Proactively Managing Regulatory Compliance

A Monthly, Quarterly, and Annual Checklist for Your Organization

Maintaining compliance with important privacy and other consumer protection regulations is not something you can afford to set and forget.

If your business engages directly with consumers, or supports other businesses that do, there are specific compliance-focused tasks that should be part of your ongoing operations. It’s critical to stay on top of these tasks, since violations and oversights not only risk steep penalties, but can also damage your company’s reputation. This holds true whether you are a small organization or a Fortune 500 enterprise with a sophisticated compliance department.

How to Stay on Top of Regulatory Requirements

Smart organizations strive to stay ahead of the curve by scheduling recurring tasks into their monthly, quarterly, and annual plans. Here are important steps every compliance-focused business should take, and when you should take them. By focusing on compliance regularly, you are proactively mitigating potential risk.

Monthly Compliance Tasks

Some high-priority compliance-related tasks require attention each month, since these tend to be related to automated or customer-generated events. Monthly tasks include things like:

  • Reviewing customer complaints to identify specific issues that require immediate attention or trends that could point to larger problems that need remediation.
  • Meeting with executive management to keep them informed and to ensure continued integration of compliance initiatives with overarching strategy and operations.
  • Scrubbing and updating contact lists to maintain adherence to Do Not Call registries unless an exemption applies (for telemarketers).
Quarterly Compliance Tasks

Other tasks can be completed on a quarterly basis. These will be bigger, broader initiatives within your organization. Quarterly compliance tasks will include things like:

  • Conducting an internal audit of your organization’s compliance with its existing policies.
  • Working with your legal counsel to understand the latest regulatory developments and their impact on your business.
  • Keeping your employees up to date with ongoing compliance training.
Annual Compliance Tasks

Some big-picture compliance tasks should be revisited on a yearly basis, adjusted as needed, and communicated across your organization as appropriate. These annual tasks may trickle down to affect the things you do monthly and quarterly. These include items like:

  • Updating any consumer-facing disclosures like your privacy policy, terms of use, and your cookie notice to reflect current legal requirements and your specific business practices.
  • Reviewing and updating your internal compliance policies to meet current compliance legislation.
  • Conducting a data breach preparation exercise.
  • Obtaining an external audit by qualified counsel to validate your organization’s compliance success over the past year and begin the new year on the right foot.

Compliance issues can feel overwhelming if you’re not sure where to begin. The size of your organization and the focus of your business will influence the regulatory complexity you’ll need to consider, but a great way to ensure compliance across the board is to engage qualified and experienced legal counsel. Look for a firm with attorneys who’ve either served with regulatory agencies themselves, or who have many years of experience navigating this ever-changing landscape with clients.

Questions? Looking for guidance specific to your business? Email Us: compliance@mslawgroup.com

 

The fine print: Remember that every legal situation is different. While we think the guidance we’ve shared here is spot on, we always recommend consulting with your attorney for counsel tailored to your business’s unique circumstances.