The National Credit Act (NCA) is not simply about compliance. It offers organisations an opportunity to integrate and improve processes while adding sustainability to their infrastructure.
This is the view of The IQ Business Group's Walter Stevens, who believes that tackling the NCA in isolation could mean disaster.
"John F Kennedy once said that the time to fix the roof is when the sun is shining. The same goes for business where, in terms of the NCA, the landscape is rapidly and drastically changing," says Stevens.
"Many organisations are so focused on being compliant that they forget about the underlying business structure, processes and data that their business rests on."
Stevens adds that there are ways of addressing the NCA and similar regulatory practices in a way that could result in more sustainable business on the whole.
"Being compliant is about so much more than paying your taxes and good credit practice – it offers organisations an opportunity to improve processes and manage data, as well as to get a better understanding of its customers.
"In addition, it provides an opportunity to manage your company's relationship with the regulator, a relationship that is of strategic importance," he says.
A major concern, according to Stevens, is that organisations seem to get so trapped in the urgency of the situation that they lose sight of the fundamentals of running a successful business, and that these day-to-day basics consequently gets neglected.
However, he states that this apparent disinterest could have something to do with companies simply not knowing what to prioritise while in the midst of this wave of regulation.
Stevens' advice is that businesses should focus on the essentials and make sure that the business' platform and its core processes are sound and are run as integrated as possible. If the fundamentals are in order, he says, an organisation will be agile enough to handle any regulatory challenge.
"Ultimately, it is the quality of the underlying processes and infrastructure that determines how a business functions. Thus, while the qualification of risk is important, qualification on a shaky foundation can be potentially damaging."