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How To Choose Regulatory Compliance Management Tools For Your Organisation

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. 

1. What is compliance management software?

Compliance management software is a series of programs that perform a number of compliance-related functions, including:  

  • Performing tasks related to your regulatory requirements. For example, approving or declining pre-clearance of employees’ personal trades based on your custom parameters.
  • Monitoring and tracking your compliance efforts to ensure that you remain within the boundaries of the relevant legislation and standards. For example, confirming that your insider lists are up to date and insiders have populated the correct information into the tool.
  • Auditing compliance efforts by collecting, archiving and analysing data gained during the process. For example, collating statistics on how quickly your team responds to whistleblowing reports.  

2. Types of compliance management software

Type of software What it does
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

2.1 Stay in-tune with regulatory changes

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. 

2.2 Increase visibility

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. 

2.3 Automate compliance processes

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. 

2.4 Improve accountability

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. 

2.5 Stay informed

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. 

2.6 Improve collaboration

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.   

2.7 Reduced costs

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

3. How to choose a compliance management tool

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
 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. 

3.1 How ComplyLog helps

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: 

Tool Related legislation Features
InsiderLog Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) 
  • Creates and maintains insider lists
  • Sends automated reminders to
    insiders to ensure you have followed all required steps
  • Tracks insider list changes
  • Tracks the list of Persons
    Discharging Managerial
    Responsibilities, and closely
    associated persons (legal and physical)
TradeLog MiFID II
  • Automates the process of pre-
    clearance of employee trades for
    financial services firms
  • Monitors employee trading activity
  • Alerts you to potential violations
IntegrityLog EU Whistleblowing Directive
  • Automates whistleblowing reporting
  • Ensures confidentiality when
    reporting suspicious activity
  • Only allows authorised access
  • Meets GDPR requirements
  • Dashboard allows investigators to track the progress of reports and meet deadlines

4. FAQs

4.1 What is automatic compliance?

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. 

4.2 Who is responsible for the compliance management system?

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. 

4.3 What are the common features of compliance tools?

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. 

5. Conclusion

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.

6. References and further reading

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