Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) E-Filing is a secure web-based electronic filing system that facilitates financial institutions in submitting Bank Secrecy Act reports. Since its inception in October 2002, BSA E-Filing has significantly revolutionized financial institutions due to its accessibility through existing internet connections. It provides a completely flexible solution for filing one BSA report or multiple.
This system supports individual or batch BSA forms filing by an organization to the BSA database through a given FinCEN secure network, allowing members of filing organizations to submit and receive secure messages. FinCEN also may occasionally use the system in the issuance of advisories and system updates to the user community.
BSA can file an array of reports from Currency Transaction Report (CTR), Currency Transaction Report by Casinos (CTR-C), Designation of Exempt Person (DEP), to Suspicious Activity Report by Depository Institutions (SAR), and Suspicious Activity Report by Casinos and Card Clubs (SAR-C).
Others are Suspicious Activity Report by Money Services Businesses (SAR-MSB), Suspicious Activity Report by the Securities and Future Industries (SAR-SF), and many more. Below is a discursive approach to the various benefits of BSA E-Filing.
Streamlined BSA Form Submission Process
The BSA filing system is real-time, meaning that any data entered is immediately available at the database-Filing ensures that filing institutions can maintain a healthy record of their filing submissions for decision making and audit purposes. Again, it gives filing institutions the privilege of tracking the status of their request within the system. This is an outstanding feature that outshines conventional paper filing methods.
Before the arrival of the BSA E-Filing, the paper filing was tedious, cumbersome, and time wasting. With the world adopting digital and smart solutions to challenges, the decline of paper filing was inevitable.
Faster Routing of Information
The CTR and CTR-C form acknowledgments mentioned earlier act as receipts for BSA data submission. They are routed back to the filing organization within two days. BSA E-Filing is essential in data privacy, especially with its ability to secure messages and alerts. This facilitates faster dissemination of information to filing organizations too.
Due to the faster processing and loading of data, law enforcement personnel can timely access essential data, thus making prompt order administration decisions. Financial officers can steadily access client data and shorten banking queues often witnessed with mundane systems of data processing.
Long Term Cost Savings to Financial Organizations and the Government
Huge loads of paperwork means massive stationery resources, and adopting an E-Filing model is thus cost-saving. Again, the cost of moving paperwork can be an uphill task on its own. Conventional data entry methods can be time-consuming.
Data entry errors associated with BSA E-Filing can be managed at the click of a button. No whitewash fuss. Validation and verification of submitted data can quickly be done too.
Data Privacy and Security
FinCEN’s secure electronic delivery system eliminates the possibility of misrouted, delayed, or losses that would result from formal paperwork submissions. There is little protection of privacy in the paperwork that may expose fraudulent individuals since there are no access control mechanisms. FinCEN’s E-Filing is an indication of their commitment to the protection of financial institutions.
BSA E-Filing System Features
E-Filing provides essential features that would not be with paper filing. For instance, forms are distinguished based on the sizes of submitting institutions. These may include single entry discrete adobe forms that perform data validation upon submission, systems-to-system bulk file upload for financial institutions, and batch file submission containing multiple form documents uploaded using the E-Filing application.
FinCEN has also availed of training material and user manuals on their websites for update purposes.
For continuous improvement, FinCEN has introduced salient features that outline their transformation mission in the financial industry.
Firstly, their improved data quality check has updated E-Filing, providing additional verification and validation checks on CTR and CTR-C batch file submissions. These validations are responsible for further technical feedback and issues warnings to filers whenever they detect formatting errors.
Secondly, the adoption of Adobe-based forms for enhancing portable document features, especially for organizations filing discrete information, is a giant leap. Besides aligning E-Filing with the current industry data submission protocols, Adobe-based forms have reduced error margins during submission.
The use of SAR acknowledgment files is an incredible milestone since it allows financial institutions to keep a clean record by tracking their Document Control Number (DCN). The self-enrollment feature enables batch filers to register their organizations and receive acknowledgments by form whenever they receive the files. Again, discrete filers may not be required to register as FinCEN has automated their acknowledgment files.
In February 2012, the FinCEN circulated a mandated notice for BSAEfiling Texas, requiring all licensed mortgage companies to begin using the new electronic FinCEN reports when filing suspicious activities. This article highlights the essential benefits of using BSA E-Filing to cut management costs, save time, and protect data from cyber theft.