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How Automation Is Redefining Compliance Management

Here are five reasons to automate your compliance processes.

4 Min Read

There are no gray areas when it comes to compliance. You either comply or you don't. It is one area where you don't want to take chances. The biggest challenge is that rules and conditions are constantly changing, requiring organizations to closely track and make changes necessary to comply. Thankfully, modern automation platforms come to your rescue by providing more efficiency and reliability to minimize compliance risk.

Let's take a live example of complying with the sanctions on blacklisted vendors flagged by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) of the United States government. This use case requires that companies consistently follow the list, verifying whether or not any of the vendors listed are business partners and, if so, blocking those vendors from your business.

With this illustration, I will provide my top 5 reasons why it makes sense to automate such a compliance process.



1. Compliance Business Processes Are Complex

OIG compliance is a multi-step process that requires several types of automation or hyperautomation technologies. It requires human intervention to fetch the large list of vendors from the government's website. You need a robotic process automation (RPA) solution to automate such actions. Then you must transfer the list to your verification program. This is more of a system integration process automation that typically requires an iPaaS platform (integration platform as a service). Then comes the comparison and verification of vendor names. Your master data of vendors may be identified by a slightly different variant or abbreviation in the government list, or you may coincidentally find a match, which, in reality, could be a different vendor. You need a good pattern-matching algorithm that can check on multiple dimensions such as name, abbreviation, address, tax ID, line of business, historical score, etc., before flagging a vendor. This requires an AI/ ML-based, decision-centric automation.

Related:Compliance Shortfalls Signal Increased Security Concerns

As you can see, employing a manual process requires high levels of coordination to execute one step after another, brings dependency on multiple departments and increases the risk of human error. You would be better off with an enterprise automation platform that can seamlessly stitch together multiple types of automation to make them work seamlessly for you.

2. Compliance Is Not a One-Time Checklist

Most compliance use cases are a recurring task that needs to be repeated periodically. Because the OIG vendor check scenario occurs monthly, the list of blacklisted vendors must be refreshed every month. Some use cases like checking for security practices could be daily, and some cases are to be checked on a transactional basis. Automation is a necessity rather a luxury when the frequency of checks is high. Apart from recurring schedules, automation also allows organizations to run a compliance check in an attended mode supervised by humans or featuring the ability to trigger a process on demand. All these automation capabilities ensure that you will never miss the roll call of compliance.

3. Compliance Knows No Borders

Statuary regulations are country-specific and often vary considerably across countries. It is not uncommon that a business has operations in more than 100 countries. The vendor check scenario when required to be followed in another country will have a different procedure. It is not scalable to hire personnel to take care of country-specific compliance checks. But it is scalable to branch the automation process to take a different path based on a country check or even develop a dedicated country-specific flow if the process is considerably different. Translations and multibyte support available in modern automation platforms can also deliver native customizations specific to a particular region.

4. Auditing and Reporting Require Proof

It is one thing to perform compliance checks but another to keep the record. Controllers and auditors require proof of checks performed and need to know the reports are not fabricated. They require concise reports on each iteration and visibility into key performance indicators (KPIs). Keeping track of such proof points in a manual process is often challenging. Lack of evidence or anything that suggests tampering with evidence would invalidate your compliance status even though you may have followed the correct procedures. But an automation-driven process will be machine tracked and logged. They are tamper-proof as the evidence can be digitally signed and time-sensitive proof points can be established with timestamps.

5. Compliance Workflows Demand Sustained Concentration

Compliance business workflows are often repetitive but need to be thorough. Conducting these workflows takes a lot of time while demanding high levels of concentration. It can be humanly challenging to maintain concentration without allowing fatigue to set in. Any mundane verification tasks may not be motivating enough for the workforce. Managing such processes via automation will not only be efficient and accurate but also will free up precious time for your workforce to invest in other high-value tasks.

Overall, automation can provide a reliable and efficient solution to compliance challenges, enabling organizations to ensure they are following the rules and avoiding unnecessary risks or violations. Bozeman Health is an example of a healthcare provider that is automating the OIG compliance process using hyperautomation technologies iPaaS and AI/ML. Monthly verification of vendors against the OIG exclusion database is now more efficient, and Bozeman Health is more confident when doing business with vendors. 

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