All companies, regardless of industry, are responsible for ensuring that their policies and processes are designed to comply with applicable laws and regulations. Because of the complexities of regulations and requirements, many companies struggle to secure compliance.
Companies who compliment their efforts with technology have found that staying compliant has become far less challenging. In the past, businesses had no choice but to rely on Excel sheets and Word docs to keep track of all their people and processes. It meant exchanging numerous emails and risking communications getting lost. Innovative software means the end to duplicate reporting and copying data repeatedly.
These centralized technology tools meant having confidence in your compliance and meeting regulatory requirements. Compliance workflow automation gives you the ability to audit multiple tasks into one process and schedule these processes to run on a regular basis automatically.
While the technology has been revolutionary, it still doesn’t relieve compliance teams of monitoring people, processes, and anyone else who must meet compliance obligations.
One of the crucial steps to ensuring compliance is streamlining workflows to ensure that only employees who should have access to specific data have relevant access. The purpose of a workflow is to divide processes into smaller steps which are passed to different people with the company.
Because of the multiple exchange of hands in documents, there could be numerous submissions for review and need for amendments. All the necessary steps should be taken into account and control processes must be enforced, and verification of information should be ensured.
Here are some tips track and monitor workflows to ensure that they achieve compliance, and nothing is overlooked or goes missing:
1. Identify Legal Obligations
What are all the compliance obligations and how do they impact your business? Once you have identified what these are, interpret them into specific compliance requirement statements.
Each of these requirements should be organized according to underlying regulations and codes along with common requirements such as policy development and monitoring requirements.
2. List All Parties Subject to Audits
List everyone who will be held responsible for meeting compliance obligations; this includes people, vendors, 3rd parties, sites, and processes. Because this will likely be a comprehensive list, be sure to organize them in department folders.
3. Evaluate Level of Risk
It’s impossible to monitor every aspect of your business at all times; instead of attempting to do so, focus your attention on where risk is highest. Identify who you would consider as compliance risks to your business based on criteria that evaluate the levels of risk.
4. Determine of Level of Attention
Set up your system to conduct audits regularly. Audit frequency should be established based on the level of risk. For obvious reasons, high-risk people, processes, and parties should be audited more frequently than those that are considered as low-level risks.
While the right software can help you achieve workflow compliance, the reality is that your employees are the risk that you will have the least control over. To become fully compliant, it’s important to not only streamline your processes and systems but also regularly review your people.