Is your Organization Compliant ?
Compliance – whether with government legislation, industry standards and regulation or company’s own policies – is a prevalent business concern for all organizations for good reasons. The cost of non-compliance can be both catastrophic and long-standing.
Ignoring compliance can sometimes put your organization at great risk for not adhering to the law. The risk for reputation damages and the financial implications are important. Complying with legislation, regulation and policies can be a difficult task and managers need the right tools to ensure the organization is compliant.
Compliance was established to ensure organizations act responsibly. And there are several considerable benefits to be achieved by doing so. For one, compliance actively fosters positive public opinion about an organization, opening up numerous opportunities that businesses with poor reputation or public image cannot access. It is also a vital element of the internal control process of any organization, helping control content and reduce costs.
Compliance with internal policies, especially those related to workplace safety, wages, compensation, rewards and benefits, has a direct impact on employee morale, motivation and productivity, which has its own set of business benefits.
Compliance management is the umbrella term for the approach, function and activities an organization undertakes to comply with legislation, industry regulation/best practices and policies. It typically includes a set of key tasks, some of which are listed below:
- Identification of the relevant compliance requirements for the organization (defined for instance, in regulations, laws, contracts, strategies and policies of the organization);
- Assessment of the state of compliance within different organizational functions and departments;
- Estimation of expenses to achieve the state of total compliance;
- Estimation of the costs and risks of non-compliance;
- Comparison of cost of non-compliance against expenses for compliance;
- Identification of high-priority compliance tasks and corrective actions deemed necessary after the cost-expense analysis;
- Fund allocation and initiation of tasks;
- Monitoring and management of the compliance tasks.
Because compliance management is an ongoing process, the activities must be carried out continually for continuous improvement. The compliance manager also identifies and fixes issues with implementation of compliance procedures, such as any conflicts that may arise between legality and ethics within the company.
In addition, the chief compliance officer works with executive managers from other departments, including HR to outline ethical and legal behavior among employees, and create plans of action to promote such behavior. Strategies are put in place to deal with defaulters, depending upon the severity of non-compliance.
Key Aspects of Compliance Management
Compliance management is often divided into three key components:
1) Finance & Audit, where compliance with finance- and internal audit-related decree is managed
2) Information Technology, where compliance with all information technology and communication mandates as well as organizational objectives is managed
3) Legal, which essentially ties the three aspects together with the help of the legal department and the chief compliance officer.
Some of the most common compliance requirements include the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), which protects stakeholders from accounting errors and fraud through strict laws on storing and retaining customer data in IT systems. Similarly, the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 and the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard of 2004 are common regulations with which businesses must comply.
The chief compliance officer identifies all relevant compliance requirements such as these and proceeds with compliance management. He or she also identifies organization’s short and long-term plans in relation to meeting the compliance requirements of the above-mentioned regulations and more. In line with the principles of compliance management, strategies and step-by-step guidelines are created for meeting the goals.
The ability to audit, assess, and document evidence that business processes meet required standards are just some of the key elements to these regulations. Interfacing's Enterprise Process Center (EPC) provides you with a tool to control your compliance processes by helping you manage the audit, assessment and execution of your underlying business process management. This will make compliance easier and more transparent throughout your organization.
The Enterprise Process Center will give your company the ability to automatically and continuously monitor and manage your compliance initiatives. Implementing controls associated with processes and tasks ensures that compliance requirements are followed, while automatic tracking and documentation of all process changes gives management complete oversight.
The Enterprise Process Center supports dozens of compliance initiatives, including but not limited to:
Compliance Support Features