What is real compliance reporting, and why do you need it?
Part 1 of 2: Addressing common historical challenges
By Grant Bifolchi
In 2021 and beyond, it’s safe to say that almost every type of enterprise organization—whether in the public or private sector—is held accountable to some type of regulatory standard. More so, those standards come with strict compliance, and subsequently the requirement for enforcement and auditing of said enforcement.
Of course, none of this is as easy as one might think. The unfortunate reality of the digital age is that information of all types continues to grow exponentially. In turn, that same information must be tracked and managed—regardless of type. To make things worse, there are A LOT of types. With PDFs, word processing docs, web form submissions, HTML-based documents, in-platform data (CRMs, digital document repositories, etc.), faxes, and of course old-school print—the list is virtually endless.
This is where the struggle starts. Beyond the management of documents themselves, there is an entire world of compliance that goes along with it. For instance, the security and management of data and subsequent communications presents a never-ending challenge.
Simply put, do you truly have controlled access to content? Do you actually have eyes on every aspect of every system in your environment? Or, like most organizations, do you still have difficulty with the application of enforcement due to disparate data? The real requirement is to have a single source of truth that enables administrators to assign rights and access to any level of user, to continually ensure security and compliance.
Oh, but there’s more. Just because users can be granted access at different levels, that doesn’t mean that auditors will be satisfied. A major reason why Document Management Platforms are in high demand? The right solution can enable the creation of highly defined, detailed and automated reports for internal use or for regulatory agencies. It’s this core functionality that ensures less human error is made, and more insight is gained.
Meanwhile, long before the auditors show up to your door, there is the need for continuous insight by all internal stakeholders. This manifests itself in several ways.
The first is the growing requirement for advanced business intelligence and analytics. Applying the old adage of “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it,” stakeholders at all levels must maintain continual visibility of document status. This includes transparency, user accountability, scheduling, management and more.
Further to the analytics, there is also the need for processing accuracy—something that analytics can help manage. It’s this aspect of business intelligence that enables users to better manage every step of a document’s journey and the entirety of the workflow. This translates to superior tracking of document acceptance through customer response and beyond.
Lastly, but definitely not least, there is the added bonus of auditing the actual workflows. For instance, if users now see the entirety of the aforementioned journey, this also means that stakeholders can continually improve workflows. The outcome? Again, this circles all the way back around to ensuring compliance—but with the added bonus of making processes easier and more intuitive.
In the end, compliance is an absolute necessity—and we all know that compliance reporting is a must-have. That said, it shouldn’t immediately equate to being a burden on the organization. With the right Document Management Platform, compliance reporting should simply be just another intuitive and easy feature / function.