As a compliance practitioner, your goal is to design and oversee a program that’s comprehensive enough to mitigate risk, strong enough to address issues that occur (because they always can, and will) and robust enough to withstand scrutiny and foster confidence from internal and external stakeholders.
At this point, you may have “checked the box” on all the components of a solid program—a hotline, risk assessment, training and communications, written standards, auditing and monitoring and even periodically collecting and reviewing the mounds of information at your disposal to assess the effectiveness of your program. But are you exposing yourself to even more risk in the form of human error, overlooked warning signs or missed opportunities by managing these components independently from one another? How easily can you connect the dots between all of your initiatives and their performance data to measure, assess and report on how they’re working to reduce your risks? And how confident are you in your organization’s ability to rapidly and defensibly demonstrate compliance program effectiveness when government officials, senior leadership or shareholders come calling? To help, we created a graphic guide that outlines eight strategies to help you take a more integrated approach to compliance management—and improve your ability to identify and address risks and confidently defend your program as a result. In the guide, we explain the idea behind each strategy, why it’s important, what you’re missing without it, the challenges you’ll face and the benefits your team and company will get from adopting that approach. Here’s a sneak peek:
Implement a Central Platform
If you’re like most organizations, your compliance program is managed through a dozen different systems like Sharepoint, Excel, email, LMS and so on. Each system has a different user interface, vendor and data location and format—all making it difficult to bring the information together. A cohesive compliance management solution can solve this problem.
What you’re missing without it: Integration
Link Initiatives to Risk
What do you do with your risk assessment results? Hopefully, you build your program around your risks. Linking initiatives to risks allows your tools and data to work together to address risks, and prioritize initiatives and incidents related to your most severe risks.
What you’re missing without it: Risk mitigation
Connect Incidents to Initiatives
Linking incidents and disclosures to your policies and training initiatives can help you understand where these efforts are working or falling short.
What you’re missing without it: Clarity
Conveying company expectations and standards, sending training reminders, soliciting disclosures and feedback—all of these are critical for the success of your risk and compliance program. Technology can not only help you easily scale efforts to your global employees and third parties, but also provide an accessible audit trail of your efforts.
What you’re missing without it: Engagement
Monitor Program Results
No matter how robust your program is, you can’t realistically prevent all compliance risk events. For those incidents that do slip through the cracks, rapid response is critical for protecting your organization. This is only possible through continuous, effective monitoring of compliance-related information as it comes in.
What you’re missing without it: Responsiveness
Anyone who has prepared compliance reports knows how tedious it is to manually pull together and analyze data, particularly if it’s coming from disconnected systems. For time-constrained compliance professionals, automating the reporting process can mean the difference between a thorough, thoughtful analysis and a fragmented report.
What you’re missing without it: Effective oversight
Improve Record Keeping
Just because we’re using technology doesn’t mean we can forget about diligent record-keeping. Used effectively, technology can dramatically ease the burden, challenges, risks and inconsistencies of record-keeping.
What you’re missing without it: Documentation
Extend Your Reach
We live in a mobile world. If we can use our smartphones to remotely control our air conditioning at home, shouldn’t we be able to access and submit compliance information using our mobile devices, too? Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
What you’re missing without it: Scalability
Each of these strategies comes with their own unique benefits…and challenges. In this case, the ends more than justify the means. Taking an integrated approach to managing your risks can not only facilitate a more defensibly effective program, but it arms you with richer, more contextual data to analyze how things are working or where (and why) they’re falling short.