With organizations operating in a fast-paced and dynamic environment, complying with the large number of governing bodies and regulations has become a fulltime task. In fact, a recent report published by Gartner revealed that 74% risk-management executives believe that forecasting critical risks is going to become harder in the future.
Regardless of the technologies and methods that your company implements in order to minimize future risks, they are unlikely to produce desired results until you implement a compliance culture across your entire enterprise.
However, when it comes to restructuring compliance processes, organizations often find it hard to identify an adequate starting point or to figure out their priorities. In this blog, we will cover various regulatory compliance tips that will help you mature and improve your ongoing compliance program and approach:
Practical Regulatory Compliance Tips:
1) Understand your regulatory landscape:
According to the latest SFTR (Securities Financing Transactions Requirements), every company needs to report transactions like borrowing or commodity lending. This extension in reporting requirements will affect collateral and trading management for both financial and non-financial organizations. The SFTR regulation is just one example of the many frequently-changing regulations that companies need to adhere to.
In order to remain compliant with such mandates, it is essential that you stay on top of these changes. If you think that this merely means being aware of every regulation that is currently affecting your business – you are wrong. In fact, you need to be capable of breaking down the controls, practices, and policies to ensure that your team has all the information and support that it needs in order to remain compliant.
2) Develop a robust team:
When it comes to risk and compliance, a company is (or can be) vulnerable in a number of different areas. This means that you need to have people with the right kind of technical expertise and skills for every one of those areas. Such people could include legal experts, safety experts, IT specialist, and media specialists.
Work on finding the kind of external and internal personnel that can strengthen your team. Remember that you could have the most sophisticated tools for compliance management, but, unless the right people are handling those tools, your chances to attain successful results are bleak at best. Putting the right people in the right place will allow your company to assess, interpret, source, and ultimately implement the best approach to adapting to the changing mandates we discussed in the first point.
3) Make training more convenient for your team:
Speaking of having people with the right skills and talent, it has never been more important to allow teams to conveniently access training. If your workers are making offsite visits to clients, it is likely that they will be unable to return to the offices to attend training modules. Moreover, your employees might end up missing essential live training sessions, conducted by instructors that your company specially hires and pays. This means that it is costing both you and your employees in terms of money and time. Here are a few ways that you can prevent such pitfalls:
- Offer online courses that employees can take anytime and from anywhere.
- Auto-enrollment for employees – this will save time for both you and them.
- Videotaping live events and uploading them to LMSs (Learning Management Systems).
- Offering user-friendly and intuitive systems.
4) Bring regulators onboard:
Not only are regulators alert for compliance-related issues, but are also often the very first people to learn of any new changes. So, adding regulators to transformation initiatives is a vital approach towards ensuring that your organization’s regulatory environment is not obsolete. When you increase the alignment between stakeholders and regulators, you will be able to develop a proactive environment and reduce future risks of noncompliance.
5) Ensure commitment at the top-level:
A leader plays a key role in the development, initiation, and implementation of any procedure. Leaders are also the people responsible for implementing the right values and behavior within the organization. Furthermore, people at the top level can raise awareness and provide support by sharing policies and welcoming dialogue across the entire organization, and make critical and high-profile decisions. It is unwise to underestimate the importance of setting the right example, especially when it comes to regulatory compliance.
6) Delegate work; not responsibilities:
Any employee that you hire, be it a freelancer or a contractual worker, is your responsibility. It is good to delegate work, but make sure that you are still in charge of your legal or regulatory responsibilities. Remember that if your hires end up indulging in inappropriate or illegal exchanges, or tax evasion, you and your organization will be considered responsible, since those workers were working for you.
7) Develop a roadmap for compliance:
It is important to have a clear route to compliance that you and your team can stick to. Ideally, you should have one compliance plan for the new recruits, and another for the more experienced lot. Why have two separate plans? Mainly because what the new group know –and expect – is likely to be different from the knowledge and expectations of your more experienced team members.
8) Back your team:
Building up from the previous point, it is true that a failure to follow or interpret regulations can lead to severe noncompliance penalties, but expecting your team to completely understand every guideline in one go is harsh and unfair. Remember that, as far as regulations are concerned, the context and support that you offer will go a long way in determining the extent to which your teams can adhere to the organization’s wider compliance goals and the kind of results that they produce. In other words, you need to focus on keeping your team motivated and offer them every possible support.
9) Update procedures and policies:
Your policies and procedures are the foundation for your compliance strategy. For this reason, make sure that you regularly revisit and update these policies and procedures to ensure that they are aligned with your company’s compliance goals and the wider regulatory landscape. Unless you keep breathing life into your policies, they might end up becoming ‘dry’, meaningless, or obsolete. Make sure that the procedures and policies are reflective of and relevant to ongoing practices, and are clearly connected to risk areas and business activities.
While you cannot achieve regulatory compliance overnight, it is certainly very much attainable. We hope that the regulatory compliance tips discussed in this blog will allow you to work towards a more compliant organization.