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Considerations to Create a Successful Compliance Program

By: Ted Banks

The field of corporate compliance is exploding, and it is only becoming more important as time marches on. Today’s business are inundated with more data and information than ever before, and a single corporate entity has the potential to affect multitudes of people in a very short amount of time. For example, one data breach could negatively impact the lives of millions upon millions of people.

There are thousands of laws, rules, and regulations that govern compliance issues, but it is hard keeping up with them because they are constantly changing. Modern companies must have safeguards in place to protect against a whole host of compliance threats, but most people don’t know where to get started. The following are some steps you need to take to creating a successful corporate compliance program.

Creating Solid Standards and Procedures

After you have identified your risks, it’s time to create a solid policy to negate those risks. You need to create documentation that is easily understood and outlines acceptable behavior versus unacceptable behavior. Few things in life are black and white, but you need to draw clear lines between actions that are permissible and actions that merit discipline. This documentation can outline how to incorporate compliance into common business procedures as well as describe best practices.

Administering Control with Leadership

There also needs to be a balance of power shared among the organization’s leaders. A committee comprised of top executives will help control your program, but the committee must be managed by your organizations central governing authority. Sometimes this may be an individual, such as the founder or CEO, but it could also be managed by the board of directors.

Basing Control on Ethical Leadership

Ethics are the foundation that all businesses are built upon. If your business lacks ethical leadership, it won’t withstand the test of time. This is also true of your compliance program, and the leaders of your program need to have a squeaky-clean record. You simply cannot afford to put someone in control of your compliance program that has the intention or ability to act unethically. You need to consider an employee’s past decisions before appointing them to a leadership role in your compliance structure.

Utilizing Communication Tools to Quickly Update Your Organization

Furthermore, you must use tools that can quickly update entire departments of your organization in a timely manner. Laws and regulations can change quickly, and the failure to educate, train, and inform your employees is not an excuse that governmental agencies will accept if you fail to comply with new standards.

Monitoring Your Success and Auditing Your Program

In addition, you must regularly audit your compliance efforts. There is always an opportunity for improvement, and you need to look for weak links in your compliance program to avoid future disasters. Be sure to audit all levels of your program, and you will likely want to conduct interviews to ensure that your messages and training efforts are actually communicated to and understood by your organization.

Successfully creating and implementing a corporate compliance program is no easy feat, and the best way to avoid corporate disasters is to reach out to compliance experts. If you have any questions regarding your industry or your current compliance program, don’t hesitate to contact Compliance & Competition Consultants today.