Conducting a compliance audit of the company’s activities
As part of the business, there are a number of potential legal risks of violation of the law. State control by the state is increasing, resulting in the accrual of large penalties.
Compliance verification has become increasingly used in corporate governance and business conduct. However, it should be noted that at the legislative level, the legal field in this area is in the process of formation. Only for certain types of activities and areas, legal norms regulating this area are gradually introduced.
Compliance is an organization’s action in accordance with a set of rules and laws, that is, the introduction of a system for monitoring compliance with the law and managing possible risks, including the risk of loss of profit, in the company. As a rule, the compliance policy includes not only control over the implementation of legislation, but also the identification of possible cases of theft of the company’s property, the facts of misrepresentation of financial statements and the corruption component of ongoing transactions. The corruption component is under special control of government agencies, in this regard, business transparency comes to the fore. It can be difficult for the head of the company or with the help of its specialists to evaluate and conduct a compliance check for several reasons:
- inability to keep track of rapidly changing legislation in different areas of the company's activities;
- inability to reveal the facts of theft, due to the careful concealment of such incidents by the company's employees;
- inability to identify employees who are involved in corrupt transactions or collusion with counterparties, as well as receive personal benefits as a result of such actions, etc.
In most cases, the functions of conducting compliance checks are entrusted to the compliance-officers or the legal department of the company. But the most effective way to conduct such a review is by an independent law firm with experience in this area. In fact, in this case, the verification will be carried out by a third-party specialist who is not interested in hiding important information from the company's management bodies. However, despite the possible unfavorable result of the compliance check, as a rule, as a result, the company’s activities are brought into line with current legislation, the risks of receiving penalties from regulatory authorities are reduced, and the facts of theft of property and violations of antimonopoly, anti-corruption and other laws are minimized.
As part of the compliance policy, the following areas are usually controlled:
- Compliance with the requirements of the legislation in the direction of entrepreneurial activity.
- Compliance with antitrust laws.
- Compliance of personnel records management with the requirements of the labor legislation.
- Avoidance of conflicts of interest.
- Protection and protection of confidential data, etc.
A complete list of areas that need to be controlled as part of the company’s compliance policy is formed individually, depending on the type of business and the tasks set. It is also important to note that after the development of a compliance policy in a company, it is necessary to prepare and train employees on its application and use in their work.
Given that compliance policy and compliance control are relatively new areas, as a rule, the development, implementation and conduct of such verification is entrusted to third-party organizations providing compliance services. Qualified compliance-officers, lawyers, accountants, HR specialists, antimonopoly policy specialists, etc. participate as the main specialists involved in the compliance check.
As a rule, the compliance policy includes the following types of documents:
- Conflict of Interest Policy.
- Anti-corruption policy.
- Antimonopoly policy, etc.
A specific list of required documents included in the compliance policy is established by corporations independently, depending on the tasks set. A properly built compliance policy of the company allows you to track all possible risks that arise in the course of activities, reduce the risks of theft and the occurrence of corruption schemes. The formation of a compliance policy can be carried out by virtue of legal requirements or at the initiative of the company's management, but regardless of the reason for its development, a compliance strategy is necessary for business security, including to reduce possible risks associated with violation of legal requirements, corruption components, facts theft of property and distortion of financial statements.
- Legal advice to clients on business issues in the context of compliance policy
- Conducting a compliance audit of the company
- Formation of a report on the audit and preparation of recommendations
- Compliance policy preparation
- Preparation of documents in order to form a compliance policy