We make decisions every day – large and small – and most of the time we consider various factors and have at least some basis for those decisions. When we are in business, and particularly where that business is subject to regulation, there is something we can do about the process that will help us both now and later. That something is as simple as making a note of the decision we made and a brief summation of the reasoning.
Well, that takes time and energy you say, and you need to address other things. Besides, where would you keep all those “notes” anyway? Like many things in life, once you make a habit of noting down what your decision was and why, it becomes easier and faster. Notes can be kept in a CRM tool, in a spreadsheet, in a document, wherever you are most comfortable with it.
But most importantly, you should understand that there is very little that you need to address in your business that is more pressing than making that note on a regular basis. When you have a process attached to your decision making, that fact makes regulators and you happy. Your reasoning is recorded contemporaneously with your action so that at a later date you or an auditor can understand what was done and why. This is certainly easier and more convincing than trying to remember and make up something to address the point when it is raised at a later date.
Furthermore, those notes allow you to be consistent in that decision making by revisiting a prior decision note when you are faced with a similar situation in the future. Knowing how you landed on the previous issue and why helps you to make the decision about that similar issue now. It also leads to improved decision making based on how those previous decisions worked out and how this new one might be a little different in light of experience.
So make a note of it – at worst it will help you to improve your decisions over time and at best it will protect you from problems with clients or auditors in the future.