Technological proliferation has led to a sharp rise in the amount of data that is generated, collected, and stored across all industries and business sectors. This has made data management a very real concern for companies both large and small. To compound matters, we have also seen a dramatic increase in the number of regulatory bodies that have implemented rules and regulations that impact data management amongst many other aspects of a company’s operations.
Legal and regulatory compliance are business concerns that have been significantly amplified over the past couple decades, leaving many business leaders to wonder whether compliance services can help you avoid large penalties, fines, and other adverse consequences. Fortunately, there are a number of measures that can be successfully implemented as part of a more comprehensive risk management and regulatory compliance strategy.
What Are Regulatory Compliance Services?
The legal and regulatory compliance landscape is complex, to be certain, and it varies dramatically from industry to industry — and even from business to business within the same industry.
Regulatory compliance services are designed to provide a company with insights and guidance for staying within bounds, so to speak. Their specific compliance-related services may include the following.
Consultation and Evaluation – Virtually all engagements involving regulatory compliance services will begin with a comprehensive evaluation of the business and its current compliance status. This includes a review of the active measures, policies, procedures, protocols, and other efforts that are in place with a goal of achieving and maintaining compliance.
Identification of Relevant Regulations – A compliance service provider will typically perform research to identify any and all laws and regulations that may impact the business in question. Special attention is often given to regulations that have been recently modified since these changes can easily fly under the radar, resulting in unrealized non-compliance down the road. The goal of this service offering is to ensure that the client’s organization is addressing all regulations that could result in a fine, penalty or other adverse impact.
Compliance Evaluation – Once all of the applicable regulations have been identified, the compliance services consultant will perform evaluation to determine if the business is fully compliant for all of those rules and regulations. Any incidences of non-compliance are noted.
Non-Compliance Remediation Plan – With all areas of non-compliance identified, the compliance consultant can work with the business to develop a comprehensive plan for remediation. The primary objective is to achieve and maintain regulatory compliance on a long-term basis. This step-by-step plan may be developed using the aid of risk management software. Risk management software platforms typically include project planning-type features that can be very useful for assigning tasks and monitoring the progress of this sort of initiative. Remediation efforts can vary dramatically depending upon the rule or regulation in question. The measures may range from a change in policy, procedure or protocol, to deploying new technology or creating a new position and hiring new staff.
Compliance Strategy Development – A solid risk management plan will include a regulatory compliance strategy for the long term. This strategy should articulate a number of different points, such as how regulatory compliance will be monitored and evaluated, how incidences of non-compliance will be handled, and how the business will stay informed about its regulatory burdens as changes and additions occur.
Long-Term Regulatory Compliance Monitoring Plan – As mentioned above, the regulatory landscape is very dynamic, with new rules and regulations issued on a fairly frequent basis. Changes to existing regulations are also quite commonplace because they are adapted to keep pace with changes in the industry, society, and technology, amongst other factors. An experienced compliance service provider will offer guidance in the development of a regulatory compliance monitoring plan that will ensure the business remains informed about what they need to do in order to avoid non-compliance. This may also include the evaluation of a company’s policies, procedures, and protocols — all of which have a significant impact on compliance. Employee information sessions are commonly recommended as well. An information session plays a vital role in informing staff about policy changes and how the new way of doing things affects compliance.
How Do These Compliance Services Help You Avoid Large Penalty Fines?
The aforementioned regulatory compliance services can go a long way toward helping a business to avoid large penalties and fines by promoting a proactive stance against non-compliance.
Measures such as developing a strategy for maintaining compliance and evaluating the effectiveness of a company’s current efforts to avoid non-compliance are very effective at preventing circumstances and actions that may result in non-compliance fines or other consequences. In fact, simply spreading awareness of the organization’s compliance burdens can be beneficial.
An experienced regulatory compliance consultant can also help a company prioritize its efforts in cases where multiple areas of non-compliance are identified. By pinpointing which regulations carry the most serious penalties and largest fines, a business is empowered to address those issues first, ahead of non-compliance issues that carry lesser fines or penalties.
Regulatory compliance monitoring tools are often included as part of a risk management software system. As such, some compliance service providers may also be well-positioned to offer recommendations for a platform that can meet an organization’s needs in this regard. While this technology does involve an investment, the ROI tends to be significant, especially when you consider the potential cost of non-compliance.
Regulatory compliance is a complex discipline and even the best advice and guidance can be enhanced dramatically when combined with modern technology. This is especially true of data management, which is an increasingly dominant component of compliance for numerous regulations.
Data management and risk management are two of our specialties at iTech. We develop innovative enterprise risk management solutions, from governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) software to more specialized enterprise platforms that are architected to meet a client’s unique needs. We invite you to contact iTech today to discuss your company’s regulatory compliance and risk management plans. Our team will work with you to identify the best technology to help your organization to achieve full regulatory compliance and avoid the costly fines associated with non-compliance.