, this is where you may investigate the regulations that govern much of your business, Regulation “M”, “Z”, and many others. You can see this at: (https://www.consumerfinance.gov/policy-compliance/rulemaking/regulations/)

In my next blog, I will discuss some other great resources for you to use when considering Compliance.

There will be further discussion on this and many other issues you face at our next National Dealer Seminar.  Feel free to email info@afsdealers.com for information about the next seminar.

Joyce Guest, February 22nd, 2019

Compliance- AKA the “Rules”

As a small business owner and operator, you know it can be tough keeping up on what’s going on in your business, much less what is going on in the world around you. Its easy to be misled by sensational articles about different state and local agencies, a well federal ones, assigning new regulations and levying fines. But not all articles are just sensational hype, these agencies do enforce the “Rules”.

So how do you find time to address all the “Rules”. Which rules are more important than others? What are the risks involved in not following a “Rule”? How much are typical fines for a particular item? And, most importantly, how do you know where best to spend your time.

The good news is that most of the time you spend on Compliance at your company is simply a systematic look at how YOU, the owner and operator, wish to have things done, and communicating these to your associates.  

  • In order to meet the objectives of the company, there must be a systematic approach to each task.
  • There can be no accountability for completing a task when the company’s objectives are not clear.

There is help! Over the next few posts, I will be pointing you to several places that will not cost you any more to keep abreast of the ever-changing world of the “Rules”.

The first place that you may or may not know about is the State Independent Dealer Associations. These Associations often do a wonderful job of keeping an eye on new legislation and regulations being considered. They usually have a way to let the state bodies express the wishes of the Independent dealers.

According to the NIADA (https://www.niada.com/state_affiliates.php) website:

“NIADA has a well-established nationwide group of federated State Associations that each operate independently of each other but work together for a united cause. At the heart of our collective effort is the drive to maintain strong national and state dealer associations, better serve the interests of the public, provide educational opportunities for our members and preserve a strong legislative and regulatory presence that protects independent dealers from unnecessary litigation, rule-making or legislation that would prohibit them from serving their customers and the public fairly and honestly.  When you join your state association, you automatically become a member of NIADA as well.”

From this website, one may find links to their state association.  Many of the state websites offer monthly blogs, free dealer classes, sales tax help as well as free copies of dealer state specific manuals.

In my next blog, I will discuss some other great resources for you to use when considering Compliance.

There will be further discussion on this and many other issues you face at our National Dealer Seminar in Clearwater Florida, February 19 and 20, 2019. For more information on this seminar, please click on the Seminar tab at the top of our website. https://www.afsdealers.com/seminar.a5w#page-top

Joyce Guest, February 8th, 2019

Crossword!

This weeks blog is a crossword puzzle to get you started thinking about controls, policies and audits. As we go along, future blogs will address these items. For those of you that were at the AFS Seminar in Chicago, this should be a snap for you. If you were unable to make it in August, we have another Seminar scheduled in Clearwater, Florida in February. I Hope to See you there!!

-Joyce Guest, November 30th, 2018

 

Crossword blog

Download and Print the Crossword

Big Adventure!

Change makes everybody a little apprehensive, nervous, scared, whatever term you might want to use. Some people let it make them lose focus on everything else. Somehow folks got the impression that change equaled “BAD”. However, over the years I have learned not to make up my mind too quickly.

It’s like starting a new job. Everyone is not on their “A game” everyday. Additionally, some folks just don’t trust the new guy easily. Usually it takes a while to really get to know a person, and goes for both sides, you and them.

Another mistake is passing judgement too quickly on new things. When Windows first came out, I ignored it saying, “It’s just a passing phase.” Boy was I wrong! A couple of years later, I was way behind and had to catch up quickly. This made learning it so much more difficult.

Then came along cell phones and “Smart phones”. Some folks thought the phone was good enough and did not want to change. But as technology changed, they were forced to. These days, who would be anywhere without their smart phone?

Along come changes at work. The initial thought is “WHY??” But, again, change is not bad. Maybe a new leader, procedure, idea, job title, etc. is going to be “Great!”, but how will one know if it is not given a chance?

In all these examples, the “change” puts people out of their “COMFORT ZONE”. And we just do not like it. We are comfortable knowing everyone around us, knowing how to follow routine, knowing how to do what is needed, and, knowing how to use the tools provided.

Almost every time like throws me a new curve, it has been for the better! Look at getting out of your comfort zone as something new and exciting! Old routines can get to be, well, just boring. Take on new challenges willingly! Look at new situations, ideas, technology, ect., as a big adventure! Being nervously excited is part of the adventure. Take a deep breath, do it again, now move forward. That’s the first step.

-Joyce Guest, November 2nd, 2018

Working for a dollar an hour …

My first job (besides babysitting) was in produce department.  I started out sorting potatoes; taking out the stinky rotten ones. This was not fun, and I wanted to get it done quickly. I learned that “slopping” through it was immediately apparent, so I just got a rhythm going and got it done efficiently. This led to getting to sort other produce that stunk less. Soon I was able to help do some of the more fun stuff that the boss worked on. 

The day came when the boss was out sick. The truck had delivered produce and I knew that it had to be put in the cooler. I also had been taught to “rotate” the cooler first. I went to work and got it done.  I was back to sorting the produce when the store manager came up apologizing that he was sorry, time and had gotten away from him and we were going to hurry to get that stock in. He was totally shocked when he came out of the stockroom and asked if the truck had not come. He nearly hit the floor when I showed him it was already done. The next day the produce boss was there, but one of the butchers in the meat department was sick. The manager came and got me, and I learned how to wrap and price the meat.

After that I worked both departments. It all came apart when the USDA inspectors came in when I was cubing steaks.  The store was fined (because of my age), I could not work in meat department, and my hours were cut.

I was finally offered a job as a cashier.  Soon when it was not busy, I started cleaning up the check stands. Before long they were keeping stock in the office, so I could refill the gum and snacks.  My hours increased, and I was again the person with the most part-time hours. A friend of mine asked how this was possible. I told her my story and she started doing the same and getting more hours. Some of the others started to complain but were told to work as hard as us and they would get more hours. I even heard the owner that ours was the best run store he owned.   

I certainly learned valuable lessons from that first job:

  1.  There is always something that needs to be done.
  2. If you are always doing something, whether it’s your job or not, you will be rewarded.
  3. Even if you are not monetarily rewarded, the feeling of accomplishment I felt was well worth it.
  4.  Always do all your job and as much as possible of your boss’s job, they will notice!

I was extremely fortunate to have had such a wonderful experience there. I did not even understand it at the time, but what I was learning was LEADERSHIP!

-Joyce Guest, July 6th, 2018