Why Integrate Risk and Compliance?

Steven Minsky | April 1, 2014

Compliance professionals have it tough. While risk managers work in shades of grey (or often, red, yellow, and green), compliance officers are often asked to answer the more direct question: Do we meet this regulatory mandate?

While the task may differ, compliance professionals without enterprise risk management in their toolbox are at a significant disadvantage. Regulations are changing constantly, responsibility for compliance ranges from high level executives to analysts on the front line, and every business area seems to have its own take on how a particular requirement applies to them. Here’s how ERM can help.

Increase Engagement in the Compliance Process

The integration of risk and compliance will broaden the relationship between compliance and the rest of the organization. An ERM program should facilitate discussions between risk and compliance professionals, and the individuals responsible for a subset of regulations. As departments are identified for assessments, discussions of “what can go wrong” should naturally increase understanding of how your company’s risks should be managed, especially risk of non-compliance.

Pro-active Approach to Change Management

With new and revamped regulations published constantly, the risk of non-compliance not with today’s regulation, but tomorrow’s, is increasingly high. The manual effort behind reading, identifying and documenting material changes demands an integrated and streamlined effort. Assigning ownership to requirements, risks, policies, and procedures as they relate to key regulations will allow you to quickly identify and alert individuals when changes occur. ERM Software can provide automated gap analysis to ensure no one is left in dark, minimizing risk that something slips through the cracks.

Best Practice Controls

While traditional “ERM Mitigation Activities” and “Policies and Procedures” are often treated as silo’d and unrelated concepts, your organization’s policies and procedures are one of its most effective controls against key risks. An effective ERM process will facilitate a quantification of which policies and procedures are associated with your most critical compliance activities, which can be invaluable when building the business case for change, more resources, or taking a pro-active approach to control management.

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