Since the beginning of business whether they knew it or not organizations have always been analyzing risk and implementing mitigation procedures. It wasn’t until 2002 when Michael Rasmussen and OCEG finally defined the field of risk management and coined the term GRC (governance, risk, and compliance). The concept was revolutionary, in a time when the world of business was becoming ever-more complex the field of thought known as GRC outlined and defined the interconnectivity of common areas of risk and established methods of prevention.
Effective policies are an essential aspect of any organization as they dictate day-to-day processes whether that be legal and regulatory or internal processes determining success. The necessity for effective policies has only increased as the business world becomes more dynamic and complex. Organizations must ensure that their policy management is robust and dynamic to meet the needs of modern-day business.
Gone are the years of simplicity in business operations. Rapid growth and change in risks, regulations, globalization, distributed operations, competitive velocity, technology, and business data encumbers organizations of all sizes. Keeping business strategy, compliance, uncertainty, complexity, and change in sync is a significant challenge for boards and executives and management professionals throughout all levels of the business.
Organizations often fail to monitor and manage compliance controls effectively in an environment that demands agility. This results in the inevitable failure of compliance that provides case studies for future generations on how poor internal control management leads to the demise of organizations: even those with strong brands.
Organizations need to be organizations of integrity. What we communicate to the world about our policies, compliance and ethics practices, values, code of conduct, regulatory commitments, and now ESG statements is a reality in the organization and not fiction. The Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer (CECO) has become the Chief Integrity Officer of the organization. Integrity is a mirror. What we tell the world what the organization is about, is that what is truly reflected back to us in our behavior and operations?
Having a board-level compliance committee is now a standard in most organizations. Based on the regulation framework, processes, and internal structure, the role of these entities differs.
With ever-evolving regulatory landscapes and frameworks, staying compliant is more of an ongoing effort today. Compliance programs keep an organization abreast with the changing regulations so as to avoid any legal implications. Therein lies the need, but compliance is a lot more than just following regulation and minimizing corporate misconduct. The very fabric of a compliance program is woven into daily business operations. It lays down principles and ethical standards, which influence the organization’s policies and continues in a loop, affecting risk management, oversight, monitoring, and corrective action.
After Frances Haugen, a former Facebook employee, has come forward with the accusation that Facebook puts profit before the safety of people, the platform’s reputation has gone down the tubes. In another example, the 2016 account fraud scandal tarnished Wells Fargo’s reputation, and it faced tremendous backlash from shareholders and customers. Wells Fargo was considered one of the most reputed brands in the US till the account fraud scandal came out in 2016. The bank had to pay around $3 billion to settle its probes and fines.
Company policies, though variegated in content, work towards protecting and improving an organization on a handful of essential fronts. Experience indicates they are business-critical and legal lawsuits show they are unavoidable. However, as a course or principle of action, a policy isn’t to be reduced to a tool intended to placate strict regulatory bodies and maintain an untarnished public image. As much as it guides decision-making, a policy shapes the future and carries the power to effect change. Therefore, growing organizations do well to invest in better mechanisms for drafting, implementing, and updating policies.
Over the years, technology has become a critical part of the compliance ecosystem. AI and machine learning have redefined the approach and made it more efficient.
Through this blog post, you will see the benefits of compliance technology and how to choose the best technology for compliance management.