Communications with Business Partners: Proper Compliance Culture

Proper communications with business partners or compliance communication is an integral part of the overall compliance culture. Communication at the right time and with the right stakeholder is the key to corporate compliance. Organizations form departments responsible for the timely identification and communication of the applicable regulatory requirements and standards.

Compliance function usually performs these roles, where the communication channels are established with the business partners and internal departments to ensure that compliance requirements are disseminated and discussed. 

Importance of Communications with Business Partners

Communication with business partners ensures that they are aligned with the organization’s vision of achieving corporate compliance. Business partners support the organization in performing different activities, which may require the application of the regulations. The communication with the business partners ensures that both the organizations are well aware of the key regulatory requirements, and they take measures to develop and implement appropriate controls to mitigate the risks of noncompliance. 

Communication may be in the form of written agreements, emails, memos, circulars, or verbal. The preferred way of communicating the key regulatory requirements to the business partners is the written agreements that serve as the base of any mutual work conditions. 

Compliance risk communication and management are an ongoing process of obtaining and sharing necessary information from internal and external resources, which flows up, down, and across the organization. The mission, vision, and core values define what an organization strives to be and how it conducts business activities.

They communicate to stakeholders the purpose of the entity. For most entities, mission, vision, and core values remain stable over time, and they are typically reaffirmed through setting strategy. Yet, they also may evolve as the expectations of stakeholders change. Clarifying and communicating roles and responsibilities to the business partners helps achieve the corporate strategy, business objectives, and the management of compliance risks.

Compliance Culture and Information

Compliance culture and information communication represent supporting aspects of compliance risk management. Communication is the continual, iterative process of obtaining and disseminating regulatory information with business partners. Management uses relevant information from both internal and external sources to support compliance risk management.

The organization leverages information systems to capture, process, and manage data and information. The organization reports on risk, culture, and performance by using information that applies to all components.

Different approaches are available for assessing enterprise risk management. When the assessment is performed to communicate to external stakeholders, it would be conducted considering the principles set out in the framework. When assessing enterprise risk management for internal purposes, some organizations may choose to use some form of a maturity model in completing this evaluation, recognizing that the model must be tailored to address the complexity of the business. 

Factors that add complexity may include, among other things, the entity’s geography, industry, nature, extent and frequency of change within the entity, historical performance and variation in performance, reliance on technology, and the extent of regulatory oversight. During an assessment, management may also review the suitability of those capabilities and practices, keeping in mind the entity’s complexity and the benefits the organization seeks to attain through enterprise risk management.

Final Thoughts

What are the benefits of communicating with business partners? Positive experiences must be widely shared in order to increase awareness of their utility and significance. Thus, the message, its reach, and how people interpret and use your partnership’s message are critical to its success.

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