New features in a technology always looks enticing but it is also important to see what impact it will have in the way our business operates. Compliance monitoring is an important part of compliance management solutions under the GRC umbrella. What impact does monitoring have on enforcement programs? How does it benefit businesses? Let’s have an in-depth look at the subject.

The link between compliance monitoring and enforcement programs

Compliance monitoring plays an essential role in ensuring that enforcement programs succeed. They change the way businesses operate, making them more amenable towards following regulations and policies.

What is compliance monitoring?

Many people ask the question ‘What is compliance monitoring’ and it is easy to see why they are confused enough to ask the question. Compliance is embedded in each action that employees take and there doesn’t seem to be a way to monitor all of compliance. What’s important to understand is that compliance monitoring refers to monitoring of the compliance network. Instead of monitoring each action that employees take, compliance monitoring looks at all the interactions that employees have with compliance requirements. If any requirement is not met then the system instantly flags the issue.

The goal of enforcement programs

Managers know that simply creating the right policies is not enough for compliance. In an ideal world we could assume that every employee will read and remember each regulation that applies to their job and will always act in a compliant manner. This simply isn’t realistically sustainable – nothing that humans do has a 0% error rate. That is why every smart compliance manager knows that they need to focus on enforcement as well

The challenges of running an enforcement program without compliance monitoring

Enforcement programs are inefficient without compliance monitoring. Without monitoring there is no way to track enforcement itself, which means there is no way to gauge the success of the enforcement program until the end of the quarter. These enforcement programs usually rely on periodic trainings and reminder emails. A sample of data is taken and studied to determine enforcement levels and all logged mistakes are tracked.

Surveys and questionnaires are also a very common tool in enforcement programs. Heads, managers, and officers of different department are asked questions and their responses illuminate the need of enforcement. The problem is that this process is slow and usually only reveals a limited set of problems.

Monitoring is simply not possible if the compliance management framework depends upon spreadsheets and documents. Click To Tweet

Why compliance monitoring is absent from so many businesses

Before we go into the benefits of compliance monitoring software and its impact on the enforcement program it is necessary to understand why monitoring is not used in many businesses. Monitoring is simply not possible if the compliance management framework depends upon spreadsheets and documents. If the data is being manually managed by employees in spreadsheets it simply isn’t possible to monitor every change that is made.

While all the necessary information is available in the spreadsheet, spreadsheets weren’t designed for the functionality required by the compliance management program, and thus do not store the data in a manner that allows businesses to automatically monitor everything. GRC solution can provide compliance monitoring because they centralize all compliance data and information and they are specially designed to serve the compliance management framework.

How compliance monitoring works

GRC solutions can deliver automated compliance monitoring tools because they centralize and standardize compliance for the whole organization. In solutions like our Predict360, the whole organization uses the same platform for all their risk and compliance needs. The advantage of this is that all the information and data that needs to be monitored is present in one place and is being stored in a format that can be understood by the compliance monitoring software.

Thus, if a department develops a compliance issue, the issue is instantly visible to the whole organization. This means that there is no need to select samples or ask employees about compliance issues. Management can always see what is going on in the compliance department, what issues they are dealing with, and how on-track they are with corrective actions.

An executive compliance dashboard shows the board and other executive leaders within the organization what they need to know about the compliance levels and issues within the organization. This enables them to proactively manage compliance issues. Instead of finding out about the issue a quarter later through an audit or a quarterly report the management finds out about the issue the moment it occurs.


What compliance monitoring does for enforcement programs

Compliance monitoring brings several advantages for enforcement programs:

  • The efficiency of the enforcement program is increased
  • Costs associated with the program goes down
  • The speed at which the program operates goes up exponentially

Enforcement Efficiency

Enforcement programs are basically being run on the honor system – we can only sample some of the data, so we hope that the employees take compliance as seriously as we need them to. Compliance monitoring completely overhauls this and makes compliance trackable. There is no reason to ask about compliance issues and enforcement – the data is present right there within the system.

This changes the way employees act. Now that they know that everything is being tracked, they know that they need to be more cognizant of the compliance and regulatory requirements of the organization. It is also easier for them to comply thanks to the streamlined workflows present in compliance solutions. Compliance monitoring also monitors the whole organization – not just a selected subset of actions and processes.

Enforcement Costs

The automation present in compliance monitoring reduces the labor hours that are required for the enforcement program. Instead of spending hours or even days creating reports and assessing compliance manually, the work is done in a matter of seconds by the compliance management software. This is important because, as we have said before, compliance personnel are too valuable to be doing work which can be done by computers. Compliance personnel has specialized niche experience and training, we need to use them efficiently.

Enforcement Speed

We have talked about enforcement efficiency going up, but it is also vital to look at the speed of enforcement. When compliance is being handled manually it takes months for enforcement to discover issues. Usually there is an audit, or a report created every month or every quarter which reveals problems. This means that it is possible that an issue may lay undiscovered within the compliance management framework for months, which is simply unacceptable.

Compliance monitoring increases the speed of enforcement program effectiveness exponentially. Instead of waiting around for a report, the compliance management software delivers notifications instantly. This means that everyone becomes aware of the compliance violation the moment it occurs, which makes it easier to correct the problem and minimize damages.

If your organization wants to achieve more from its enforcement program, get in touch with us and we will demonstrate what Predict360 can do for your organization. We will show you how the solution works and how easy it is to implement the solution within your organization.