Protecting the dealership is the No. 1 responsibility of the F&I office, says Tony Dupaquier, director of The Academy, an F&I training center in Austin, Texas, which is why he sees a spiff as earning extra money for doing what is already part of F&I managers' job descriptions. But adding a bonus for video recording F&I transactions or using a menu for each sale, for example, ensures the process is adhered to.
Sometimes, managers don't like to use the technology, Dupaquier said. "They're unfamiliar with it; they're going to skip it this time."
When a dealer ties a spiff to consistent video recording, "They use their tools 100 percent of the time," Dupaquier said. "They're giving them a spiff for what they're supposed to be doing in the first place."
F&I trainer Matt Woods, south regional manager at Service Group, says he's not a fan of "bribing" employees to do the right thing, but he doesn't consider a pay plan a bribe.
"Almost all of us are coin-operated, motivated by the fact that if we're paid well to do a job, we tend to focus on doing that job well," Woods said. "The question is, how do you structure a pay plan around that?"
Ethical behaviors begin with the hiring process, Reid said, and to engender that culture, dealerships should screen employees based on what training they have received in fraud prevention and compliance.
However, screening for knowledge of compliance is much easier than screening for ethics, says Jim Ganther, CEO of Mosaic Compliance Services.
"We have ethics training; we have tests on ethics. Unethical people can get a score of 100 percent," Ganther said. "People know what the right thing to do is. It's just that truly ethical people actually do it. And they do it no matter what the cost is, not just when it's convenient."