Today’s compliance officer is facing a growing number of audits, more reporting and sometimes with fewer resources than ever to meet the growing demand of compliance across all business models -whether small, large or somewhere in between.
In the midst of constantly changing rules and regulations, the compliance officer is bogged down and under pressure to report swiftly.
With this in mind it is essential to make sure the quality of work is just as important as the quantity.
The purpose of this article is to share with you three ways you can ensure the work undertaken by your team is of the highest standard. The audit report MUST reflect enduring rules of professional communication. Spelling and grammar must be correct, and sentences must be well formed and clearly state the various findings and recommendations in a constructive manner.
By implementing three basic tips to produce a “compliance quality” system discussed below, you will ensure your high standards are met and maintained:
1. Report Quality Assurance
Send the final report to a reviewer before release. Whilst seemingly obvious, having your report QA checked is the last mile of defense for your audit reports. This ensures:
- The report is read with fresh eyes to check spelling and other obvious errors easy to overlook when editing your own work
- The reviewer can identify and discuss any contentious statements with the auditor BEFORE the report is released.
2. Peer Review
Another valuable step to implement is peer review. This is a requirement to periodically have a report reviewed by another member of the team. The benefits of peer review include:
- The reviewer may learn a new approach or response to a situation
- Potential discovery of a new interpretation of a regulation
- The auditor can consider insights their colleagues may have about the same issues, and practical suggestions on how to improve the report generally.
3. Board Reporting
Some audit reports (good and bad) warrant board scrutiny. It’s essential that the board is kept aware of the activities of the compliance function through routine reporting on audit activities and outcomes. The compliance function, and particularly compliance monitoring, need to be front and centre in today’s board-level oversight activities. This ensures results are communicated upward to the highest levels.
By implementing these simple yet effective strategies to your review process you will able to deliver a consistent, high quality standard of compliance reporting.