Within the world of business regulation, the rules are a little different. Labor legislation, industry regulation and reporting requirements are changing every day. Missing these dates or deadlines can be a far more serious situation, potentially incurring penalties or fees for your organization, not to mention reputational costs and the time and effort it takes to get your company back into compliance. Your legal team needs a way to ensure that compliance requirements are met on time, every time. Sorting through all the upcoming compliance details can be overwhelming, but a compliance calendar is a valuable tool to help users manage and organize your organization’s compliance plans.
Finding Your Way in the Regulatory Landscape
A compliance calendar tracks and centralizes important dates and deadlines associated with critical regulations, reporting obligations, industry filings, permits and accreditations. As such, it can serve as a compass as you try to make your way through the year’s regulatory environment. While many compliance initiatives focus on external federal agencies, compliance calendars can also track internal events at the local, national or international level. Compliance calendars help team members identify key compliance dates and simplify the organization of compliance measures. Automated compliance programs send targeted reminders of upcoming deadlines to the appropriate users, ensuring that your compliance team can meet your organization’s requirements and avoid the risk of penalties.
Compliance Calendars Offer Benefits Across Your Organization
Compliance calendars offer multiple benefits, including the following:
- Compliance calendars help secure organizational data. By now, we are all familiar with the harm that can come from data breaches. With regulations such as the EU’s GDPR coming into effect this year, safeguarding customer data has never been so important. Careful use of compliance calendars can work to shore up data security in your organization.
- Compliance calendars ensure that compliance information is spread throughout the organization. Many times, when an employee fails to comply with a requirement, the cause is due to ignorance, not bad intentions. Compliance calendars can help educate the entire organization on applicable compliance measures, keeping each employee informed and up-to-date.
- Compliance calendars allow you to take a proactive stance on regulatory measures. As regulations shift and change, many organizations find themselves in the position of moving from event to event, putting out one fire only to discover a new one. Compliance calendars offer a way to plan ahead for your organization’s compliance needs, giving you the opportunity to gather the data or allocate the resources needed to meet the obligation.
- Compliance calendars increase transparency. Compliance calendars offer users a way to easily monitor progress on compliance measures, increasing visibility across the organization. Such results can be used to keep stakeholders and board members informed and help remove any uncertainty surrounding compliance measures.
- Compliance calendars help facilitate global management. International organizations often face challenges securing compliance across continents. Through the precise use of a compliance calendar, compliance officers are easily able to monitor any tasks that are overdue or that need to be addressed by the compliance team.
- Compliance calendars help organizations prepare for compliance audits and reports. Having an organized schedule for compliance initiatives makes it easy for compliance auditors to see how your organization is tackling each compliance obligation.
Best Practices for Developing Your Organization’s Compliance Calendar
1) Review your company’s current compliance manual. All organizations should have a compliance manual on hand. This is a good place to begin as you start to map out the compliance plan for the year. Ensure that any new regulation or initiative is addressed by your company’s policies. Also, double-check that the compliance processes on the ground accurately reflect those outlined in the manual.
2) Take a critical look at your overall compliance program. As you plan your organization’s yearly compliance strategy, assess the effectiveness of ongoing measures. This is an opportune time to introduce new elements in response to updated regulation, or to remove outdated programs that no longer serve their intended function or meet the needs of your business.
3) Organize the frequency of tasks based on the needs of your particular industry. Your calendar may include tasks scheduled on an ongoing, monthly, quarterly or annual basis. These schedules should match the needs of your organization and industry. High-risk areas may require more frequent monitoring.
4) Explore the advantages of automation. Automated compliance calendar software can transition a company from using a calendar based in spreadsheets to a centralized database, easily and fully accessible to compliance officers and other appropriate users.
Flexible Compliance Support
Top-tier compliance management programs such as Blueprint OneWorld’s Compliance Calendar allow users to customize both the types of automated reminders and the timelines for action. Possible reminder categories include:
- Compliance Reminders for Confirmation Statements, Annual Returns, and Accounts and Annual Meetings
- Pending Event reminders for changes brought to organization data in a Pending Status or those that were placed on hold
- Data Library Reminders for information or documents uploaded in the Data Library
- Appointment Reminders for notifications concerning the re-election or rotation of individuals in key positions
Leverage Technology for Compliance Improvement
The ever-increasing burden of regulatory compliance continues to be a challenge for businesses poised for growth. Without careful attention to compliance obligations, organizations run the risk of incurring legal censure, financial penalties and reputational damage. Compliance calendars offer a powerful tool to take control of your organization’s compliance program, organizing and prioritizing compliance tasks and tracking permits, due dates and agency communications to ensure that your team meets its most pressing deadlines. To learn more about the benefits Blueprint OneWorld’s Compliance Calendar can bring to your organization, please contact a Blueprint representative today.