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June 16, 2021
As individuals or as corporates, there are days that are celebrated. But within the corporate fraternity, there is one day that may or may not be observed with a lot of gusto. It is September 26. The Compliance Officer’s Day. Well, just a day might not compensate to celebrate these unsung heroes operating in the background.
Before we delve into the role that the compliance teams play, we need to examine just two parameters that enable compliance teams to play a stellar role.
One of them is the ‘corporate culture towards compliance’. An environment and breeding of ethics and integrity are pivotal to effective compliance. Ideas and activities that do not duly navigate towards a culture of compliant behavior might just as well as be termed as mere obligatory exercises.
The attitude of the folks at the helm is another key factor. This is the starting point for all compliance activities undertaken by the teams is the Board and the Leadership team. They carry all responsibility on their shoulders. They safeguard the reputation and the assets of the Company and the shareholders. They must not display a “no choice but to do it” attitude towards ethics and compliance. When they motivate and empower compliance teams, it paves the way for a compliance culture.
Compliance teams play a key role across industry and company. The role is more than just a watchdog or caretaker. They play roles that make them truly worthy of appreciation and acknowledgment. Let’s review what the teams do and go through:
They save the business money.
What costs more than compliance? Non-compliance. Enforcement actions and steep fines and penalties are a heavy price to pay for non-compliance. The compliance teams ensure that the organization is always compliant. This ensures that the organization is not compelled to pay fines slapped on it and unwarranted litigations are avoided.
Always looking forward
While business teams are looking ahead in terms of plans, markets, and ideas, the compliance teams are also looking ahead. They need to keep track of rules and obligations that have been added. They cannot be taken off guard. They also need to be abreast of plans and the vision of the business teams and the management. Compliance teams can assist the business teams on how their plans may be impacted by anticipated regulatory demands.
The constant change in regulatory demands
The teams have to bear the brunt of always evolving changes. They have to track, interpret, and oblige all the changes in laws and requirements. Depending on the industry and size, these obligations and filings can cross thousands of pages of legal jargon every year and filings that can exceed even more.
The teams can contribute to business goals.
The compliance teams need to see things black and white. That is the nature of the job. But given the reality of balancing constraints and limitations that the company may be saddled with, they very often turn out to be problem solvers. Challenges and priorities can be shared with the compliance teams. If given time to ideate and resolve issues, they could innovate around the issue while still remaining compliant.
Safeguarding the reputation.
No organization would like to be in the limelight for the wrong reasons and that includes non-compliance. Compliance teams protect the image of the company by ensuring it stays on the right side of the law.
They don’t draft regulations, they comply
Compliance teams are sometimes blamed for restrictions and demands made by regulatory bodies. A lot of tasks and guidelines may be a waste of time but they are demanded by law and the bodies that govern them. They ensure that companies follow them and avoid negative consequences.
Part of the team
Partnerships need to operate across functions and departments. Compliance teams are on the company side. They do their best to make it easy to comply. They evaluate and study the different demands and challenges across the units and teams within the company. They find the best means to minimize disruptions and work within your existing processes.
With an expected tone from the top, compliance teams can promote a culture of corporate responsibility. When companies uphold honesty and ethics, the compliance teams show the way. It fosters a culture of responsibility and accountability.
Companies that need to showcase a commitment to sustainability to their investors also depend on the work and direction of their compliance teams. The compliance teams ensure employees act ethically within frameworks and guidelines.
Automation can be of great help to compliance teams. Routine processes of running and filing demands and obligations are managed faster and more cost-effectively. This releases a good amount of for the compliance teams focus on managing the ethics and compliance expectations of the company.
The author Dhruv Nagarkatti is CEO at Quant LegalTech. To know more on how compliance automation can offer companies greater efficiencies as well as reduced costs, login for a webinar on June 18, 2021 at 3.00 pm. Click here to register: https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJckdu2rrz8uGNAsqz4SvrGYInL28EJARaDe