As onerous a process as it can seem to keep your organisation’s activities compliant with the latest regulations affecting your industry, it can be much costlier to not remain compliant or to choose to ignore what’s needed!
But how can you consistently achieve compliance for your business without becoming overwhelmed? One important tool for making this a reality is using the most suitable compliance management software.
What is compliance management?
The term ‘compliance management’ refers to the ongoing process by which businesses monitor and assess their systems to ensure continued compliance with the latest corporate and regulatory requirements and policies.
At any one time, there are aspects of your own organisation’s systems that may have fallen into non-compliance due to changes in regulations, policies and standards, or even just as a result of misconfiguration. Or, maybe your predecessor took their eye off the ball!
You might reasonably ask why compliance management is so necessary. The short answer is that failing to stay compliant can lead to a wide range of adverse impacts… for your business.. disruption to business processes, additional costs, security breaches, loss of certification, and fines, to you personally.. hefty fines and even imprisonment!
If then, you and your business can remain abreast of the latest compliance updates and changes, its operations are likely to be smoother and more cost-effective.
Various processes are required in order to achieve compliance. These include assessing and identifying systems where there may presently be non-compliance or vulnerabilities, as well as prioritising and organising remedial actions to achieve and maintain compliance.
Finally, it will be necessary to report that such changes have been applied, together with the results.
How can software help with compliance management?
Compliance tasks like the above can be made significantly easier by a software solution that helps to automate and streamline the process of adhering to the policies and controls organisations in your sector are expected to comply with.
A compliance management software platform provides a single point of reference for gathering and retaining the records about your organisation’s day-to-day activities that will be so crucial to ensuring – and proving – compliance.
Essential features of compliance management software
While different companies and industries tend to have different needs from a compliance management platform, below are some of the most broadly relevant features to look out for in such a solution today:
A secure, cloud-based system
One of the key characteristics of many leading compliance management software packages today is the fact that they are hosted “in the cloud” – in other words, stored on the Internet. This is as opposed to an “on-premises” solution, which is hosted on a hard drive at the business’s brick-and-mortar site.
Cloud-based platforms are becoming the go-to choice for compliance management, in part because organisations that invest in such a system do not need to depend on their own internal IT staff for maintenance and updates, and because of the flexibility afforded to the users being able to access the system from anywhere with any device.
Furthermore, the users of today’s leading cloud-based compliance management systems can expect a high standard of data privacy and security, as ensured by such methods as encryption, authentication, and permissions.
Reporting and automated alerts
A reporting process is needed if your business is to ensure it continues to meet its compliance goals. However, your organisation may currently be dependent on manually updated Excel spreadsheets that do little to help with achieving and maintaining compliance.
You should therefore be looking for compliance management software with reporting and automated alert capabilities. Such a solution would make it easier for you to quickly check risk and compliance data, as well as pending or overdue tasks.
A platform that provides automatic alerts and enables the rapid generation of reports will be invaluable for saving time and hassle, while helping you to keep on top of regulatory and compliance tasks.
Risk management capability
It is difficult for organisations to remain compliant if they lack the means of monitoring and tackling the full range of risks posed to their business.
That’s why you should be using compliance management software that enables the easy monitoring of risk across all areas of your organisation. Such a platform should make it straightforward for users to review current risk levels, assign tasks for addressing those risks, and keep everything documented.
You might be especially thankful for the visibility your chosen compliance management platform provides of the highest-risk areas of your company’s operations. This, in turn, will enable you to be more proactive in mitigating risks that present themselves in your business’s policies and procedures.
It can be so easy for businesses to become disorganised in the management of their compliance efforts. This is why you are likely to appreciate a solution that incorporates task management capability, taking a lot of the stress and inconvenience out of keeping on top of your business’s compliance activities, projects and policies.
Compliance management software that allows for the easier management of compliance tasks will be key to helping your company to organise itself better and meet deadlines for crucial tasks. It will also help improve accountability within your business, if employees are assigned to particular tasks.
The benefits of using compliance management software
A compliance management platform that offers a high level of flexibility – as ACMS UK’s Vision software does – will give you the freedom to have your own service personnel and/or preferred contractors feed into it; you will not be restricted to using the software provider’s own services.
When that software package is also based “in the cloud”, the users who need to access it will be able to do so from any geographical location. And once they do gain access to it, dashboards will provide complete visibility across the organisation’s property portfolio.
This will enable those using the software to quickly see any imminent risks, who should be maintaining them, and whether or not they are being maintained efficiently and effectively. In the event that remedial actions are required, your organisation will then be able to plan for them, so that it can schedule and budget with maximum efficiency. If your company is looking to upgrade its current compliance management efforts, don’t wait any longer to get in touch with ACMS UK. We would be pleased to have a more in-depth discussion with you about our highly respected Vision software solution or even offer an online demo, so that you can achieve the superior, tailored compliance management that will help grow your business.