Did you know that regulatory monitoring for compliance can save businesses $1.03 million on average? That’s huge, but then most companies are overwhelmed by how much it costs to audit their businesses, enable continuous compliance, and train their staff to improve their expertise on the whole matter. But non-compliance may stand to incur double the expenditure of actually maintaining compliance.
So, as a SaaS startup that wants to maintain the security of its customer data at a reasonable cost, what should you do? We first want to tell you that you are not alone! Many businesses have trouble finding the ideal balance. Although company executives know they must support the compliance program, they do not want to sacrifice sales and AUM. The good news is that they do not preclude one another. The trick is to reduce compliance costs while maintaining oversight, preserving compliance, and using the right tools.
This is why we at Akitra curated this blog, especially for those startup compliance professionals with limited resources looking for sustainable solutions to maintain data security and compliance at their company for an affordable price. This blog highlights some practical strategies that may assist you in reducing inflated compliance costs, whether they are tangibles like employee workload or actual expenses on the books.
Let’s get going!
6 Ways to Cut Compliance Costs and Still Stay Compliant!
The major problems that most organizations face when it comes to spending excessive amounts on maintaining compliance can be narrowed down to:
- Lack of time or resources (i.e., manpower);
- Misuse of tools (or not using the right ones); and,
- Lack of support from specific departments within the organization.
This is why curbing inflated compliance expenses needs the compliance professional to get creative. Here are six ways to do that:
- Utilize the Knowledge and Judgment of Experienced Compliance Professionals:
Hires in compliance are pricey, and it is best to use their time and skills on tasks that only a compliance specialist can complete. They have less time for comprehensive compliance work when hounding personnel to perform tasks, determining if tasks were completed, and gathering documentation for an exam. These routine administrative tasks can readily be automated, saving your compliance department time that can be spent on more important projects.
- Integrate Compliance Into Your Daily Operations:
There are fewer surprises when compliance is a common element of your organization’s operations, and it’s easy. Unluckily, surprises are frequently pricey, and changing directions entails lost time, likely increased costs to reduce hazards, and more.
By giving managers the authority to develop initiatives based on the company’s ethics, you can eliminate the possibility of having to make unforeseen modifications. This provides the management with additional control and encourages workers to carry out procedures with the assistance of their managers. A top-down strategy that involves strong policy support from senior management has an unmatched trickle-down influence on the company’s ethics, policies, and compliance.
- Use a Progressive Approach While Implementing Compliance Programs:
One of the finest things you can do when introducing new policies, processes, or systems for your organization is to consider where you picture your business in five or ten years and determine whether your existing controls would be enough in that setting.
Depending on where your company is at the moment, you need to put in place compliance policies and procedures that are intended to avoid, catch, and fix potential problems. It may be alluring to want to stop there, particularly if your business is still small. But doing so can be a mistake. This is why: It’s possible that your 10-person company’s current compliance measures are not scalable. If not, you can later find yourself having to redo your application at a great expense.
Consider this advice a modern-day equivalent of the old saying, “Dress for the job you desire, not the job you have.” Dress your compliance program not just for the company you have now but for the company your leaders aspire to run. A top-down strategy that involves strong policy support from senior management has an unmatched trickle-down influence on the company’s ethics, policies, and compliance.
- Account for Cybersecurity Alerts:
As data breaches continue to increase, regulatory agencies are stepping up their cyber security and data privacy measures. Because of this, a company without sufficient data protection procedures may be subject to regulatory penalties, monetary loss, and diminished investor and customer confidence.
Businesses should approach cyber security projects by being ready “when,” not “if,” an attack occurs. They also must understand that data protection is more than an IT function or obligation. Every organization’s compliance department will play a different role. Still, compliance can be crucial in ensuring that the firm’s policies and processes are created to prevent and detect vulnerabilities, respond quickly to incidents when they occur, and allow for regulatory reporting, as necessitated.
Additionally, compliance may be involved in conducting recurring threat assessments and assisting in evaluating the cyber security programs of third-party service providers. Compliance procedures should include oversight and control testing if they are not directly involved.
Proactively managing data privacy and cyber security can eliminate the need for expensive post-event client and regulatory notifications, lowering the firm’s compliance costs.
- Employ Continuous Compliance to Track Change in Risks:
Effective compliance programs focus on more than just finding issues and fixing them. While it is crucial, it is conceivably even more crucial to constantly analyze and anticipate compliance issues. A proactive approach to compliance implies that your CCO and staff are keeping an eye on upcoming rules and staying current with market changes to respond quickly and put new processes in place when necessary.
A changing risk environment may need adjustments in procedures, so be careful to update your compliance controls to reflect those changes. Putting improvements into place before they are required is much less expensive than having to go back and correct infractions and deal with issues after the fact.
It’s simpler than ever to follow what the regulators are doing in today’s digital environment. By preventing expensive redos or unraveling hastily made repairs later, subscribing to regulators’ and industry thought leaders’ resources and attending industry conferences could save your company money.
- Automate Processes that Don’t Need Human Improvisation:
Finally, using technology to automate processes and workflows is one of the best methods to cut your compliance expense. Although technology has its costs, the advantages outweigh the drawbacks in most cases.
Some compliance officers and other firm leaders are hesitant to utilize automation technology because they mistakenly think compliance staff can manage risks and complete work manually just as effectively. Manual processes are labor- and error-intensive. A company that uses manual processing for attestations, certifications, or other compliance duties will probably struggle to handle a significant increase in the number of monitored personnel without hiring and training more compliance professionals. In addition, they are not scalable.
Automation can help ensure activities are completed on schedule and flag unexpected responses for review, lowering the chance that a potential violation will be overlooked in confusion. It’s also simpler to eliminate bottlenecks because products are electronically sent along a predetermined path. The compliance department, as well as the company, may experience significant cost savings as a result of all of this.
Cost-effective Continuous Compliance with Akitra!
Businesses in the majority do not have an endless budget for compliance. You probably feel pressure to maintain costs as low as possible without compromising your clients’ safety or your business’s reputation. You may control compliance spending by deliberately creating systems, procedures, and tools in the compliance department that are built to address both current and future threats.
This is where Akitra comes in, and we believe we have the solution to your compliance issues. Akitra offers an industry-leading, AI-powered Compliance Automation platform for SaaS companies. Using automated evidence collection and continuous monitoring, together with a full suite of customizable policies and controls as a compliance foundation, our service helps customers become certified for all levels of PCI DSS, along with other frameworks like SOC 1, SOC 2, ISO 27001, HIPPA, GDPR and NIST 800-53. Our compliance and security experts will also provide the customized guidance you need to navigate the end-to-end compliance process confidently.
The benefits of our solution include enormous savings in time, human resources, and money — including discounted audit fees with our audit firm partners. Customers achieve compliance certification fast and cost-effectively, stay continuously compliant as they grow, and can become certified under additional frameworks using a single compliance automation platform.
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