Compliance consulting has gained tremendous popularity in recent years amongst businesses both large and small, across all industries and business sectors. As an increasingly important component of an organization’s risk management strategy, more and more business leaders are recognizing the importance of achieving and maintaining compliance both in the legal and regulatory sphere.
Many companies find that they struggle with compliance which opens the door to tremendous fines, penalties, and other adverse consequences that hold the power to quite literally destroy a business. Another portion of companies are completely unaware of all the regulatory compliance burdens that they are facing. This creates a situation where a business is held responsible for non-compliance that they didn’t even realize was an issue. Enter: the compliance consulting firm.
An experienced risk management and compliance consultant will guide an organization toward achieving and maintaining compliance on a long-term basis. But how do you know if you can benefit from this type of risk management consulting? Here are 5 things that show you need compliance consulting for your company.
#1 – You’re in a Tightly Regulated Industry
If your area of business involves lots of rules and regulations, then there is a good chance that you can benefit from compliance consulting. There are a number of different industries that are subject to strict regulatory oversight.
The medical and healthcare sector is one example of a strictly regulated industry. Healthcare professionals are subject to countless regulations to ensure safety and patient privacy. The best-known regulation in this industry is HIPAA, but there are numerous other regulatory measures that must be considered as part of an organization’s risk management and compliance strategy.
The banking and financial sector is another example of a tightly regulated industry, with regulators from the government and private regulatory bodies able to implement significant fines and penalties for non-compliance. One example is the JPMorgan WhatsApp non-compliance case, whereby JP Morgan was fined $200 million by two different regulatory agencies after they broke recordkeeping laws when they allowed employees to communicate with clients using WhatsApp.
Highly regulated industries are subject to strict compliance burdens and the penalties for non-compliance can be extreme in some cases. Therefore, it is essential that these companies have a solid compliance plan in place, with initiatives to ensure that all staff are apprised of the proper protocols and procedures for maintaining compliance. These organizations should also have a system in place for risk management and monitoring so new compliance requirements are addressed. A consultant will offer guidance for implementing and deploying these measures, which may include risk management software designed specifically for compliance.
#2 – Your Staff’s Actions Impact Your Compliance
If compliance is dependent upon the actions of your staff, then compliance consulting is a “must-have” for your business. The more employees you have, the more complex compliance management becomes. You must provide comprehensive training to ensure that everyone is aware of what they must (or must not) do in order to avoid a non-compliance situation. Then, the staff must be provided with the resources and training to ensure they act in a compliant manner moving forward.
A compliance consultant can evaluate your staff and their current level of compliance. Then, they can work to develop an action plan for educating staff about the compliance burdens and their role in avoiding non-compliance.
#3 – You Recently Had an Issue With Non-Compliance
Fines, penalties, and other consequences arising from regulatory non-compliance can serve as a rude wake-up call for a company’s leadership. This usually signals that it is time to re-evaluate and make a change so you can avoid a repeat of this problem in the future.
Calling a compliance consulting company is in order since they can evaluate how this recent case of non-compliance arose in the first place. Then, they will work with the company to develop an action plan for achieving and maintaining compliance down the road. This may entail new policies, processes, protocols, and procedures, in conjunction with monitoring and proactive management of risk factors.
#4 – You Are Developing a Risk Management Strategy for the First Time
There’s a first time for everything and that includes the development of a company’s risk management strategy. This strategy must include measures to address legal and regulatory compliance, but most people lack the necessary insights and experience to get the job done effectively. The result is a scattershot approach to compliance, resulting in a great deal of vulnerability in the risk management arena.
A compliance consultant will walk you through the process of considering legal and regulatory compliance in your risk management strategy. You’ll develop a plan for evaluating compliance within the business, maintaining that level of compliance on a long-term basis, monitoring for non-compliance, and monitoring for new laws and regulations that could impact your company’s compliance.
#5 – You Don’t Have an Effective Mechanism for Monitoring New or Modified Laws and Regulations
New laws are made every day. Regulations are routinely updated. Keeping track of these changes is challenging, especially for those in a highly-regulated industry. But if you fail to keep pace, you risk an incidence of non-compliance.
The problem is this: When it comes to compliance, ignorance is no excuse. A company will still be held responsible when an instance of non-compliance comes to light.
The right technology can go a long way toward helping a company to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance. Risk management software is designed to centralize and streamline compliance efforts, providing a framework for compliance monitoring, with project management-type tools that allow you to plan and monitor your corrective actions. These risk management and compliance software systems usually include a feed with updates on new laws and updated regulations too, providing valuable information about changes that may impact an organization, its policies and procedures, and its staff.
Those who have the best compliance positioning tend to be the organizations that take the time to work with a compliance consulting professional, while also leveraging technology such as compliance and risk management software. At iTech, risk management is one of our specialties. Our team develops innovative risk management solutions, including governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software. Reach out to iTech today and let’s discuss your organization’s compliance landscape and how we can help forward your efforts toward achieving and maintaining compliance.