We live in an era of quantum computing, cryptocurrency and blockchain. The technology that is changing the foundational ways in which corporations conduct their business is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. While large corporations and governments tend to be slow to adapt to the newest innovations, the fact is that, eventually, these technologies become mainstream enough that both have to contend with them as best they can. The inevitable result of this is greater regulation – which can be difficult to catch up with if you are not working on the cutting edge of compliance.
The 2018 Accenture Compliance Risk Study found that, “compliance risk is slated to increase,” and, “[compliance] may be too focused on the key risks facing the industry today…and not focusing on the risks that are now coming to the fore.” These predictions have one clear consequence: Compliance is only becoming more complex and difficult to handle without the correct technology.
7 Must-Have Compliance Audit Software Features
With that in mind, here are seven key concepts in evaluating compliance auditing software:
That same Accenture survey found that, “More than three-quarters (76%) of respondents see a gap between skills currently available and those required.” What this means functionally is that the demand for the appropriate skills exceeds the supply. The correct compliance software will have an interface that pads the blow for employees in the compliance function who haven’t been immersed in the complexities of technical software from day one.
It would be incredibly convenient were all employees well versed in the intricacies of any potential software, but the reality simply doesn’t match up. A thoughtfully designed interface will make the difference between switching once to a compliance auditing software and switching multiple times. There will always be growing pains, but finding a design your users can gel with is paramount to the success of the program.
The variety of separate reports a large corporation will have to manage to be in compliance is difficult for one to imagine. One of the most important aspects of an audit is how easily translatable the findings are, and the only way for software to accurately translate the findings from their input as data to their output as an audit is for the program to have a powerful ability to accrue the data in a standardized manner. Reliable compliance audit software will be designed with the idea that the same types of audits will be conducted across many different departments and even separate entities within a corporation – yet the results given by the audits across these separate processes will be standardized, or easily compared.
While the concepts of standardization and customizability may, on their face, seem to be at odds, in this case, they are simply two sides of the same coin. The standardization that you should be seeking across the platform in the audits should be the result of the customization that you have worked out with the professionals who service the platform. Not every possible type of audit that exists within a platform will apply to your business – being able to exclude the parts of the platform that don’t apply to and enhance your business audits is a must.
It should go without saying, but these platforms are complex. You should never be fully on your own when you purchase a compliance auditing software. When there are issues integrating the audit in any fashion, there should be a dedicated service professional on call to help you diagnose and solve the problem. Where many types of software, once installed, have a customer support service that is distant and inconvenient compared to any in-house information technology personnel, this is one aspect you cannot afford to overlook.
5) Cloud-based interface
Several years ago, the cloud seemed like a pipe dream for those businesses that pushed it and a nuisance for the users of products with cloud-based services. Today, it is impossible to imagine a world in which the vast majority of your documents aren’t available on any device with an internet connection. All of the audits and data that audits are composed of should also be available at a moment’s notice, especially in this golden age of corporatism where conglomerates span states, countries and sometimes even the globe.
Software will be a solution in your compliance function that drives expenses down, not up. Since compliance is often a department that does not generate revenue in the form of income, the jumping-off point should be that a software can only optimize the form the department takes. But further than that, the software should be significantly less costly than an old-fashioned audit. There are several reasons for this. First, the audit will save compliance personnel time in the legwork they do to carry it across the finish line. Second, a swifter audit allows whichever department or function is undergoing an audit to return to its normative state in a timelier manner. Third, because the platform should be cloud-based, as previously mentioned, any third party will be able to access all of the information they need without being onsite. No office, no local rooming, not so much as a cup of coffee to cut into the budget.
7) Find the right compliance audit software solution
Finding the correct compliance auditing software can be a tricky process. Without the right software in place, you are quickly in the unenviable position of having to either shop for new software or attempt to revert to old-school paper audits. Tracking and collating all of the documents necessary for keeping even one entity in compliance can get out of hand incredibly quickly. Diligent Compliance can offer you a powerful, customizable suite of tools to optimize the output of the legal department. With a dedicated team of service professionals available, we service over 2,200 clients and have a track record of excellence for over 30 years in entity management. If this sounds like a solution you are interested in, please give us a call or send us an email to set up a demo today.