What is compliance management?

Compliance management systems cover all measures and processes used by companies to safeguard compliance with laws, regulations and policies.

Compliance management originated in the US finance sector back in the 1980s. A spate of corporate scandals (insider trading, etc.) prompted financial institutions to begin putting control systems in place. The idea was to document legal infringements by employees, give them access to the key regulations, and ensure that employees were not only aware of the law, but complied with it, too.

The publication of the Federal Sentencing Guidelines Manual was the main driver behind the deployment of these systems. Part of anti-corruption law, the manual reduced the penalties imposed on companies provided legal breaches by employees were documented and the employees informed about the legal requirements in place. The foundation for modern compliance management was laid.

The key requirements of compliance management

Compliance management systems must meet a range of requirements contained in sector-specific regulations and guidelines. Most importantly, compliance management must be able to:

Identify risks and applicable laws

Establish control and documentation mechanisms

Regularly report to the management board and supervisory board

Specify and implement standards

Determine courses of action in the event of compliance breaches

Determine areas affected by compliance requirements

For example, companies in the pharmaceutical and life sciences sector are highly regulated. They must, for example, store and manage regulated documents (such as records of the manufacturing processes used in each case) in a defined and controlled documentation system.

Another sector-specific example relates to the disclosure requirements placed on listed companies. The general rule: According to the Audit Committee Institute’s impartial information forum, the key elements given above can be used in the design and deployment of a suitable compliance management system.

In brief, a compliance management solution must offer the following:

  • Definition and implementation of standards and measures
  • Structured, audit-proof archiving of all documents
  • Comprehensive management of retention and deletion periods

These three requirements are much more easily met when using compliance management software.

What is compliance software?

Modern ECM systems are all about compliance. They enable employees from all sites across the entire company to capture, manage, process and control information, no matter what source or format it uses. A compliance system stores and logs information in line with audit requirements and makes it instantly available at all times. The compliance software solution from SER performs seamless, audit-proof documentation as part of an internal control system. This ensures full transparency — for example, on who has viewed, processed and edited which information.

The dangers of relying on internal control systems

Internal control systems (or ICS) are often plagued by weaknesses in practical use. Their controls can become ineffective if companies forget to update them following process changes or if they are deliberately circumvented by employees.

Another ICS weak spot: the procedural documentation for data processing systems. Documentation is often carried out manually — under extreme time and cost pressure — as unstructured collections of texts. Outdated versions, a lack of clarity, and incompleteness are just some of the repercussions of manual documentation, resulting in procedural documentation that fails to meet records management standards. This is a compliance violation despite the presence of an ICS. The internal control system fails to fulfill its purpose and, instead, leads to higher costs, more red tape, and redundant processes and information.

Find out here how Doxis4 can help you stay compliant »

The benefits of Doxis4 compliance software

Companies handle many documents that are subject to legal retention periods. Take documents relevant under commercial or tax law, for example: These must be both correctly stored and also remain available on demand. By contrast, public administration bodies, the food and pharmaceutical industries, and hospitals must comply with sector- and application-specific retention periods. With Doxis4, documents are assigned minimum and maximum retention periods and archived in line with audit requirements.

Doxis4 makes it easy to systematically document all IT processes. The result: Companies seamlessly document all business processes to ensure the traceability, for example, in case of changes made to documents. Any compliance violations by employees are thus documented in detail and can be prevented in the future to ensure effective compliance management.

The Doxis4 authorization concept prevents unauthorized individuals from accessing business-critical and secret information. Companies have the option to integrate Doxis4 into their existing compliance management as an end-to-end ECM system. Not only does this enable them to provide information and stay accountable at all times, but it also minimizes compliance breaches in the future — thanks to software that offers peace of mind. In short, with Doxis4 you benefit from:

  • Complete capture of all document formats across all inbound channels
  • Structured, audit-proof archiving of all documents in line with principles for records management
  • Comprehensive management of retention and deletion periods
  • Assignment of access rights to control who can view, edit, delete living documents, etc. — down to individual document level
  • Documentation of changes and accesses to documents

Discover Doxis4

Contact us! We are happy to answer your questions about compliance management and provide information on Doxis4. Would you like to experience Doxis4 firsthand? We would be pleased to give you a live demonstration. We look forward to hearing from you!

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