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Three Compliance Management Tools Every Manager Needs

Posted by: Paul Dempsey | October 29, 2018

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Demystifying the uses and practicalities of GRC

GRC is an umbrella term covering technologies and models of all types and sizes. We are aware of the big picture improvements that GRC can bring to an organization’s compliance management framework. The practical side of it – the tools that are employed and the direct benefits they provide are not so clear.

GRC is empowered by compliance management software. There are hundreds of different tools for different purposes, some general-purpose, and some specialized for a chosen industry or country. These tools speed up risk and compliance work significantly by automating some of the most complicated parts of the compliance management framework.

Compliance Monitoring Tools

Compliance monitoring tools focus on the compliance framework of the organization. These tools monitor all compliance-related activities across the organization. The objective is to catch compliance issues as they happen – because issues that are caught at an early stage are easier to deal with. Compliance monitoring tools help businesses run better assessments and tests for controls across the enterprise under a centralized platform. Different departments can easily collaborate and share compliance-related information to determine the best enterprise strategy to ensure compliance. These tools can be used standalone or integrated into a GRC solution

Compliance Tracking Tool

A major problem with compliance work is that things can get out of control easily. Compliance experts are juggling multiple issues in multiple departments most times and it is easy to miss something important. That is why compliance tracking tools have become such an essential tool for compliance managers and officers. These tracking tools keep track of every known compliance issue within an organization. Such tools are also beneficial for upper management. In the absence of any tracking tool, the whole business is dependent on the vigilance of the compliance team, which is not an ideal situation from a risk perspective.

What is compliance management?

Compliance management is a business domain that focuses on ensuring that businesses are complying with the rules, regulations, and laws that apply to them. Compliance management is critical in heavily regulated industries such as the energy sector, the financial services sector, and the healthcare sector. Businesses have dedicated compliance teams that create strategies for compliance and then implement these strategies throughout the enterprise. Different industries have their own regulations, which means that different businesses need to handle compliance in different ways according to their industry.

Compliance Management Tools

If you do not think that a full-scale GRC implementation is out of scope for your organization’s current budget, then consider starting with a few useful compliance management tools. These tools can be acquired for a significantly lower cost than a full GRC implementation.

1. Vendor Management

Vendors are often a source of problems for organizations. Most companies depend on multiple vendors. Managing vendors is a problem because vendors are outside of management’s control. It is possible for a vendor to make a mistake which will end up costing the vendor’s clients. To ensure that all business operations continue without any issues it is important to have a vendor management tool at hand.

These tools, which are a subset of compliance management tools, allow organizations to keep a track of vendor performance, issues with vendors, as well as feedback given to the vendors. This allows management to quantify vendor performance and set alerts for when there is an undesirable change in data. The tools automate and simplify the process.

2. Audit Management

Audits allow an organization to truly assess its own problems and fix them before they harm the reputation or the business of the organization. That is why there are such a wide variety of compliance management tools dedicated to managing audits. Audit tools help across the whole lifecycle of audits.

There is a compliance calendar available in audit tools. This calendar allows easy monitoring and tracking of all upcoming audits. The audit management tool also stores information about all audits that have been completed. Thus any information about previous, current, and future audits are easily available within one system. Feedback and reports on audits are also present within the system, allowing for discussions and action items to be shared with every stakeholder.

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3. Document Management

Every organization has important documents that need to be managed. Document management related compliance management tools provide an easy way to ensure complete document lifecycle management. They assist in the creation of these tools by enabling seamless collaboration. They have version control to ensure that everyone only has the latest version of the document. Sharing and editing rights can be restricted for confidential documents. Every action that is taken on protected documents is tracked, allowing for easy audits and problem solving in the future. These tools are great for contracts, policies, procedures, and other important documents.

All these compliance management tools are available in different configurations and types from different vendors. 360factors makes cloud-based compliance management tools, because cloud-based solutions are simple to implement and initiate for our clients. Another advantage of cloud-based solutions is that they offer flexibility and scalability. They can be procured for one user and can be expanded later as requirements and workloads increase. There are offline solutions available from other vendors as well.

There is no need to start adopting GRC by going for a full implementation – management can also test the waters first by opting to implement a few compliance management tools first. The cost is much lower, and it gives the organization a good idea and assessment of what a full scale GRC implementation will be able to provide.

Compliance Management Software

It is also possible to start using these tools on a trial basis. We offer free trials and demos to interested organizations. If you want to see the practical benefits of these tools and test them within your business environment get in touch with us. We will set up a demo to show you the capabilities of the tool and then give you a month long to experiment with our tools.

About the company

360factors, Inc. (Austin, TX) helps companies improve business performance by reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Predict360, its flagship software product, vertically integrates regulations and requirements, policies and procedures management, risks and controls, audit management and inspections, and on-line training and qualifications, in a single cloud-based platform based on artificial intelligence.

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