Picking the Right Compliance Strategy for Your Company
To be compliant with regulations, organizations must first figure out the right compliance strategy that fits their company culture and overall goals. There are several strategies to choose from, and each has its own benefits and drawbacks.
This article will teach you about common compliance strategies so you can pick the one that fits your business best before you get started on the important work of creating policies and procedures in line with your strategy.
Understand how to select your compliance strategy
When it comes to compliance, there’s a huge variety of laws and regulations that business owners need to pay attention to. Getting familiar with all these can be overwhelming—and knowing how to manage your compliance obligations can be daunting.
What is next? Get started with an SOP process
Once you’ve selected an appropriate compliance strategy, you’ll need to get started with an SOP process. All companies should be creating Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that tell their employees how to perform each of their jobs correctly and safely. More than simply checklists, these documents have details on what tools and materials to use in every step of every job.
If a tool or material isn’t specified, there are instructions as to what is safe to use instead. Sometimes there will be more than one way to do a task- and when those options exist, there will be details about why one was chosen over another.
Identify which communications need specific protocols
For example, if employees at your company regularly handle government contracts, you’ll want to ensure that internal communications don’t disclose any proprietary information regarding these bids.
There are various compliance strategies you can use to make sure you’re following corporate guidelines- some of which may even be free or low-cost. Whatever strategy you choose, it needs to reflect your unique culture and industry needs.
Who owns information security at your company?
If your business is looking to implement an information security program and you aren’t sure who should lead it, just follow the money. Since compliance with regulatory standards like PCI DSS or HIPAA usually falls under a company’s finance or legal department, IT security programs are often handed off to someone else.
However, if you work in Information Technology, don’t hand over control without understanding exactly what that means- there may be legal implications down the road! Consider developing comprehensive communication and/or regulatory compliance strategy before working on other aspects of your business.
You can do this, but what if you fail?
Let’s say you do end up getting in trouble with regulators. Are you equipped to handle it? Be honest- if you were truly compliant, would your company be able to survive a major regulatory or compliance failure?
If not, think about how to mitigate risk before it’s too late. You can always change course if need be. What are your compliance goals, and what steps have you taken to ensure that your organization is prepared to meet them?
How often do you check compliance procedures?
Whenever there is a change in laws or regulations, we update our procedures. We also try to keep up with any developments that might affect our compliance profile, so we frequently communicate with counsel to stay informed.
It’s also wise to have your own in-house compliance expert who can provide independent oversight and reports as needed. This helps prevent fraud and other violations before they happen.