The importance of due diligence, legal compliance and risk mitigation during a pandemic/global crisis
The COVID-19 outbreak has significantly impacted entities, disrupting their operational, financial, risk management and internal control systems. At the same time, the global financial markets and prices of several commodities are experiencing unprecedented volatility. While there is no certainty around the extent to which the crisis will further spread and impact businesses, one thing is clear: the challenges are here to stay for a while. Smart companies ought to adapt to change and strengthen internal systems and external linkages.
Now more than ever, directors, specialised departments and management need to be proactive and agile in responding with strong leadership and governance. In addition, they will need to focus on business imperatives.
As businesses adapt to new ways of operating amid COVID-19, there could be an increase in cyber risks, hence the need to enhance existing measures and controls. Directors and audit committees should understand how their management have revisited the cyber security controls and processes
to ensure that a multifaceted defence strategy is implemented.
Leaders must navigate these challenging times without compromising a focus on compliance. Here is our five-point action plan for any leader juggling business survival and compliance:
• Make compliance a centerpiece in your business continuity plans (BCP). As you build your BCP, ensure that you factor in how you will manage compliance remotely, what security will look like and how you will continue to meet your obligations in these unprecedented times.
• Adopt regulatory technology solutions that can help your enterprise achieve and maintain financial compliance to better serve your customers while granting your business a competitive edge.
• Embrace automation as it can ease the burden of expanding, and often stringent and demanding regulations, freeing skilled staff from low-value repetitive tasks, and improving reliability and performance. Automation is also key as businesses shift to remote workforces.
• Continue to train employees with the right skills, information, tools and mindsets for them to understand compliance and what role they play according to their geographic boundaries now and into the future.
• Adopt a coordinated approach with clearly defined rationales and targeted timelines to effectively practice compliance and ensure it is not lost in the conversation. This is necessary for audits, regulator inquiries, market stability and health crises.
• The best way to protect your business from future compliance risk is to do everything that you can to ensure that compliance remains active, visible and assertive during the current crisis. This way, you can ensure that your organization is well-positioned to successfully tackle the post-Covid-19
wave of business activity.
INSULATE YOUR BUSINESS, FOCUS ON PRIORITIES OF VALUE