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Compliance and the Art of Outsourcing
When you run a business, you get into it because you love your end product and want to connect with your ideal customer. Yes, there’s a lot of organizational activity and paperwork that comes with it, but the work is worth it. One area in which many businesses are now thinking again about their balance is the issue of compliance. It’s one that won’t go away if you try and sweep it under the carpet, and there can be severe repercussions for getting it wrong.
Are there issues with outsourcing?
Increasingly companies are deciding to outsource large parts of the compliance work to free up time and resources. That then allows them to see a little light at the end of the paperwork tunnel and focus more time on what they do best. There is, however, one concern every company raises when they go down this route.
You can outsource the work, but not the responsibility
The idea of outsourcing a time-consuming process is fantastic, we all believe that! But the issue comes when you remember that you are still the one responsible for ensuring compliance. This can put you in the unenviable situation of paying someone else to do something but getting into hot water if they get it wrong. With this in mind, should you even consider outsourcing compliance at all?
Outsourcing administrative functions is highly strategic
The great thing about compliance is that it’s virtually entirely administrative. That means that with the right processes and procedures in place there’s unlikely to be anything specialist involved. While a keen eye for detail and a precise manner are needed, you’re unlikely to need your CTO to explain a technical concept. The art of outsourcing is to, only do it if it will save you time and free up crucial resources. If you have highly specialist, senior staff involved in compliance, then you need to change that. These are the people whose time is best spent doing what they do best, simply because other people can’t do it.
By recognizing that someone outside of your core team could take care of it, you’ve made the first step in successfully outsourcing a large quantity of work.
Outsourcing removes the bottlenecks and drives growth
You may not feel that an all-hands meeting of your senior management team is a bad thing as you’re getting everyone together. Now think about what would happen if they had to come together every year for several weeks at a time solely to discuss compliance. You’re not just removing your senior people from the day to day tasks that grow your business. They’ll also become less accessible to the teams they manage which will have an impact on every aspect of your business. This can quickly create bottlenecks and put the brakes on your productive and creative output.
Now picture your competitors not having to go through this process every year, and you’ll see you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. Worst of all, it’s one that’s mostly artificialand of your own making because youdohave the resources to compete. They’re just being usedfor a task that could easily be outsourced.
Expertise is the prime way to ensure 100% compliance
With all the goodwill and hard work in the world, if your team isn’t fluent in the latest rules and regulations, you’re bound to slip up along the way. The complexity of compliance is rising all the time. This means that not only are the tasks involved getting more intricate, understanding your liabilities can be increasingly difficult too. An outside team that specializes in the art of compliance will know about the latest developments. That will ensure that your efforts are always pointedin the right direction.
There will also be the option to do a more detailed search and identify experts who have worked in your field. While compliance is largely an administrative function, familiarity with the specifics of your industry will be a distinct advantage.
Discovering the right personal fit for your business
You want to think of the team you outsource to as your compliance officer who just happens to work offsite. This means that when you come to find the right fit you need to think about how they’ll integrate into your organization. Remember the people performing the role because they’ll need to fit themselves into your organization seamlessly. Access, questions, and a little investigation are all things they’re going to need, so pick someone you feel comfortable working closely with.
Outsourcing is a cost-effective strategy that comes in two parts…
Not only will you save time and effort by getting an expert to do the bulk of the work for you, but it can also save you money. This comes in two forms:
- By paying people to do what they do best, you’ll get the maximum return, from your biggest resource — your staff.
- By employing an expert, you’ll ensure you don’t fall foul of regulatory changes that could see you unintentionally become noncompliant.
These two essential parts combine to create a strategy that allows you to make the best use of your time, money, and effort. At the end of the day, it’s all about playing to your strengths.
An objective look is often the easiest way forward
The final thing to say about outsourcing is that if you find the right fit for your organization, you’ll get an objective look at compliance. It may be tempting to choose a senior member of staff from within as your compliance officer. The main issue that this can quickly cause is that they’ll be to too close to their work. That can make it difficult for them to objectively assess where you need to improve as a company. Especially if the improvements they identify emanate from the area of the business they’re responsible for.
By tasking an expert third party with the task of compliance, you can gain the objective assessment that can unearth all manner of things. It’s far better for them to find it than the regulators so embrace their feedback and input.