One day you glance at your calendar, and it suddenly occurs to you that it is in fact November. Next, you realize that, while you and your team stay on top of compliance issues throughout the year, it is important that you tie up some matters and make sure everything is in tip-top shape to close the books at the end of the year with peace of mind.
Ending the year with confidence is a great morale boost for your compliance team, and it makes your executive team pretty happy, as well. Below are a few basic reasons to give everything involving compliance a thorough review to finish out the year:
- To ensure that your team has accurately logged each new regulation, rule, policy or law in your records.
- To review to renewal issues.
- To create an official record stating that your company is in compliance.
What Areas of Your Business Need a Compliance Review?
As the executive, financial, IT, legal, or general compliance leader for your organization, you know the value of closing your year-end books knowing you are in full compliance on every front. You also know the headaches—and worse—involved with missing a new rule or regulation, going forward into the new year.
Before starting your official compliance audit or review, make sure you know all the areas you need to take one last glance at to finish the year.
Safety Compliance Factors
While safety matters are highly specialized, and each area may have its own manager or monitor, it never hurts to make sure that everyone has crossed off their own checklist. OSHA, or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, is the primary governing body when it comes to workplace safety issues that your compliance team needs to take into consideration at the end of the year.
Financial Compliance Factors
Often a key year-end compliance juggernaut for most organizations, financial compliance is critical. There are several federal rules, regulations, policies, and laws that you need to monitor, which include:
- The Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA)
- The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)
- The US PATRIOT Act
- The Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR)
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
- The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
- The Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC)
Healthcare Compliance Factors
Healthcare—the industry itself and matters within non-healthcare-related organizations to protect employees’ healthcare data—is riddled with a seemingly endless stream of rules and regulations from various governing bodies, including the following:
- The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
- The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH)
- The Affordable Care Act (ACA)
IT Compliance Factors
There are frequently overlapping concerns between the IT department and other compliance areas, such as healthcare regarding HITECH compliance, and financial matters that involve SOX and GLBA.
- International data protection regulations, including GDPR and the EU Cybersecurity Act
- The Federal Information Securities Management Act of 2002 (FISMA)
- The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
- ISO 27001 developed by the International Organization of Standardization
- State data protection regulations, such as the California Consumer Privacy Act and the New York DFS Cybersecurity Regulation
Top 5 Year-End Compliance Tips
Considering all the different types of governing regulatory bodies and compliance issues that you and your compliance team may face, it is a good idea to explore and apply some proven tips. Take a look at a few of the following tips to help you close out the year with peace of mind, regarding compliance:
- Strengthen Your Compliance Team – If you do not already have a representative from each area assigned to monitoring, updating and applying new rules, regulations, policies and laws, create and train an official compliance team as soon as possible. This team is an asset for which your company should provide ongoing training and development opportunities.
- Stay Up to Date – Look for training sessions and seminars in your area to help reinforce each team member’s confidence in staying updated. If no live sessions are available, search for videos, webinars, and official presentation materials to check their records against the latest officially released updates.
- Set Up a Year-End Planning Meeting – Gather your team to rally together and make sure you are all on the same page, as far as respective updates for each area. The earlier you get a jump on ensuring compliance, the less hustling you will have to do as plenty of other deadlines creep up. Compliance is essential, so avoid putting it off too late into the year.
- Check Compliance Standards for Each Governing Body – Each body and set of rules and regulations may differ, as far as when a new component will begin. Do not miss important changes by assuming there is any set alignment across the board, especially when it comes to year end matters. Reconciling compliance issues at the end of the year provides record of when changes took place in the previous year, as well as those you know will take place in the foreseeable future.
- Schedule a Consultation with an Auditing Firm – Unless you already work with a trusted auditing firm, you can always call to find out about arranging a meeting to discuss your needs and determine whether they are the right firm to help your compliance team meet their goals for full compliance.
Get Expert Guidance to Ensure Full Compliance for Your Organization
Considering how important it is to maintain compliance, consider reaching out to an auditing firm like I.S. Partners, LLC. that continually monitors every possible rule, regulation, policy, and law in every type of business and specialization. Contact us to learn more about setting up a free consultation session to get a quote for year-end compliance help.