Ensuring that your team understands the importance of compliance to your business is key. How do you make sure everyone is onboard in meeting compliance controls and processes? A mindset of proper management is the first step.
Achieving compliance is no easy task; your team must be prepared to do the following:
Fully Understand the Requirements
Each compliance standard has its own set of requirements. In order to make sure your business passes all levels of an audit, it’s important to understand what the requirements really mean. Additionally, you must make sure every element has security standards in place to protect your consumers and their data. You must have knowledgeable team members who can fully decipher what is needed, not leaving anything subject to interpretation. The best thing is to work on meeting all the required regulations while adopting an actionable framework that can be used for future reference.
Set a Budget
Meeting compliance standards may have significant related expenses. There are direct, indirect, and opportunity costs involved. The key is in having a workable budget in place to meet those expenditures without jeopardizing business operations. Consider the cost of an analysis, which could climb upwards of $20,000, while certification costs could range between $40,000 and $60,000. Personnel, training, and implementation are also considerations that involve some form of budgeting.
Form the Right Team
You must make the investment to get the best results. That includes having the right team in place to ensure you meet compliance standards. The compliance process could take up to a year. It requires input from members across the organization. The team charged with compliance tasks must be adequately prepared and have enough time to see the project through to completion. Below are some key roles which will need to be defined within the compliance team:
- A dedicated project manager, or more than one, can help keep things in order. They should be detail-oriented and ready to address hard facts. They should be intimately involved with the business on all levels and understand the rules of compliance.
- You should also have human resources personnel who can assist in reviewing current policies and procedures and adjust them to meet any new requirements. This role will be time-consuming, and all supervisors should be aware and in agreeance on the time commitment.
- The CFO, or a designated person from the finance department, should be on board to ensure the costs of compliance are met on all levels.
Build a Framework to Verify Compliance Controls & Processes
Once you have those key elements in place, you’ll be able to put together a working model on verifying your compliance controls and processes. Here are a few tips:
1. Weekly Reporting
This is a MUST. Every person on the team involved in the process should regularly present their findings and timelines for implementation, being accountable for their role. One of the best ways to do this is by holding a weekly compliance meeting to ensure issues won’t linger, concerns are addressed quickly, progress is being made, and everyone is on the same page as it relates to changes.
2. Internal Spreadsheet
A working document that outlines each element of the framework to its specific controls, including the systems and processes will help keep everyone on the same page. There should be a system in place to update this document on a regular basis and determine which systems and processes address each requirement, their effectiveness, and the person responsible for that area.
3. Automated Reporting
Relying on a platform that automatically reports on the effectiveness of your compliance controls and processes helps keep everyone on schedule. At the same time, automation assists with monitoring the activities that directly affect compliance standards.
By taking a holistic approach, the company will be able to better manage the compliance process, utilize the right people and create an effective solution that works.
Related article: Building a Strong SOC 2 Team.
Our Team Can Help Your Team Meet Compliance Controls & Processes
There’s nothing like having an audit solution to aid the process from start to finish and an experienced team to show you how it’s done. The team at I.S. Partners, LLC helps provide seamless guidance and relieve the anxiety related to compliance complexity at an affordable cost. For more information on how we can help your team achieve stress-free compliance, call our offices at 215-675-1400 or contact an associate today.