The ever increasing number of local, state and federal laws impacting business in areas such as employment practices, financial transactions, safety and environmental issues can seem overwhelming. Whether a company is small or large, having an appropriate compliance structure in place is essential. Failure to stay compliant risks penalties and fines or even loss of business if the appropriate registrations are not in place.
When I was hired three years ago, netlogx was registered to do business and certified as a women-owned business in one city and state. Since then, netlogx has become registered to do business in 25 states. It was easy to keep track of the compliance requirements when there were only a handful of states to track. As the company has grown, the number of employees has increased as well as the number of locations where netlogx does business or has sought certification. As a result of this growth, the task of keeping up with compliance requirements has also increased significantly.
Add on compliance requirements for taxes, insurance and employment considerations and it is enough to make one’s head spin. In addition to having a compliance manager to oversee a company’s compliance, an effective compliance program should include:
Falling short in any of these areas can put the company at risk. Fortunately, netlogx specializes in risk management. While having a paralegal background helps in understanding the legal requirements, I’ve found that concepts I’ve learned at netlogx have enhanced my ability to maintain the compliance of the company.
For instance, the project management and Six Sigma skills I’ve learned have helped with development of documented policies and processes, and organizational tools such as tracking sheets to manage renewal deadlines and contract expiration dates. In addition to using SMART goals for personal and professional development, this concept helps with compliance management:
Specific: understanding the laws and regulations impacting company compliance
Measurable: tracking registrations and deadlines
Accountable: monitoring and auditing
Repeatable: written policies and procedures; employee training
Timely: using tools such as Smartsheet to organize registration information and set up automatic reminders of due dates
Another concept that I’ve been introduced to while at netlogx is the trusted advisor. While it’s been said it takes a village to raise a child, I’ve found it takes a group of trusted advisors to help maintain compliance. For example, the accountant helps with tax compliance as we expand to different states; the corporate filings advisor assists with registering to do business and maintaining registered agent requirements; the insurance agent helps with bonding requirements to stay compliant with contracting terms; the attorney helps with policy and contract questions, as well as keeping me informed of changes in state and federal employment laws; and the benefits advisor helps with staying compliant with changing health laws. While it is a great responsibility to manage the compliance of a company, having a formalized program in place makes it manageable.