As a business owner, you have plenty to think about these days. From wavering consumer loyalty to moving to a remote workforce, your days—and probably many evenings—are spent navigating market realities. Should you really have to worry about compliance, too?
The answer is yes, but there’s an upside: Technologies exist to help you remain compliant automatically. That means you don’t have to trouble yourself with every compliance consideration coming down the pike. Instead, you can focus on higher-level matters, like strategizing about how to keep each quarter’s profit margins on the upswing.
What tools should you add to your tech stack to keep you compliant? Below are five types of solutions that will help you accomplish your goals while avoiding the risks and costs of noncompliance.
1. Sales contract portals
Is your sales team writing up contracts that are actually enforceable? Are you sure? You may be surprised at how often deals are done without the proper level of security and supervision.
Help every salesperson create and edit legally binding agreements by choosing a cloud-based contractual documentation automation product. Be sure that you’re getting one with lawful e-signatures. Utilize an eSignature tool like PandaDoc, which creates a certificate of authority each time that includes a timestamp, IP addresses, and more to ensure that a signer is legitimate. The certificate of authority includes an audit-compliant trail for each e-signature, protecting your business down the road.
In addition to lock-tight e-signatures, tech solutions offering contract generation and dissemination should be easy to edit on the fly. Nothing slows the sales cycle momentum like repeated iterations of an online contract. As long as you stay compliant with your changes, you’ll reap the benefits of a tighter workflow.
2. Human resources integrated software
Your human resources department members have to navigate tons of rules and regulations. One compliance blunder can be expensive, not to mention a blow to your brand’s reputation.
When looking for human resources software, find a solution that offers a breadth of services. For instance, a provider like EverythingBenefits streamlines new hire reporting and handles benefits administration processes, as well as performs other personnel management functions. Other providers offer other add-ons, such as online training portals.
Make no mistake: Compliance in human resources is essential. With the right tech partner, your business will be set up to consistently follow regulations and avoid inconsistencies.
3. Educational licenses and requirement providers
Some businesses have people on staff who must keep up their licensures and continuing education credits. Allowing those licenses or annual learning requirements to lapse can lead to nightmares down the road—and avoidable fines.
Even before Covid, companies frequently paid for online classes and certificate programs for their people. Now, you can be sure that more e-learning options are going to pop up. Nevertheless, you need to be selective and thoughtful.
Not every provider of continuing education credits is legitimate. And even providers that boast legitimacy might not be recognized for truly excellent offerings. If you’re going to pay money to keep your workers actively and legally involved in a particular field, choose a tech provider with street credibility.
You might even want to look for one that offers workshops on topics that will help your business fill knowledge gaps. That way, your employees will learn relevant skill sets to bring to the table while staying compliant.
4. Teleconferencing software
You may worry about compliance when it comes to certain teleconferencing software. Case in point: Is it really safe to discuss confidential matters on a videoconferencing portal? Usually it is, but you may have to pay for an upgrade.
If you’re planning to host annual board meetings online with top-tier stakeholders, you’ll want to avail yourself of the highest security features available on popular portals. As Zoom points out, it uses a variety of encryption methods to keep audio, video, and chat functions private. If you’re in the healthcare field, Zoom also offers an extra layer of HIPAA compliance for telehealth appointments.
Remind your team members that the type of teleconferencing they choose matters. For example, talking about secure items on Facetime may be convenient, but not necessarily safe or compliant.
Be sure you know the teleconferencing expectations for your industry. The last thing you want is to be hammered with a lawsuit because someone on your team didn’t think twice before engaging in a video chat on an unsecured site.
5. Accounting software
You’re probably not surprised to see accounting software on the list of tech ways to stay compliant. According to one Risk Management piece, executives don’t necessarily keep their books the way they should. Whether this is by accident or design doesn’t matter to authorities, shareholders, or whistleblowers.
Even if you have an exceptional team handling your accounting, invest in tech platforms to make their jobs more accurate. The most robust accounting programs use AI-informed programming to flag potential problems. Just one accounting error caught early could pay for the software subscription price.
Remember that accounting software helps you store historical data and create fully compliant tax documents. But that’s not the only use for your information. Over time, pertinent accounting data also can be used by sales and marketing personnel to inform key performance indicators for future campaigns.
As a leader at your organization, you’ll never stop worrying about compliance issues. Still, with a little assistance from the right tech tools, you’ll lose less sleep fretting about a regulatory misstep.