Compliance software solutions support organizations in managing and tracking their operations to ensure they are continually meeting all legal and regulatory standards required of them. These platforms typically have key features including policy management, risk assessment, reporting, audit trails, and automated reminders.
Organizations operating in highly regulated business environments – such as medicine or finance – are faced with the often-overwhelming task of ensuring and proving their adherence within increasingly complex and strict compliance frameworks. The kind of requirements they must meet could be industry specific mandates or for general data protection and privacy laws. Navigating this often-complex terrain of restrictions and requirements is a much more daunting task without a dedicated compliance software.
This is where compliance software comes in. There are a broad range of solutions that are available and it can be difficult to select the most appropriate solution. To make that process a little easier, we have put together a list of some of the best compliance software for businesses, providing some background information for each vendor on our list and highlighting their key capabilities and features.
Everything You Need To Know About Compliance Software (FAQs)
What Is Compliance Software?
Compliance software, which is sometimes referred to as compliance management software, is a type of specialized software that makes it easier for organizations to adhere to and manage requirements, standards, and industry specific regulations. Compliance software is used across every industry and sector that has compliance requirements, but is particularly useful amongst highly regulated industries (such as healthcare, finance, manufacturing, energy, and education). Compliance software supports organizations in their efforts to minimize the risk of legal and financial penalties, reputational damage, and operational disruptions, all of which are common consequences of failing to meet compliance requirements.
Do You Need Compliance Software?
Compliance software is not only useful, in some cases, it’s an imperative. Depending on your industry, having an effective compliance solution may be a non-negotiable expectation. Compliance software works by providing organizations with a set of functionalities and tools designed to facilitate compliance practices and policies. These may include policy management, risk assessment, reporting, audit trails, and automated reminders.
When considering implementing compliance software, it is useful to ask the following questions:
- Is it a struggle to keep data current and accessible?
- Is there difficulty dealing with audits and generating reports for individuals, teams, and upper management?
- Is questionable activity going unnoticed?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it may be time to consider implementing compliance software at your organization.
What Features Should You Look For In Compliance Software?
Some key capabilities of compliance software include:
- Policy Document Management. Your solution should provide a centralized location in which to store and access all policy documents, procedures, and portfolios. This makes it easier for users to keep up with the current company policies and procedures.
- Control Creation And Management. Your compliance solution should enable you to create policies and controls in line with known compliance frameworks, using pre-built templates. You should also be able to create your own controls for custom frameworks. You should also be able to map each control to its relevant compliance framework, so that you can easily ensure compliance with multiple frameworks without having to manually manage each control.
- Compliance Alerts. Your solution should automatically notify you of any compliance deviations or changes in controls, so that you can quickly address them.
- Audit Trails. Your compliance software should provide robust audit functionality that documents any compliance-related actions.
- Workflow Automation. Your compliance software should offer compliance workflows that allow you to assign tasks specifically to individual users and track their progress in real-time.
- Compliance Reporting. Your solution should provide graphic, accessible reports that you can use internally to make sure you aren’t deviating from your compliance requirements and that your implemented controls are working effectively. You should also be able to generate audit reports to share with auditors and other external compliance bodies.
- Risk Management. Some compliance solutions identify, classify, and prioritize risks within your organization’s various business functions or relationships with other businesses, such as vendors and suppliers. They may do this using their own technology, or through integrations with risk and vulnerability scanners.