Your Autumn checklist for compliance

Over the past twenty years or so, the sheer volume of laws, regulations, standards and guidelines has increased dramatically and exponentially. Compliance isn’t just for the financial services or healthcare sectors – it touches every industry and has become a vital part of business operations.

Autumn is the season of the year between summer and winter during which temperatures gradually decrease. This is the perfect time to step back and review your compliance processes that you currently have in place. The autumn season provides the perfect temperature to update your policies and procedures, review and apply the below checklist to ensure you don’t miss out!

1. Regulatory compliance policies

Well-drafted policy statements invite compliance. They are easier to administer, to maintain, and to enforce, reducing overall the amount of time an organisation needs to spend on those activities. Moreover, they make the internal audit process easier because the auditors can figure out exactly what the expected results are. FluidRock’s Compliance, Risk and Ethics can assist your company with compiling, assessing, reviewing and drafting of policies, standards, processes, procedures, charters, manuals and guidelines.

A regulatory compliance framework is a structured set of guidelines to aggregate, harmonise, and integrate all the compliance requirements that apply to organisations.

A compliance policy establishes the principles of, and commitment to, the management of compliance risk by an organisation. It also sets out the expected performance of all staff members in relation to the maintenance of compliance procedures and overall governance of the organisation. It is essential for organisations to establish an effective compliance policy as this provides a foundation on which compliance within the organisation is built.

2. Ethics assessment

For a successful navigation of the challenges of ethics governance and management, and establish an ethical culture, organisations should empower their management, staff and governing bodies with the requisite ethics awareness, skills and competencies. By definition, organisational culture is a collective exercise, making it paramount that ethics awareness is diffused throughout the organisation.

3. Regulatory compliance governance

No matter the industry or company size, all businesses must adhere to certain laws and regulations as part of operations. The King IVTM code emphasises the notion that good corporate governance is an interrelated and holistic set of arrangements to be implemented and understood in an integrated manner – good governance is not a tick-box compliance exercise, achieving compliance requires the execution of best practices without error as well as providing accurate management information. A close link between compliance and ethics is recommended in King IVTM.

4. Comprehensive reputational risk management

Reputational risk management can be a troublesome task for nearly all individuals. Where do you start ? Who do you call for help ? How long will the process take ? Risk management needs to be an essential part of routine business administration. A routine procedure should identify and handle acceptable levels of danger before they become a crisis. This however can become very difficult without a robust process of identifying and mitigating hazards including data, standing, and financing of a company that might be in danger. FluidRock Compliance, Risk and Ethics can implement a powerful and effective reputation risk management plan for your company. Thus, managing the reputation of your company is essentially being proactive rather than reactive.

5. Third party provider due diligence

Due diligence is a process that involves conducting an investigation, review, or audit in order to verify facts and information about a particular subject. In easier terms, due diligence means doing your homework and gaining the required knowledge before entering into any agreement with another company. FluidRock Compliance, Risk and Ethics is able to perform due diligence and help your company protect their interests and safeguard the value chain or comply with sanctions and legislation on the prevention of money laundering, bribery, corruption, prevention of financial consequences and most importantly mitigation of reputational risk.

We are able to execute an enhanced reputation report on the subject company’s profile, assessment of peer risk and their backgrounds, as well as their affiliations, with particular regard to any cause of concern, criminal, financial or otherwise.

6. Compliance risk management and journeys

FluidRock Compliance, Risk and Ethics applies a 5-phased approach to drive the resolution of concerns from a regulatory compliance risk management perspective. Consisting of:-

  • Scoping – understand landscaping and kick-off
  • As-is analysis – Review existing processes and roles
  • Future state design – understand areas for improvement
  • Prioritisation – Rank options for improvement
  • Implementation – Draft implementation plan to manage execution

Brief summary and conclusion

More companies are seeing increased value in investing in strong compliance, risk and ethics programmes; the programmes not only prevent infringements, but may also serve to mitigate regulatory fines and penalties if an infringement has been committed. Good compliance represents an opportunity to enhance the value of business. The benefits of this are not only in making the business a more attractive trading partner for investment, but also in more localised and immediate benefits.

A good compliance record may serve as an indicator of a well run business, whereas a poor compliance record is undoubtedly an indicator of a business which has been badly run and may be at serious financial risk.

FluidRock Compliance, Risk and Ethics is able to provide expert assurance to the board and executives through business enabling compliance, risk, ethics and governance support. The purpose of this is to protect your business. It’s as simple as that. Following the above mentioned checklist allows your staff to stay focused on the broader goals and help your organisation run smoothly.

Author: Thembi Makhado

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