Working in the financial industry requires paying attention to compliance and regulatory concerns to avoid fines, data breaches, and many more issues. To keep everyone in the company on the same page, managers must put in place policies to guide procedures within the organization. Understanding how to make these policies effective means understanding what policy management is in detail.
All organizations need to operate on a certain set of practices and standards in order to be productive. Inhighly regulated industrieslike financial services, policies help a company avoid violating federal laws and other regulatory requirements.
When an organization doesn’t have a centralized process to institute, implement and oversee policies, different departments end up creating their own procedures or standards. These departmental policies may be inconsistent or contradictory, often leading to conflict and chaos within an organization. Uncertainty has a negative impact on your organization. Policy management removes uncertainty by centralizing your organization’s policies and procedures from their initial creation to continual maintenance.
Whenever a new policy gets lost in the shuffle, crucial information and communication can become disorganized or ignored. This creates the opportunity for errors and mistakes. It only takes one mistake or poor decision to destroy your company’s reputation. Policy management both solves and prevents such problems.
The most effective, modern ways to monitor critical information and processes rely on technology and software to remove the potential for human error. Given the importance of regulatory compliance in financial services, the right platform can keep your company out of trouble and financial danger.
The right software program easily provides organization, company-wide visibility, access and control that is all but impossible to achieve with a manual system or word-of-mouth relays. It becomes the centralized database for anything related to policies and procedures.
Exchanging your manual compliance process for a software solution will save your company time and keep your company in compliance with the regulators. There are a number of benefits to working with an automated system.
When it’s easy to locate and read policies and procedures, it removes confusion over the wording or omissions from the documents. With digital development and storage, employees can use full-text searching to locate important information, while auto-naming and filing tools will keep everything organized and up to company standards when new documents are imported or created within the system.
Paper files have a tendency to get lost or can expire, but digital files aren’t always the perfect solution, either. If everyone who accesses files on a server can make changes, it’s hard to keep track of the most up-to-date versions. Policy management software provides an accountability and organizational platform that maintains records of all versions of policy changes and stores current documents in a central location.
If a policy or procedure needs supporting documentation, such as certifications for employees, a dedicated platform offers the space to store this information. During anaudit, it’s easy to access the documents that validate how well the organization or its employees are following procedures and policies.
What is policy management without ensuring employee or organizational compliance? All too often, organizations use email to send notifications about any changes to procedures. There is little accountability in this process, as emails may go unopen, unread or undelivered.
A software management system can electronically deliver updates and copies of policies as well as capture an electronic audit trail of confirmations from employees. Administrators are able to use reporting features to see which employees acknowledge or confirm reading required policies.
Your policies and procedures often require the involvement of several departments or administrators. When you exchange documents through inter-departmental mail or emails, confusion and delays happen. This makes collaboration difficult and ineffective.
With policy management software, you don’t have to wonder who made a change to a document or which version received approval for use. Digitizing your management process improves document workflow, organizing and automating review, approval and updating processes.
Making sure your policies and procedures support your organization’s mission is the overarching goal of policy management. Here are a few tips for streamlining your management approach and ensuring the effectiveness of your policies.
With a policy manager, one individual takes responsibility for each policy developed. This individual will interpret the policy as well as enforce it, overseeing the procedures or instructions that go with it.
Carefully evaluate which policies currently in place need to be revised or replaced. Those that address higher orders, such as industry compliance or government regulations, take priority. Look for any gaps or duplications, as well as areas that could jeopardize fair work standards or data privacy.
Any policies in development should include stakeholder considerations and insight. You may clearly see the benefit of a certain policy from your position in the organization, but engaging others in the organization can bring a perspective that widens the impact of the policy across the organization.
Even when you engage a team in the development of a policy, they need to work according to a clear process. Establish a workflow that outlines who authors the policy, reviews it, approves or vetoes it and makes necessary revisions.
Before you institute any policy, make sure it complies with any regulatory requirements for the industry. It shouldn’t create barriers for individuals or have a disparate impact. If there are no concerns with compliance, you can move forward with putting the policy in place.
When you are looking for a partner to help answer the question of what is policy management for your organization and help institute best practices, Compyl is the solution. As an information and security platform, our services ensure your policy management remains effective and compliant.Contact usto find out how our solutions will work for you.