4 Critical Features of Effective Conflict of Interest (COI) Software

Kezia Farnham

Noncompliance cost companies more than $14 million in 2017. That means a strong culture of compliance can not only build a better business but quite literally put money back in your organization’s pocket. Yet organization-wide compliance is challenging without utilizing a conflict-of-interest software solution. 

With countless solutions at your fingertips, finding the right solution for you can be challenging. But there are certain features a solution must have to be effective, regardless of your industry or company size. 

Here, we discuss four characteristics and capabilities that all conflict of interest solutions should have. 


1. Drive Participation

Many conflict-of-interest software solutions come with a lot of bells and whistles. And while all those extra features might be nice, they’re useless if they don’t satisfy the end goal of any conflict of interest program: participation. Ease of use and intelligent design, among other factors, actually drive a culture of compliance. 

Guided disclosure forms, automatic escalation of disclosure review, and easy access on any WiFi network are just some features that will elevate your conflict of interest solution. Have these exact expectations for your software provider. They should work with you to implement these compliance best practices in the most efficient manner possible. 


2. Make it Easy to Share Results

A strong culture of compliance doesn’t stop at the initial report. Instead, that report triggers a series of steps that escalate the report toward a solution and allows for gathering valuable data along the way. Sharing and acting on that data should be a straightforward next step, and you should expect your software solution to do much of the heavy lifting. 

Boards, shareholders, and the rest of the company want to see the compliance metrics that matter to them. Seek out a software solution that allows you to share campaign results and personalized data visualizations without losing sleep. Doing so will empower you to facilitate real change within your organization. 


3. Automatically Log Your Conflict of Interest Campaigns

At its most basic level, a conflict of interest solution is designed to protect you and your company from unnecessary risk. Yet you might unknowingly expose yourself to an entirely new set of risks if you lack audit protection. Software with audit protection ensures that every step of your conflict of interest process automatically gets logged. 

This is the feature that will allow you to access every last detail within your solution at a moment’s notice. Should auditors ask to see the information, you’ll be able to hand it over quickly, knowing that your data is accurate and organized. 


4. Identify Areas for Improvement

Good conflict of interest software solutions should help you build a better business. They do this by identifying areas of improvement you might’ve missed—even if you know your success metrics like the back of your hand. 

Leave the data processing and visualization to your software solution. Customizable visualizations give you insight into your conflict of interest program’s success, allowing you to pinpoint strategic areas of improvement for your organization. This is how you’ll truly mitigate risk and solidify your competitive advantage. 


In Conclusion

Not all conflict of interest solutions are created equal. Though several software solutions exist to help you manage conflicts of interest, don’t be distracted by bells and whistles that don’t add value. An effective software solution will drive participation at its most basic level by making it easy for your employees to file reports. From there, it’ll put in the work behind the scenes to deliver those reports, analyze data on the go and reveal your organization’s most significant opportunities for improvement. Ensure the software you choose includes all of these features. 

Discover how Diligent helped one company reduce risk and cut costs to take their conflict of interest reporting to the next level.

Related Insights
Kezia Farnham Diligent
Kezia Farnham
Kezia Farnham, a Senior Manager at Diligent, has spent several years working in the B2B SaaS sector. Her expertise in equipping governance, risk, audit, compliance and ESG professionals with key insights into sustainability, cybersecurity and the regulatory landscape helps them stay ahead of an increasingly challenging business environment.