As I write this piece, my wife and I are bracing ourselves for the ferry crossing from Fishguard to Rosslare, for a family event in the coastal town of Greystones. The weather reports relating to the aftermath of Hurricane Lorenzo make somewhat disconcerting reading, but having just been diagnosed with Labyrinthitis, at least I get to practice my travel-sickness before lurching about on the deck of a Stena Line ferry. Every cloud has a silver lining...
Suddenly, we are noticing the weather. Clearing the dead leaves from our garden path becomes a thing. The chill in the air when one opens the curtains first thing in the morning is a novelty. One thinks more intently about what one is going to wear when one is traveling and suddenly, for some reason, I find myself checking the car's tyre pressures more frequently. It is very definitely that time of the year.
This has implications for various aspects of ValidPath's business operation. We're gearing up for the next FCA RMAR reporting cycle, running pre-emptive reports, collating financial data, to ensure that we are on-track. We do a lot of testing of that data prior to completing the online Gabriel forms. Next on the autumnal agenda is our PII renewal - there's a huge data-capture exercise required to satisfy the rapacious appetite of our Underwriter, the kind of appetite that increases exponentially on an annual basis.
And, because you can never have enough of these particular joys, we're into the final stretch for SM&CR implementation. Like the RMAR, and PII, this is not a matter that our Members need to worry about, although it helps to be aware that it represents a significant uptick in the FCA's handling of senior management and its responsibilities. ValidPath is accountable to its Members, and its individual senior personnel are, under this new regime, also accountable to the FCA. It is, from any perspective, a Big Deal.
On the surface, Autumn is the season when little is happening. Vegetation stops growing, becomes dormant. But, underlying those wonderful changes in leaf hues, and the steady precipitation of dead leaves, there is furious, continual biochemical activity as nature works through its autumnal priorities. And the same is true at ValidPath - under the surface, there's a whole bundle of essential functions being performed, the kinds of things we take responsibility for, so that our Members may continue to attend to their clients and businesses, without distraction.