The 4 Pillars of an Effective Compliance Program

The term “compliance” elicits feelings of frustration among organizational leaders the world over. It seems like emerging state and federal regulations are constantly moving the proverbial goalposts just as businesses think they have overcome their biggest compliance challenges. 

The good news is that your organization can break the cycle of frustration. In order to accomplish this, you have to reconsider the way you view compliance.

Instead of taking a reactive approach to compliance and scrambling to catch up with new regulations as they emerge, you must focus on laying the foundation for an agile compliance program. 

While your strategy must be tailored to the unique needs of your business and industry, every great compliance program includes four key pillars. By leveraging each of the four pillars, you can develop a balanced, responsive, and malleable program that will ensure compliance both now and in the future. 

The Importance of Compliance

Before shifting your attention to the four pillars of effective compliance, you might briefly revisit why compliance is so critical to the success of your organization. 

As you know, compliance is essential to avoid fines and other penalties from regulatory authorities. Penalties for noncompliance range from moderate to severe, which means that even a handful of violations could seriously impact the profitability of your organization. 

However, the importance of compliance spans far beyond simply avoiding financial repercussions. 

Prioritizing compliance demonstrates to your clients that serving them with professionalism is one of your organization’s key objectives. In turn, this will enhance your brand’s reputation and foster feelings of loyalty among clients. A good compliance program will ultimately facilitate growth and improved profitability for your business.

Use These 4 Pillars to Build a Winning Compliance Program

Whether you consider your compliance program an organizational strength or one of your biggest pain points, you should always strive for improvement. Even if your program is relatively robust, you can enhance its efficacy by reworking it using these four pillars:

  1. A Cohesive Strategy

Every great program is built around a cohesive, carefully crafted strategy. Compliance programs are no different.

When addressing the challenge of compliance, take the time to develop a detailed strategy. Your strategy should outline current strengths, compliance hurdles, regulations that you are expected to adhere to, and the goals you hope to achieve with your new program.

Additionally, your strategy must identify key metrics that will enable you to measure the efficacy of your program. Pair these performance metrics with specific goals and establish compliance benchmarks. 

Remember, established compliance requirements represent minimum thresholds. You should strive to exceed these thresholds if you want to use your program to build trust with clients. 

  1. Compliance Monitoring Capabilities

No matter how well constructed your strategy may be, compliance is not a set-it-and-forget-it issue. You must continuously monitor your compliance performance, review your current approach, and identify ways to improve your program. 

As part of your monitoring efforts, compare your performance to the average within your industry. You will also need to establish a protocol for reviewing compliance performance data. 

Whether you analyze this data monthly or quarterly, it is vital that you create a routine and adhere to it. Regular monitoring and performance analysis will enable you to identify and correct concerning trends before they result in penalties. 

  1. Clearly Defined Roles and Responsibilities

Your compliance team will shoulder the bulk of the responsibility associated with achieving and maintaining compliance. However, the best compliance programs mobilize everyone. Without top-to-bottom buy-in, your program will never reach its true potential.

If you want your team to buy in, you must clearly communicate what is expected of them. Create a policy that outlines compliance-related roles and responsibilities for every department and team within your organization. Additionally, set clear deadlines so that your staff knows when they are expected to provide deliverables. 

Compliance software will be a valuable resource during this phase of your compliance journey, which means that it’s time to turn your attention to the fourth pillar of a successful compliance program: technology.

  1. Entity Management Software 

The final piece of the compliance puzzle is entity management software. Investing in a dynamic, cloud-based entity management software system will empower your staff to carry out your compliance strategy swiftly and efficiently. 

Leading entity management and compliance software will enable you to streamline otherwise tedious and inefficient processes. The automation technologies included with entity management software will reduce the burden of labor-intensive, low-value tasks. Reducing your reliance on manual processes will decrease the likelihood of data entry errors as well, supporting your compliance efforts.

With entity management software, you can shift your compliance program into a proactive, agile state. This shift could be more important than ever due to the current state of the compliance and regulatory landscape. 

Explore Athennian’s Compliance Software with a Custom Demo

While processes, procedures, and people are all critical to the success of your compliance program, you likely already have these resources in place. This means that the missing link that is hindering the efficacy of your compliance program is technology. 

Fortunately, you can remedy this shortcoming by adopting Athennian’s dynamic entity management software. This platform was purpose-built to address the entity management and compliance challenges facing modern law firms and finance professionals. It has the capabilities and tools you need to win at compliance. 

If you would like to learn more about Athennian’s robust software, request a customized demo with an entity management expert. 

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