Complete guide to AML auditing: Processes, stages and best practice

In the insurance world, trust is essential for insurance brokers and their customers. However, this trust is constantly being put to the test by malicious actors seeking to exploit the financial system for illicit purposes. This is where AML (Anti-Money Laundering) Audit comes into play, as an essential bulwark for preserving the integrity of the insurance industry.

audit aml

AML is no longer a mere regulatory formality, but a crucial compliance issue for insurance brokers. Money laundering and terrorist financing are very real threats that can shake the very foundations of our industry. That's why AML audits are so important.

As an insurance broker, you face considerable financial, legal and reputational risks if you fail to comply with AML regulations. The consequences of failing to combat money laundering go far beyond financial penalties; it can lead to loss of customers, damage to the company's reputation and even serious legal consequences.

In this article, we'll take a detailed look at how AML audits work, specifically for insurance brokers. We'll discuss the AML audit process, best practices and current strategies for robust compliance. 

Seyna's expertise as an Insurtech (neo-insurer and provider of SaaS technology to brokers), will guide you through the complexities of AML auditing, helping you to protect your business and your customers!

Understanding AML auditing and its key role in regulatory compliance

The AML (Anti-Money Laundering) audit plays an essential role in the insurance industry in preventing money laundering and the financing of terrorism. This audit aims to ensure that insurance brokers have robust procedures in place to detect, prevent and report suspicious activities that could be linked to money laundering or criminal activities.

What is an AML audit?

An AML audit is an in-depth assessment of an insurance company's compliance with anti-money laundering regulations. It involves reviewing the company's policies, procedures, controls and practices to ensure that they comply with legal requirements to combat money laundering. AML audits are carried out by internal or external auditors, independent of the company, to ensure an objective and impartial review.

The role of AML auditing in regulatory compliance

It's essential for insurance brokers: AML regulations are constantly evolving, with ever stricter requirements to combat criminal activity. The AML audit ensures that insurance brokers comply with these regulations and implement anti-money laundering measures in line with established standards.

By complying with AML regulations, insurance brokers not only protect their business from the financial and legal risks associated with money laundering, but also contribute to the security of the financial system as a whole. By detecting and reporting suspicious activities, insurance brokers play a key role in preventing unwitting involvement in criminal activities, and strengthen the confidence of customers and business partners.

AML audit objectives

The objectives of the AML audit are manifold:

  • Regulatory compliance: The AML audit aims to ensure that insurance brokers comply with current anti-money laundering regulations, as well as directives issued by the relevant authorities.
  • Effectiveness of preventive measures: The AML audit verifies whether the procedures and controls in place are effective in detecting and preventing suspicious activities.
  • Gaps and potential risks: By analyzing the company's practices and processes, the AML audit identifies any gaps in anti-money laundering measures and potential risks associated with the company's activities.
  • Areas for improvement: Based on the audit findings, recommendations are made to improve existing procedures and controls, and to reinforce compliance with AML regulations.

AML audit process

In this section, we'll show you how to plan, collect information, assess risks, test AML controls and write a complete audit report. We'll give you concrete examples and practical advice on how to implement each step effectively.

Audit AML planning

Here are the key planning steps:

  • Clear objectives: Define the specific objectives of the AML audit, such as assessing compliance, identifying gaps and risks, and evaluating the controls in place.
  • Realistic timetable: Establish a timetable that takes into account deadlines, resources and internal constraints, allowing sufficient time for each stage of the audit.
  • Resource allocation: Identify the necessary resources, such as compliance experts, data specialists and analysis tools.
  • Audit methodology: Develop a clear methodology including sample selection, data collection techniques, AML control testing procedures and evaluation criteria.
  • Communication and coordination: Communicate clearly with all stakeholders involved, coordinating efforts and clarifying expectations for smooth audit execution.

Data gathering

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Data collection methods: Use a combination of methods to collect the data required for the AML audit. This can include document review, transaction analysis, interviews with key personnel and the use of technological monitoring tools. Commercially available technology solutions can facilitate and automate certain data collection tasks, saving time and simplifying the audit process.
  • Importance of proper documentation: Adequate documentation is essential to maintain rigorous tracking of all information collected. Use document and report management systems to store, organize and easily retrieve the data required for the AML audit. Available technology tools offer document management features that can facilitate accurate documentation and traceability of the information collected.

By using the latest SaaS technologies, insurance brokers can simplify the collection of information required for AML audits, and facilitate year-round checks. 

These technologies automate certain data collection tasks, improve audit efficiency and enhance overall AML compliance.

Risk assessment

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Money laundering risk identification and assessment: Identify potentially risky areas and activities within your company. This may include transactions involving large sums of money, customers with suspicious characteristics or high-risk geographical areas. Then assess the severity and probability of these risks in order to prioritize your actions.
  • Use tools and methods to assess risk: Analyze available data, such as transaction histories, customer profiles and suspicious activity reports. You can also rely on risk detection models and automated monitoring systems to identify potentially fraudulent patterns.

Risk assessment enables you to target your efforts and concentrate your resources where the risks are greatest. Identify risk areas, assess their severity and likelihood, then use appropriate tools and methods to refine your assessment.

Testing AML controls

Here are some examples of commonly used tests:

  • Compliance testing: Check that policies and procedures are correctly followed and aligned with regulatory requirements.
  • Transactional testing: Analyze specific transactions for signs of money laundering, such as unusual patterns or atypical amounts.
  • Segmentation testing: ensure that monitoring and control measures are tailored to identified risks by customer, product or geographical area.

These tests help ensure regulatory compliance and proactive detection of suspicious activities.

AML audit report

The AML audit report informs stakeholders of the results of the audit and the measures to be taken to reinforce compliance. Here are the key elements to include:

  • Clear report structure: Organize the report logically, with an introduction, audit objectives, methodology, findings and recommendations.
  • Audit results: Concisely present the findings, highlighting compliance strengths and identified gaps.
  • Recommendations for improvement: Propose specific recommendations to strengthen AML controls and improve compliance.
  • Clarity and conciseness: Write the report in a clear and accessible manner, using language that stakeholders can understand.

Best practices for AML auditing

In this section, we'll introduce you to best practices for conducting a reliable, fast and efficient AML audit. You'll discover how to take advantage of tools and methods to detect suspicious transactions faster and improve the efficiency of your AML audit.

Training and awareness raising

Training employees in money laundering risks, AML compliance procedures and suspicious activity signals is crucial. This enables them to recognize, report and prevent suspicious transactions, thereby reinforcing preventive measures. Ongoing awareness-raising, with regular sessions and information on the latest money laundering trends, maintains a strong compliance culture and constant vigilance against risks.

Use of advanced technologies

Automated surveillance tools, technologies and software enable constant monitoring of transactions, customer data and suspicious behavior patterns. 

These solutions, like the one offered by Seyna, facilitate the rapid detection of unusual activities and atypical behavior. They help identify transactions potentially linked to money laundering, while reducing false alarms and optimizing the effectiveness of AML controls.

  • Integration of cutting-edge technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, enhances detection capabilities. These technological advances make it possible to process large quantities of data, identify complex patterns and anticipate suspicious behavior.
  • Integrating specialized technology solutions enables insurance brokers to strengthen their ability to detect suspicious activity and improve their responsiveness to money laundering threats.

(Note: for more information on Seyna's solutions for LCB-FT controls and AML audits, please visit our Seyna AML product page).

Current challenges in AML auditing

Drawing on its expertise and experience with over 90 broker clients, Seyna shares with its partners on a daily basis the growing regulatory complexities facing companies in the insurance sector.

Regulatory complexity

AML regulations are constantly evolving, with regular updates and more stringent requirements.

Auditors must face up to these challenges and adapt their procedures and controls accordingly. The increased complexity of AML regulations can lead to additional workload and increased risk of non-compliance if the right measures are not taken.

Here are some key strategies to consider:

  • Regulatory updates: Follow regulatory publications and attend training and events to keep abreast of recent updates.
  • Procedures and controls: Regularly review your AML procedures and controls to ensure they comply with the latest regulatory requirements. 
  • Collaboration with specialized partners: Work closely with specialized partners, such as compliance consultants or technology solution providers.

Big Data management

AML auditing involves processing large quantities of data from a variety of sources. 

Steps such as collecting, storing, cleansing, organizing and effectively analyzing this data are useful for detecting suspicious activity.

So consider investing in the right technology:

  • Robust infrastructure: Invest in a solid, scalable data infrastructure for effective management.
  • Technology hub: Use data analysis tools and advanced technologies to facilitate the processing and analysis of big data.
  • Adoption of best practices: Implement privacy and data security policies, and comply with data protection regulations.


The AML audit plays a crucial role for insurance brokers. It is an essential step in the AML/CFT process, helping to ensure regulatory compliance for companies in the insurance sector.

Investment in the right monitoring technology is crucial: the challenges encountered in AML auditing, such as regulatory complexity and the management of voluminous data, call for innovative and efficient solutions. 

SaaS solutions that automate AML/CFT controls enable more accurate detection of suspicious activities, and help to reinforce compliance.

At Seyna, with over 90 broker partners and insurance professionals specializing in compliance, we understand the challenges faced by insurance brokers, and offer tailored technological solutions to facilitate their AML audits. 

By investing in tracking technology, brokers can benefit from a more efficient audit process, improve the detection of suspicious transactions, and strengthen the confidence of their customers.

(Note: to find out more about Seyna's solutions for facilitating AML controls and AML audits, please visit our Seyna AML product link).

Notes : 

France was the target of 22 jihadist terrorist attacks between January 1, 2015 and December 15, 2022, resulting in 271 deaths and 1,200 injuries. With 8 attacks committed and 9 foiled since 2020, France remains the European country most affected by the jihadist threat. By way of comparison, its German and British neighbors have each been hit by 2 fatal attacks over the same period.

(Source : Rapport National des risques LCB-FT)

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