To maintain a company license, periodic reporting is often mandatory (in addition to renewals, amendments, and examinations). Such reporting typically requires licensees to provide data on the business that they conducted under the license during a defined period of time, as well as to confirm contact and other information on file with the state regulator.
For most licenses, reporting is only required on a quarterly or annual basis. Considering that most annual reports covering the previous calendar year are due on or before March 31, we have come to refer to the first quarter of each year as “periodic reporting season.”
Here are our top ten best practices for periodic reporting:
- Review your list of approved licenses and identify the reports required. (We suggest using Mogy as a fast and easy way to do this.) Start this as early as possible so that you are aware of which reports you are required to complete well in advance of the deadline. Be mindful of any licenses that may be pending approval.
- Keep and maintain a periodic reporting tracking tool that outlines important information on each report. Track things such as due dates, the source of information, manner of submission, submission date, etc. This information will come in handy for each subsequent reporting period. Mogy automatically tracks all of these things for users (hint, hint).
- Compare the report to the prior period’s submission to see if any information may have changed.
- Determine the “weight” of the report to allow yourself enough time to meet the deadline. In other words, make sure that you understand the time and effort that it will take to complete the report.
- Review any potential technology specifications and ensure that your access is not blocked by firewalls. Involve your IT team as necessary.
- Ensure that the information in the report matches the information in NMLS or otherwise on file with the state regulator, as well as other reporting obligations (MCR, HMDA, etc.). If information required in the report is already in NMLS, ensure that there are as few discrepancies between the two as possible and, if any exist, be sure that you can explain them.
- Keep a log of the information required and collected for each report (field definitions, confirmations from the state, etc.).
- Save all reports and final documentation submitted for future reference and update the tracking tool mentioned in best practice 2. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a copy of the end result/final submission. And ensure that multiple parties know where to access this information to account for any change in personnel.
- If you are preparing an annual report, don’t wait until the end of the year to pull data. Establish a routine of compiling the information on at least a quarterly basis.
- Contact the state regulator to confirm information when you are unsure of anything. State regulators are there to help and want you to get everything right.
APPROVED’s full webcast recording on periodic reporting can be found here. In addition to best practices, the panelists discuss common mistakes and how to avoid them, as well as tips to deal with challenges related to specific reports. APPROVED has a dedicated team to help with periodic reporting, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.