Does Perfection Have A Place In Regulatory Compliance?

Aug 23, 2023

(Based on an article published in the Financial Review dated 18 August 2023*.)

At DTS, our call sign is “Right First Time,” but this principle must always be balanced with the level of compliance necessary to satisfy regulators. No client wants to waste resources on over-compliance.

The transformation of the pursuit of high standards into perfectionism can be hard to detect until a project has been completed. One may then question whether it was worth going down that rabbit hole.

We must continuously ask ourselves, “Will the extra effort actually yield a materially better result?” and “Does the answer to this question really matter?”

So when is achieving 80% perfection sufficient? Can we aim for this more attainable target, rather than demanding that a regulatory application be 100% perfect?

This encapsulates our daily challenge at DTS. We strive to meet regulatory requirements while providing value for our clients. Failure in either respect can result in significant discrepancies between what a client views as sufficient and a regulator’s judgment.

There are instances when perfection in parts of an application is essential, and every step taken to achieve this result is justly rewarded. Conversely, other segments may necessitate only a straightforward solution to please the regulator.

At DTS, collaboration is foundational. Although it might occasionally seem wasteful, it enables us to find the equilibrium between “striving for the best outcome” and “pursuing perfection”.

Such collaboration thrives only if someone within the team possesses the experience to steer the project, finely balancing client expectations with regulatory demands.

So, does perfection occupy a space in regulatory compliance? In this field, perhaps more than in other professional services, the repercussions of failure, whether from regulators or the market, are far more substantial than the cost of exerting that extra effort.

* Interview with Yash Sodhi who is currently Chief Strategy Officer at Medibank; The Perfection Trap, The Power Of Good Enough In A World That Always Wants More, Tomas Curran; Amantha Imber, organizational psychologist.