We all expect the highest level of performance from the compliance departments within our organization. Compliance is critical to any business in a regulated industry, and a misstep in compliance can cause significant damage to the business, its reputation, cash flow, and even its ability to make its own decisions. Everyone knows this importance, yet most compliance officers don’t seem to have the compliance tools that they need.

The perils of off-the-shelf general-purpose software

Most business provide their risk and compliance departments with general-purpose software such as Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word. Now don’t get us wrong – these are fantastic applications and are still unbeaten when it comes to doing what they do. However, they are also not risk or compliance solutions. They are tools that are critical to risk and compliance, but they are just one piece of the puzzle.

Let us put it this way – there are risk and compliance tasks, and then there are risk management and compliance management. These compliance tools are fantastic when it comes to completing the tasks that are included in risk and compliance management, but do not help with the management in any way. Most risk and compliance departments in small to medium-sized businesses must create a risk and compliance management framework manually and then maintain it manually as well.

What do risk and compliance management solutions do?

There are many different types of risk and compliance management software solutions out there, the most common one being solutions that focus on workflow. These solutions do not aim to replace applications like Word or Excel in any way – they introduce workflow automation and monitoring. Here are some things you can expect from a compliance and risk management solutions:

  • The ability to monitor compliance activities
  • Constant monitoring of enterprise risks
  • Security options that keep your documents safe
  • Instant notifications if an issue is detected
  • Dashboard that shows risk and compliance levels across the organization
  • Cross departmental collaboration
  • Automatic report generation
  • A compliance calendar that is automatically updated

These are just some of the features that these solutions bring to the table. They also introduce robotic process automation in many places, accomplishing in seconds what would have taken hours of labor.

Why don’t the employees ask for better compliance tools?

The obvious question here is that if these solutions are so great, why don’t the risk and compliance managers use them? The simple answer is that they don’t have the power to implement these systems. Implementing these systems requires the approval of the boardroom, which isn’t easy to get. The boardroom must invest a significant amount of resources – monetary and otherwise – to implement the technology. They are also not involved in risk and compliance work directly, so they may not fully realize the potential represented by the new technology. In other words, risk and compliance managers do ask for these solutions, but their requests are often denied. The boardroom has a completely different perspective of the situation. They aren’t simply trying to manage risk and compliance; they are managing the whole organization.

The solution then is to show the boardroom how the risk and compliance technology can help the organization achieve its goals. This can be accomplished through several different strategies, many of which we discuss and outline in our white paper Driving Compliance and Risk Technology Investment in Your Organization.

The most important thing is to explain that the cost of the solution is outweighed by the benefits it provides. Simply explaining the benefits, the solution provides in risk and compliance isn’t enough – the key is to explain the benefits that the solution provides to the organization. If you want to see how your organization will perform if you had access to risk and compliance technology, you’ve come to the right place.

Want to see how your organization’s compliance management framework can be improved with the help of compliance management technology? Get in touch with the 360factors team for a demo and a trial of the American Bankers Association endorsed Predict360 Compliance Management System.