BY: ComplyLog|December 20, 2021|Compliance
Companies are facing increasing regulatory pressure to tighten up their compliance procedures. Even just within the EU, in recent years they have had to implement internal reporting channels to comply with the EU Whistleblowing Directive. Many organisations across the bloc have had to strengthen pre-clearance procedures for employee personal trades as mandated by the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II). There have also been a host of anti-money laundering initiatives to comply with as the European Union continues to escalate its approach to fighting wrongdoing in financial services and beyond.
Thankfully, regulatory compliance management tools are available to help. Compliance automation helps to ease the burden on overworked compliance teams. It allows you to filter out the opportunity for human error when you conduct the necessary procedures to remain within the law.
Table of Contents
II) Types of compliance management software
Compliance management software is a series of programs that perform a number of compliance-related functions, including:
|Type of software||What it does|
|All-purpose compliance management platforms||Generic tools that any business can use to fulfil compliance functions. This type of platform is perfect for those universal compliance issues but does not contain specialist features for specific sectors. It might include general HSE (health safety and environment) compliance capabilities, for instance.|
|Industry-specific compliance management tools||Particular tools that are required by individual industries or sectors in order to comply with requirements. This includes IntegrityLog, which allows for confidential whistleblowing and tracks cases, alerting the relevant department to the various deadlines as mandated by the EU Whistleblowing Directive.|
|Governance, risk & compliance (GRC) software||In addition to generic compliance tools, GRC software offers you internal control over compliance risk management and corporate governance capabilities.|
The benefits of compliance management software
Compliance management software designed for industry-specific functions is kept up-to-date with the latest amendments to legislation, as well as the best practice guidelines, by its developers. This means that you don’t need to spend time monitoring details of potential rule changes and rewriting internal systems to accommodate them. As soon as anything changes, the software updates to reflect that, keeping you compliant.
Having a centralised tool for your compliance efforts lets you visualise the processes you have in place. The software allows chief compliance officers to drill down into the data the program collects to understand the trends that are occurring and to see the progress of various cases relating to compliance issues. All of the information you need is at hand on dashboards to help you refine your strategies.
In a fast-moving world, there is little time free for compliance teams to spend on the lengthy administrative tasks involved in remaining compliant. As a chief compliance officer, you want your team dedicated to more value-generating tasks, so automating compliance processes saves them time while minimising the risks of human error during manual reporting.
The reporting tools included in compliance software allow you to prove the success of your policies. The performance of compliance functions can be quantified given the data that you collect and this provides accountability for the compliance function.
If anything changes in the status of your organisation’s compliance efforts, a specific compliance management tool will alert you. This means that you don’t risk potential financial penalties. You can remedy compliance breaches and make sure your processes are ready for forthcoming legislation changes.
Modern compliance management systems tend to exist in the cloud. This means they are great for collaboration between compliance team members. You can typically assign tasks and issue or request status updates within the task management area of the tool. It also allows you to share documents in a manner that reduces the risk of people working on different versions.
Collaborating online in real-time on compliance framework documents that update simultaneously is less labour intensive than having to open them, edit, save and then send them around again. This document management capability also removes the risk of someone missing a vital update or having three or four different iterations of the same document travelling around the company.
Even with an ever-shifting regulatory landscape, you do not have to increase numbers in the compliance function to cope when you use a compliance management tool. With existing team members relieved of the time-consuming administrative tasks, they are free to concentrate on more of the work that drives real value. The tool runs alongside your team members, keeping your processes up to date, without anyone having to spend time trawling through reports about potential future legislation.
With so much competition in the market, you have to make an informed decision before you choose the right compliance management tool for your business. Here are some of the elements that you must bear in mind when seeking out the solution for your organisation.
|Element||What to consider|
|Cost-effectiveness||You need to think about the true cost of your manual compliance systems, in terms of resources and employee time for all stages in the process. When seeking an automated tool to perform compliance tasks for you, you can compare this cost with the charges for the tool.
Cost-savings aren’t the only benefit of using software to help remain within legal parameters, but it is certainly important and helps to gain management buy-in for the integration of compliance software. In addition to that, Forbes estimates that businesses can cut costs by between 40% and 75% with the help of intelligent automation.
|Real-time status tracking||By being able to track reports and issues in real-time, you can understand exactly when one of your processes becomes non-compliant. There is no lag and no unexpected surprises weeks later when you come to collate manually collected data.
This allows you to take immediate action before non-compliance affects future activity in the company and leads to regulatory troubles.
|Compliance dashboard||The ability to create your own custom dashboards allows you to tailor the tool to your specific needs. Even within the same industry, two different organisations will have different priorities and concerns, so make sure the tool you use has the ability to create the dashboard you need.
This dashboard gives you the ability to better visualise the data that you generate from your compliance activities. You can see where your efforts are succeeding and where you might need to concentrate in the future.
|Report generation||Reporting the results of this analysis is essential too. Rather than spending time collating the results of your compliance strategy, your management tools can run those reports on your behalf, giving you the time to spend on the many other tasks at hand.
You can generate reports for internal use to show the value of the function and for external auditors to provide proof of your compliance strategy.
|Automation capabilities||One of the main reasons to use compliance software is its automation capabilities. Especially with increasing legislative pressure, taking the manual approach would involve a lot of paperwork and complicated project management for compliance professionals. Automating your compliance processes with the regulations that affect your organisation is essential for internal control over this area of business.|
|Scalability||If you are a growing company, you do not want to suddenly find that your compliance solution is no longer fit for purpose. It should be able to scale with your organisation and continue to provide assurance that it can handle your increasing compliance needs.|
|Easy deployment||Cloud-based solutions mean that you do not need to support each worker in downloading and installing the same piece of software in order to be able to access your compliance tool. For online compliance programs, you just need to provide a link via email, the staff intranet or whatever other channel you use for internal communications in order to give employees access.|
ComplyLog provides a number of compliance management tools to businesses across a range of industries. Each application is designed to assist compliance with a different piece of legislation that concerns that industry. These are the tools available:
|InsiderLog||Market Abuse Regulation (MAR)||
|IntegrityLog||EU Whistleblowing Directive||
It is important to understand where you stand with your regulatory requirements in order to avoid a compliance issue arising from your business operations. Automatic compliance is the ability of compliance software to automatically check the actions performed to ensure they meet the parameters of the relevant law or regulation.
The chief compliance officer or head of the compliance department is responsible for the compliance activities, including the management system. They oversee the design of the company’s compliance strategy and how the software fits into it. They use the reporting features to assess the success of the tool and the accumulated data to refine their strategy for internal control of the compliance workflows.
Compliance tools will typically feature capabilities to ensure they protect the data fed through them from security threats. They also offer archiving and reporting tools, allowing you to access information easily for your own assessments and for external audit trails too. You can also use many of these tools for collaboration, document management and automating certain tasks related to the current regulatory requirements.
Regulatory compliance management tools are key to a streamlined and efficient compliance strategy. Whatever the legislative challenges in your industry, there is a tool to help you remain on the right side of the law and to avoid facing penalties for non-compliance. The type of work you do will be a major consideration when choosing the software for your organisation, but there is also a range of other decisions to make. There is no single solution for every regulatory environment.
For help meeting the compliance requirements that come with MAR, MiFID II and the EU Whistleblowing Directive, ComplyLog has all the tools you need. Request a demo today.