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Ensuring Document Compliance with Industry Standards and Regulations

image of a check list and the title of Document Compliance

Every business has regulations that it must abide by when carrying out its day-to-day operations. 


One of these regulations is document compliance, which proves that everything is up to legal standards. It helps businesses pass through external and internal audits and achieve certifications.  


Here’s how to ensure your company follows the right document compliance policies. 


What Is Document Compliance? 


Document compliance is the process of checking whether a company’s files comply with industry regulations. 


It’s a means of ensuring that everyone is on the same page regarding external and internal policies, regulations, processes, and changes.


For example, let’s say your employees must do annual security training as part of your company’s compliance program. Compliance documentation provides evidence that they’ve completed this training in case of audits.


Importance of Document Compliance


Process Improvement


Document compliance brings structure to your organization. It ensures that every process is logged with an SOP (standard operating procedure) and a paper trail. This helps you keep track of your day-to-day operations and determine what’s working and what’s not. With this information, you can start optimizing and improving your process efficiency.


Collaboration 


A well-documented compliance process helps you avoid information silos. Every person in your organization will have access to the data they need to do their job safely and effectively. This improves team collaboration because everyone knows their functions and contributions instead of carrying out random processes. 


Operational Efficiency


Document collection and process logging are standard parts of any solid compliance program. They ensure you can easily access the information you need to resolve problems quickly and efficiently. You’ll be able to finish projects much faster, leading to improved operational efficiency. 


Growth and Profitability


Once you have increased efficiency, growth and profitability are inevitable. Compliance documentation ensures that your processes are up to global standards and that you’re following industry best practices to scale your company. 


Security Culture


When every member of your organization understands the document collection and review process, they develop a proactive security culture. This creates a sense of awareness of the importance of cybersecurity and emphasizes data security. 


What Should You Include for Document Compliance? 


Regulatory Policies and Procedures


Several data privacy laws exist, each with its own set of procedures and policies that you must follow to ensure compliance. This can be tricky and often overwhelming, depending on your approach to compliance documentation. 


Generally speaking, you can choose one of two approaches:


Compliance Training for Employees and Associates


If you want to create a culture of compliance in your company, you’ll need to carry out regular training sessions and make sure these sessions are documented. 


It also helps to appoint a staff member as a compliance officer who will spearhead the process and provide the documents necessary for compliance reports. 


Data Security and Access Controls


Documenting your data security information isn’t enough. You also need to include who has access to what data, systems, and networks. Your compliance reports should also include details on hardware and software controls. 


Remediations and Assessments


This part of the compliance documentation process includes how you plan on addressing issues in your processes. You should include a remediation plan that explains how to assess and solve these issues and any other problems that might appear in a typical audit. 


Reports


Make sure to create periodical investigation reports and include details of incidents and issues you may have encountered. 


Best Document Compliance Tips


1. Don’t Do It Manually


With traditional compliance methods, companies kept track of their compliance documents on paper and in large leather binders.Nowadays, some companies have upgraded to using Google Docs, Microsoft Word, or spreadsheets, but even those aren’t very reliable because of a lot of room for human error. 


The best way to ensure that your documents comply with global regulations is to use AI compliance software that checks your files for you. These tools use AI indexing methods to identify the most valuable information you need to include in your reports. 


Some software, such as Idox.ai, also offers auto-redaction features that hide sensitive information in these reports before you send them to a third party.   


Example: IDox.ai Compliance Tool 


Here’s an example of how an AI compliance reporting tool like Idox.ai can help you prepare the necessary documents. 

It typically requires four steps: 


  1. Select an existing compliance template that suits your needs.
  2. Complete the corresponding questions in the report.
  3. Add users to your team to collaborate on the report if needed.
  4. Answer the questions in the template to download the completed report.


2. Limit Access 


Few people should be able to access, edit, create, or download document compliance reports. To minimize mistakes, limit the compliance process to a few key individuals who are aware of global regulations. If you’re using an AI compliance tool, you can control who gets different access levels. 


3. Be Ready For Audits 


It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, whether it’s a nonprofit, public, or private company. Any entity can be audited anytime, so always have your compliance documents ready. 


Some of the most critical compliance regulations to keep in mind include: 


  • The Freedom of Information Act
  • The Privacy Act 
  • The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) 
  • The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)
  • The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • EU AI Act
  • The California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA)
  • The Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA)


Wrapping Up


Document compliance ensures your business adheres to regulations and keeps you safe from internal and external audits. 

You can do it yourself, but an AI compliance report tool like iDox.ai is a safer bet. 


Try it out today!

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