No Room In Your Budget For A Regulatory Compliance Officer? 2 Ways To Keep Your Business Compliant Without The Extra Salary
If you own a small business, then you know that staying compliant with all of the regulations and laws is important, yet they change so quickly it can be tough to stay on top of the changes while running your business. While large corporations often hire chief compliance officers, or CCOs, whose sole jobs are to stay on top of all changes in industry regulations and help integrate them into the business, you may just not have room in your budget for yet another salary.
How can you, as a small business owner, stay on top of changes in industry regulations without spending hours each day tracking changes? Read on to learn about two ways you can stay on top of new business regulations without a CCO.
1. Invest in Regulatory Compliance Software
Software is available that can help you keep track of changes in regulations that govern your industry, such as HIPPA, the FDA, the CPSC, OSHA, the Consumer Protection Act, the EPA, and other US regulatory agencies. There are many manufacturers of regulatory compliance software, so choosing the right provider may feel like an overwhelming task at first.
If the software your feel fits your business needs the most is out of your budget, then look into whether the manufacturer offers SAS, or Software as a Service, subscriptions. When using software as a service, you typically just make small monthly payments to use the software instead of purchasing the software for a higher price tag up front.
Another advantage to using SAS regulatory compliance software is that you can try out a few different services if you feel like the first one is not a "good fit" for your business. Then, once you find software you feel fits the needs of your business best, you can consider purchasing the full version of it.
Along with warning you about new changes in regulations affecting your business, the software can also help you plan when you will integrate business changes to reflect the new regulations, record equipment inspections that OSHA requires, and record important safety information that you can pull up in the future if you ever run into a compliance issue.
2. Consult a Regulatory Compliance Attorney Regularly
While regulatory compliance software can help you stay on top of new regulations that affect your business, you also need someone with a skilled mind and eye to help you spot problems within your business that may get you in regulatory trouble later. When you consult with a regulatory compliance attorney, you can have someone with the skill and knowledge of a chief compliance officer keep an eye on your business without having to pay the salary of a full-time CCO.
In fact, many CCOs began their careers as regulatory compliance attorneys and were then hired by companies who needed their help on a daily basis. After you find a good regulatory compliance attorney, the first step is having them come to your place of business to catch any missteps you have made in keeping up with your industry's regulations before you get fined by one of the regulatory agencies. You can then set up a regular schedule with your attorney or simply have them notify you of any changes in industry regulations that they learn about and then meet up to discuss how these new regulations will affect your business.
While the goal of your regulatory compliance attorney will be to make sure you stay on top of all new industry regulations, they can also help defend you in court if a competitor or a regulatory agency ever makes false accusations that your business has broken regulations.
As a small business owner operating in a time when industry regulations are changing rapidly, you simply cannot stay on top of them all without a little help. Fortunately, you don't have to hire a full-time chief compliance officer when there are more affordable solutions to staying on top of industry compliance. Consult with a regulatory compliance attorney to make sure your business is compliant with all current regulations and learn about changes in regulation that may be coming and how to prepare for them. Keep track of changes and implementation of them with regulatory compliance software.