Some companies are shopping for their very first dedicated compliance solution. Other organizations have more tenured compliance programs that have been using software for years, but when a contract comes to an end they feel the need to check out what else is out there. With the fast pace of technology advancement, keeping your ear to the ground on what new, better and more comprehensive compliance software is available is natural (and smart!).
So whether you’re brand new to the game or want to make sure that your money is spent in the best way possible, here are 6 key elements you should look for when evaluating a compliance software solution.
Compliance programs are complex with far reaches and many initiatives…and you have to collect data and report on every bit of it. As programs become more complex (and these days they are even if they’re brand new!) you need a solution that integrates all these parts and pieces for a more holistic, in depth understanding of your program. Without integration, your data is lacking visibility, control and measurable results.
Going hand-in-hand with integration (and hard to achieve without) you need a system that intelligently surfaces trends and connects the dots between initiatives. Looking at hotline metrics are meaningless unless you can try them to case outcomes, policy violations, training failures and ultimately the true root cause of the noncompliance. It sounds complicated, and it is if you don’t have the right system in place.
Apple made a splash because of its dedication to a simple user interface that anyone could figure out. This same concept should extend to compliance software. No one wants to use overcomplicated, hard to navigate software and your employees will certainly brush compliance under the rug if it takes too much of their time just to figure out. Plus, compliance professionals’ time is much better used actually analyzing and improving programs, not wrestling with the solution.
Make your employees want to interact with the compliance department by not only making sure the system is intuitive to use, but also encouraging employee engagement and inviting for your entire company. Make sure it’s easy to log in no matter where they are, available in the local language and that there are separate areas for conflict of interest or G&E disclosures and filing a hotline report. While you may be able to separate different initiatives and functions in your mind, not everyone is compliance focused. Make it easy for them to understand exactly what they’re doing and why they’re doing it without any room for confusion, doubt or mistrust.
Practically everyone is on the go these days and depending on your industry not all of your employees will be in front of a computer everyday. Choosing a solution that works as well on mobile as it does on desktops helps you capture this audience without putting an undue burden on them. And the easier it is to comply, the more likely employees will follow through in a timely manner.
Mobility is particularly important if a large part of your workforce are millennials who have historically expressed an expectation for on-demand information and access.
6. Fast Setup
Finally, you need a solution up and running FAST. Like, yesterday fast. You can’t afford to spend months standing up a new system and the longer you’re running on two platforms the more data fragmentation and user confusing you’ll experience. Business certainly doesn’t stop when you get new software and with cloud-based solutions you don’t need to go through prolonged processes get a robust, secure compliance platform.
To learn more about choosing new compliance software, download 6 Elements to Buying a Compliance Solution.