Corporate compliance: 10 essentials for a winning programme

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Compliance regulations have become more stringent and complex, primarily due to climate change. Business operations can pollute the environment significantly, and not keeping a check on this could defeat the goal of sustainable development.

New-age investors have also adopted environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) frameworks for their investments, prioritising investment in companies considering ESG factors. Creating a corporate compliance programme is, therefore, essential.

What is a corporate compliance programme?

This is a set of internal policies and guidelines an organisation compiles to ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. A comprehensive programme would ensure it does not incur penalties or suffer damage to its reputation.

10 essentials for a winning programme

1. Assess compliance requirements

Compliance would depend on the nature of business and the sector in which the company operates.

2. Design policies and procedures

Subsequent to understanding compliance risks, policies and procedures need to be compiled to address all critical challenges.

3. Employ a compliance officer

This individual would enforce rules and ensure accountability.

4. Provide training and education

Training programmes need to be customised based on the employee’s role.

5. Implementation

Effective implementation of corporate compliance programmes requires much more than just training employees. Amending vendor contracts and posting compliance updates are also critical to implementation.

6. Compile a compliance document

This helps record crucial information such as corporate minutes and resolutions, vendor audits, inspection reports and memos related to compliance obligations.

7. Foster a compliance culture

This requires more than just training employees and posting new updates. It includes incentivising employees to highlight issues that indicate conflict with procedures. 

8. Implement an internal reporting process 

Employees should be given the freedom and anonymity to report on compliance issues.

9. Implement an internal auditing process

Relying on employees to report all compliance-related mishaps is not sufficient; conducting internal audits periodically would bridge the gap.

10. Monitor updates
Company policies and compliance laws are subject to change, and they must be carefully monitored. Corporate compliance services can help monitor changes effectively.

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