Compliance is a catch-all term that encompasses a variety of different legal and regulatory issues. All industries should be vigilant about maintaining a high standard of compliance, but it is more important for some industries than others. Auto dealerships are subject to a wide range of laws and regulations, making compliance a primary concern.
The term “compliance” refers to the steps you need to take to operate in accordance with all relevant guidelines, laws and regulations. These requirements may be established by legal authorities or organizations within an industry.
In the automotive dealership industry, compliance covers several different areas, including:
- Vehicle purchases
- Vehicle sales or trade-ins
Activities conducted in each of these arenas are subject to multiple laws and requirements. For example, when a customer comes into the dealership to purchase a vehicle, the dealership is responsible for taking reasonable measures to protect that individual’s private information, such as social security numbers and bank accounts. The dealership must also be on the lookout for signs of identity theft in progress, such as a lack of valid identification that matches the bank accounts used to make the purchase.
There are countless other examples of ways in which compliance comes into play for automotive dealerships on a daily basis. Throughout the purchase and financing process, customers must receive, review and complete specific documents. Consumers must also be advised of certain rights and responsibilities. Any time an automotive dealership fails to uphold its responsibilities with regard to compliance, liability can result.
Who Is Responsible for Compliance?
Because automotive dealerships can be held legally responsible for lapses in compliance, it is one of the dealership’s most important concerns. All members of the dealership’s staff will be partly responsible for compliance. However, the biggest share of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of people working in the F&I department. This department handles all the dealership’s financing and insurance paperwork, as well as the details of purchases, sales and trade-ins. For this reason, the majority of the tasks that require compliance considerations will be completed by F&I personnel. For this reason, it is essential for F&I professionals to have the proper training and background.
Compliance in the F&I Department
The finance and insurance department of an automotive dealership handles a wide variety of responsibilities, from helping customers finance their dream car to promoting certain products offered by the dealership. If you work as an F&I manager, you will need to be thinking about compliance during every phase of your interactions with consumers. In order to ensure that your automotive dealership adheres to all regulations and laws, you will need extensive knowledge about the requirements in question, as well as training to help you implement them.
Training for F&I Managers
Some automotive dealerships may be willing to hire F&I managers who have little to no formal training. However, with so much responsibility and so many complex requirements to consider, entering the field without a proper education is not recommended. Going through a formal training program provides you a number of benefits as you begin your F&I career, including:
- The knowledge you need to understand compliance requirements. – During your formal F&I training program, you will study all of the different aspects of compliance you need to understand before you can work effectively in this industry.
- Compliance training. – Not only will you have the opportunity to learn about all the specific requirements your automotive dealership must meet, but you will also receive training designed to help you adhere to these requirements. For example, you will learn how to spot instances of identity fraud, complete essential paperwork and interact with every customer in a way that protects your dealership from liability.
- Skill building. – In addition to compliance training, your formal F&I education program will help you build other skills you can use to be successful as an F&I manager. For example, you will learn skills you can use to improve sales of special products and services your dealership offers, thus boosting your income.
- Better job prospects. – Although some automotive dealerships may consider hiring F&I managers who don’t have formal training when no other candidates are available, being able to include a formal education program on your resume is sure to set you apart from other applicants, and some programs even offer job placement assistance.
- More confidence. – Confidence is important for professionals working in any industry. When you attend a formal F&I program, you can enter the field as an F&I manager with confidence in your knowledge and skills. In many cases, this added confidence will help you to be more successful in your job.
Enrolling in an F&I Training Program
If you are planning to enroll in an F&I training program, you need to consider your options carefully in order to make the best choice for your future. The Automotive Dealership Institute has been the only licensed F&I institution in the nation for the last 32 years. If you enroll in the F&I training program offered by the Automotive Dealership Institute, you will learn all of the skills you need to work in F&I departments at car dealerships all across the United States.
If you would like to learn more about F&I training at the Automotive Dealership Institute, please contact ADI’s helpful advisors today to learn more about training to become an F&I manager.