BHP and First AML: partners in growth and compliance
BHP is the largest independent firm of Chartered Accountants in Yorkshire, offering the full range of advisory services required by ambitious businesses. Founded over 150 years ago, BHP has a long reputation for being a top 35 UK accounting firm, and is an influential voice in the wider Kreston Global network.
Before First AML, BHP required several members of staff to complete a single customer onboarding. “It took up a lot of chargeable time - from managers and partners requesting identification documents, to people coming to me with queries. It was starting to impact my own time. I’m a partner with a client portfolio and chargeable work. I didn’t want or have time to be sitting all day advising on ID checks.” explains Howard Ringrose, Partner and MLRO at BHP.
“The process was time intensive, particularly for the senior members of our staff. It was robust, but was still ripe for improvement.”
“It took up a lot of chargeable time - from managers and partners requesting identification documents, to people coming to me with queries”
- Howard Ringrose, Partner and MLRO, BHP
Through a combination of organic growth and strategic acquisitions over the last 10 years, the firm has experienced enormous growth. “We’ve doubled in size”, Howard says. “We’ve gone from two offices to five across Yorkshire and North East Derbyshire. We’ve grown from 250 to 450 staff and our client base has grown in proportion too.”
With stellar growth and the escalating drain on time and resource, the BHP team had been looking for operational efficiencies. “We were reviewing our AML procedures and the use of technology the previous year, so we knew the options in the market.”
“We had used two alternative AML database check providers but we still did the work to run the checks”, says Howard. “Every year we revisit it and re-price and see what else there is on the market.”
It was due to this ‘always reviewing’ mindset that one of Howard’s colleagues attended an industry event and learned about First AML.
Howard continues, “She got in touch with me and explained that First AML had a different solution to what we had seen before.”
Despite the discovery of First AML coming halfway through their contract period, they recognised that, “First AML was different, it offered a better solution because it expedites the checks through proven methodology, saving us time. That was more than a subtle difference - that was a big difference. And because we’re growing and needing to do more and more checks, it was worth investing in a solution like this.”
“It’s costing us more but we’re getting more back. It’s a balance of the price we pay versus the time we are saving, particularly for our fee-earners’ chargeable time.” notes Howard.
“I’d recommend looking at First AML. It gives people a little more peace of mind that there’s a robust methodology around taking on a client.”
“We now have five people using the product - four support staff and then me as the MLRO if a query or exception comes up for unusual cases. These unusual cases tend to be ones where there are overseas structures, more complex groups with an international angle, PEPs, or if anything comes back in terms of adverse media. Those sort of exceptions need an extra pair of eyes to make sure we’re happy to proceed.”
Since joining the First AML customer network, BHP has spoken to other firms, offering this advice, “I’d recommend looking at First AML. It gives people a little more peace of mind that there’s a robust methodology around taking on a client.”
About First AML
First AML streamlines the entire anti-money laundering onboarding and compliance process. Backed by real expertise, its cloud-based KYC Passport allows complex entities to share their verification across multiple companies and geographies, at their discretion.
Making an otherwise complex and manual onboarding process simple for clients and cost effective and compliant for businesses, First AML delivers efficiency and time savings, protecting reputations, and enabling companies to be on the right side of history in the face of global threats.
Keen to find out more? Book a demo today! No time for a long demo? No problem. See what First AML can do for your business in 2 minutes – watch the short demo here.