Essential Tips Every Company Must Remember To Ace That Upcoming Compliance Audit

For any company, the word compliance could mean trouble, and the mention of compliance audits to businesses could mean more trouble from government or regulatory bodies. 

Corporate organizations are always wary of compliance audits, seeing it as a wake-up call to always keep track of the changing dynamics in business or company laws, rules, regulations, and procedures.

To regulatory agencies, compliance audits are just a regular checkup to ensure that companies are doing right by their customers and employees, or call their attention to what they are doing wrong. But that does not mean companies enjoy being put under a regular microscopic check, regardless, they have to do what they have to and pass in flying colors. 

These are six essential tips to prepare for an upcoming compliance audit, so they can go back to focusing on the regular day-to-day operations.  

1. Prepare Your Team

There are various departments within a company, human resource, marketing, quality control, finance, sales, and others, that need to be reminded that their daily task is subject to checks and re-checks, hence, they should ensure that they have proper documentation for activities executed within their respective departments. 

Preparing your team also means making them up to date on the changing procedures, laws, rules, and regulations in their respective fields. To avoid conducting unethical business practices when you use old laws to draw up contracts or safety protocols for employees. 

2. Educate and Train Your Team

Companies must create an environment where employees are happy to work and one way to ensure this is through regular on-the-job training, so they are well-equipped to tackle problems that arise when executing tasks and working as part of a team. 

You should educate employees on the company’s internal control and governance relating to contracts, agreements, policies and procedures, and any documents. This should be part of the onboarding training for staff in every department, so it simplifies work processes and everyone knows what you expect of them. 

3. Run An Internal Audit

Every company needs to run regular internal audits for financial, healthcare, quality control, and human resources policies. This will help you know if employees’ dependent children are still eligible to be on the company’s health care plan, find out how the firm has faired in implementing sexual harassment policies and other Human Resources compliance checklist in this article. Take financial audits seriously as regulatory agencies often get concerned about a company’s profit, loss, and bad debts. 

Also, you need to be concerned about policies and procedures that guide the company’s quality control and its compliance. Conduct audits in all departments within the firm. 

For example, running a pre-production inspection in the quality control department can help you identify errors and ensure that your products meet regulatory standards before they are released into the market. Additionally, pre-employment background checks should be conducted for new hires to ensure they meet all compliance requirements and are fit to work in the company.

4. Put Your Team To Test

Every tip listed before this one is preparing you for what you will do here, testing. How do you test your team and company? You do a simulation-like test in every department. 

Task the team leads or department heads to provide audit reports for their respective offices within a specified timeframe, to know if they are following company policy on documentation and regular audits. Call random employees to explain the rules or regulations they used in testing for quality in a particular product. 

Also, check that external contractors and vendors are following the laid down terms and conditions specified in their contract to avoid shocks when it is discovered by regulatory agencies. 

Make it a point to confirm that your staff attends seminars and training sessions organized for them to update their skills and technological know-how to boost their productivity. 

5. Fix Discovered Loopholes

After you have tested your company and team, when you discover a loophole that puts your company on a red line with regulatory bodies, ensure to fix it ASAP. That is how to ace your regulatory compliance test from the get-go. 

How? Be proactive, most of the issues can be fixed internally — try clarifying ambiguity with department heads, redraft company policies, procedures, and rules, and team restructuring. 

Keep in mind as well that you can fix some significant loopholes through correction programs or working with professionals with an understanding of how to resolve it, but do not forget to document steps taken. 

6. Document Everything

This encompasses all the tips, make sure you are documenting all the steps taken when rectifying policy issues, quality control problems, financial issues, human resource policies, and other issues resolved during a fiscal year. 

This documentation could be useful in pleading your case with government or regulatory agencies when they come for a compliance audit. 

If you want to ace a compliance audit, you need to follow these tips religiously. Educate and prepare your team, run an internal audit, put your team to test, fix loopholes, and make sure you document everything.