Ten Things You Should Know about Compliance
All businesses have to comply with government regulations to stay in business. Otherwise, they can land in endless trouble with law-enforcement
authorities. This can distract them from the business and even lead to forcible closures. Many of these regulations, like the Sarbanes Oxley Act of the
U.S., require maintenance of business records in specified formats and/or specified periods. Systematic attention to compliance issues can save
1. In the U.S., Sarbanes Oxley Act and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have changed the scenario regarding maintenance
of documents. While the former has dramatically increased the volume of documents that need to be maintained, the latter has made confidentially a
2. Compliance requires both training and money. If your business doesn't have trained employees who can attend to compliance issues, it can lead to
high costs with unsatisfactory results. Organizations like Independence Blue Cross provide formal compliance training.
3. Compliance can involve complex requirements. The Sarbanes Oxley Act (SOX) makes it obligatory for top management to ensure that financial
records are accurate. HIPAA makes it obligatory to protect the confidentiality of personally identifiable data that comes into the possession of
businesses. The government website maintained by SBA of USA helps small businesses find out their compliance requirements.
4. Organizations like Information Systems Audit and Control Association focuses on developing best practices to use Information Technology for
compliance and audit. Such best practices can help reduce costs and improve results.
5. In addition to meeting the direct statutory requirement of maintaining certain records for specified periods, document maintenance also helps prove
that the organization has complied with regulations in certain matters. Incidents and actions are documented in sufficient detail to show that all
requirements have been met.