Noncompliance cost companies more than $14 million in 2017. That means a strong culture of compliance can not only build a better business, but quite literally put money back in your organization’s pocket. Yet organization-wide compliance is difficult to achieve without utilizing a conflict of interest software solution.
With countless solutions at your fingertips, it can be challenging to find the right solution for you. But there are certain features a solution must have to be effective, regardless of your industry or company size.
In a recent guide, we explained the four critical features compliance managers should be mindful of when considering their software options. What follows are several characteristics and capabilities that all conflict of interest solutions should have.
1 – Drive Participation
Many conflict of interest software solutions come with a lot of bells and whistles. And while all those extra features might be nice to have, they’re useless if they don’t satisfy the end goal of any conflict of interest program: participation. Ease of use and intelligent design, among other factors, actually drive a culture of compliance.
Guided disclosure forms, automatic escalation of disclosure review, and easy access on any WiFi network are just a few of the features that will actually elevate your conflict of interest solution. Have these same expectations for your software provider. They should work with you to implement these compliance best practices in the most efficient manner possible.
2 – Make it Easy to Share Results
A strong culture of compliance doesn’t stop at the initial report. Rather, that report triggers a series of steps that escalate the report toward a solution and allows for gathering of valuable data along the way. Sharing and acting on that data should be a clear and easy next step, and you should expect your software solution to do much of the heavy lifting.
Boards, shareholders, and the rest of the company want to see the compliance metrics that matter to them. Seek out a software solution that allows you to share campaign results and personalized data visualizations without losing sleep. Doing so will empower you to facilitate real change within your organization.
3 – Automatically Log Your Conflict of Interest Campaigns
At its most basic level, a conflict of interest solution is designed to protect both you and your company from unnecessary risk. Yet you might be unknowingly exposing yourself to an entirely new set of risks if you’re lacking audit protection. Software with audit protection ensures that every step of your conflict of interest process is automatically logged.
This is the feature that will allow you to access every last detail within your solution at a moment’s notice. Should auditors ask to see the information, you’ll be able to hand it over quickly, knowing that your data is accurate and organized.
4 – Identify Areas for Improvement
Good conflict of interest software solutions should help you build a better business. They do this by identifying areas of improvement you might’ve otherwise missed—even if you know your success metrics like the back of your hand.
Leave the data processing and visualization to your software solution. Customizable visualizations give you insight into how successful your conflict of interest program really is, allowing you to pinpoint strategic areas of improvement for your organization. This is how you’ll truly mitigate risk and solidify your competitive advantage.
Not all conflict of interest solutions are created equal. Though several software solutions do exist to help you manage conflicts of interest, don’t be distracted by bells and whistles that don’t add value. At its most basic level, an effective software solution will drive participation by making it easy for your employees to file reports. From there, it’ll put in the work behind the scenes to deliver those reports, analyze data on the go, and reveal your organization’s biggest opportunities for improvement. Ensure whatever software you choose includes all of these features.
To learn more, download our guide, COI Fundamentals: 4 Critical Features for an Effective COI Process.