Compliance professionals have one of the most thankless roles in any organization. It’s a job that almost sounds like it was invented as a punishment — creating reporting policies, training teams in regulatory requirements, conducting internal audits, and meeting with regulators — rather than being one of the most essential positions at any company. Compliance teams protect the company from costly and damaging regulatory fines and penalties. It’s a job dedicated to managing risk.
It’s also a job that isn’t easily improved by new technologies. Regulations change all the time, as do companies policies that respond to those changes. That’s just not something that most software solutions are designed to manage. At the same time, properly incorporating compliance tools into a company’s existing technology solutions is often worth the investment, as it results in both reduced regulatory risk and decreased costs.
To reap the benefits of connecting technology and compliance, off-the-shelf solutions simply aren’t a viable option. These solutions need to be designed for specific regulatory requirements — HIPAA, for instance — while also fitting the unique use case of the business itself. It’s a balancing act. Get it wrong, and it makes the compliance team’s job even harder to do.
In this post, we’re taking a look at five key concepts for connecting technology and compliance in an efficient and effective way.
Compliance work is often labor intensive, requiring careful analysis of new regulations, policies, bylaws, and reporting protocols. It’s a process driven by discussion and research, and that’s not something that can be meaningfully improved by technology. What can be improved, however, is the compliance team’s access to important data, reporting tools, and communication resources. Information silos can be broken down, and information can be centralized for easy access. This concept is important for disclosure management, auditing transparency, compliance monitoring, and document collaboration.
One of the ongoing headaches for any compliance officer is making sure that everyone follows the rules. By building compliance checks into the CRM or other business tools, it’s possible to simply stop progress on a given task until the regulatory requirements have been met. This not only prevents common mistakes, but it also frees up valuable time for your compliance team to focus on bigger issues.
Even an entry-level position as a compliance officer requires an expert level of skill. Many compliance professionals are lawyers, and even those who aren’t tend to have advanced degrees and years of industry experience. As the primary users of any compliance technology, it’s essential that these subject matter experts are involved in the development and implementation process. They already know where the inefficiencies are, and where improvements will have the most impact.
Compliance reporting can be an unbelievably tedious task, requiring hours of database work, number crunching, and spreadsheet manipulation. Not surprisingly, one of the first technologies to be adopted by compliance professionals was reporting automation. Automated compliance reporting allows for fast-turnaround information gathering and presentation, resulting in documents that even non-experts can easily understand. They also help to remove human error from the process, making these reports more reliable.
Every industry has a specific set of regulatory requirements to adhere to, and every company has a unique combination of use cases, internal policies, and business technologies. There is no one-size-fits-all solution for combining technology and compliance in a meaningful way. Get the solution right, and the efficiency and ROI benefits are huge. Get it wrong, and your compliance “solution” can actually make things worse. It’s absolutely essential that your implementation partner work closely with every stakeholder to find the right workflows, software, integrations, and training to make your investment in compliance technology worthy of your investment.
Is your company looking to modernize its compliance technology? Need help navigating federal, state, or local regulations? Not sure how HIPAA or other rules impact your SaaS solutions? At Faye, we’ve helped countless companies find the right solutions for their needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.