The benefits of a good corporate compliance program go well beyond legal and regulatory compliance to also include some operational benefits. You need to have a well-balanced program that makes sure that your company’s organizational structure, processes, people, and technology are working properly to keep customers happy, manage risks, oversee vendors, grow the business, and achieve several goals.
What does a business compliance programme aim to achieve?
The goal is to safeguard your company. That’s all there is to it. However, the investment could pay off handsomely by assisting you in avoiding waste, fraud, abuse, discrimination, and other behaviours that jeopardise operations and your business.
No doubt, a corporate compliance program needs to be an important part of your company’s operations regardless of industry or size. Remember that corporate compliance violations can sometimes lead to lawsuits, fines, and loss of reputation. This article discusses why you should consider having a corporate compliance program.
Understanding corporate compliance:
Compliance simply refers to the actions your company takes to meet certain rules or standards. Therefore, your company and employees are expected to follow all regulations, rules, standards, and ethical practices applying to your company and industry.
Corporate compliance should cover both internal procedures and policies, as well as state and federal laws. By enforcing compliance, it can help your company avoid and detect violations, so it protects your company from fines and lawsuits. The compliance process needs to be ongoing. There are several companies out there that establish a program that accurately and consistently governs compliance policies.
The aim of a corporate compliance program is simply to protect your company. The return on this investment can be significant as it helps you prevent waste, abuse, fraud, discrimination, and many other practices that can disrupt operations and even put your business at risk.
Your corporate compliance program should be integrated with the compliance efforts in your company, from comprehensive employee training to management of internal and external regulations. By ensuring that all departments, as well as staff, are working together to achieve good standards, you can manage the risks of significant violations and failures.
An effective program can improve communication between staff and leadership. Therefore, it needs to include a process that can create, update, distribute, and track compliance policies. Remember that your employees cannot be responsible for any rule and regulation that they are not aware of.
But once they understand the company’s expectations, your employees can focus on the broader goals of your company and assist operations run properly. Even better, when your employees are well-trained in corporate compliance requirements, they can detect and even report any unethical or illegal activity. Read more about Cisco Switch as a Network Infrastructure Solution.
Maintaining corporate compliance standards can equip your staff to do their jobs properly, achieve their goals, and even keep customers happy. As a result, your company can accomplish its goals and grow quickly. In case your company faces a lawsuit, the same corporate compliance program can help in court. Read at JD Supra to understand more about corporate compliance.
How you can create a good corporate compliance program:
There are quite a few companies out there that can afford to delay implementing a corporate compliance program. Your corporate compliance program needs proper planning and implementation with the right training programs to ensure that the employees understand all areas of compliance. Here are a few things you need to establish a good corporate compliance program:
Get the leadership on board:
Keep in mind a corporate compliance program cannot run itself. Therefore, you need to assign a person to be responsible for managing the program daily. Depending on the size of your company, you can decide to have one person or several people to manage it. Regardless, these people in charge of this program need to have the authority to enforce the standards and rules as well as hold the employees accountable at all levels.
There is also a need for them to access the company’s senior management, which can include the board of directors. Access to senior management to enforce rules is important when some potential compliance issues arise. Therefore, empowering your officers can ensure that they respond quickly to these issues. However, communication should always go both ways. The governing body must assess the effectiveness of your corporate compliance program regularly.
Corporate compliance is all about improving a workplace culture that focuses on values, ethical conduct, and integrity. This should start at the top for the program to work. Leaders must follow the rules first. Even better, they should encourage their employees to have ethical behavior and openly discuss the importance of compliance.
Your company’s senior management must encourage the employees to give their input and highlight that they can’t be punished for reporting unethical or unlawful behavior. The Department of Justice gave out a checklist you can use to evaluate corporate compliance programs.
Some of the things they suggested include checking how senior leaders through their actions and words encourage or discourage a specific type of misconduct, the concrete actions taken to demonstrate leadership when it comes to the company’s compliance efforts, and how your company monitors the behavior of its senior leaders.
Conduct risk assessments:
Corporate compliance is also all about managing risk. To create an effective corporate compliance program, you should identify the compliance areas that pose the highest risks to the company. When you have identified these areas, then you need to focus your resources on managing them.
Keep in mind that the federal and state regulations and even industry standards keep on changing. Hence, to prevent the risk of non-compliance, it’s important to do regular assessments.
Many professional bodies suggest it’s a good idea to conduct these risk assessments once a year. A formal assessment can assist your company to be proactive when it comes to preventing corporate compliance violations.
In conclusion, creating or even revising your corporate compliance training and policies can sometimes take a lot of work. This is an ongoing process that needs regular monitoring and updates. However, you should not wait until there is an incident to take action.
If the compliance officers and you are already busy, it can be hard to find the right time to create and implement a new program. Therefore, you need to find a compliance management solution that suits your company. In this way, there are good chances that your company can handle the risks that can arise.