Compliance Audit Services: What Are They & Which is Best?
With the ever-changing landscape of regulations, you want to be sure your compliance programs are up to par. That’s where compliance audit services play a role.
This article will cover the purpose of compliance audit services, the different types of audits, and the best services for you to utilize. Don’t miss out on the convenience and benefits of these compliance services.
Let’s get started.
What Are Compliance Audit Services?
Compliance audit services are reviews of a business’s procedures, policies, processes, and methods to determine if it meets the corporate compliance standards set by industry regulations and laws.
Compliance audits measure the solidity of the business’s risk management, security measures, data processing, and human resource practices.
Your business’s compliance program should demonstrate your commitment to complying with relevant laws and regulations and your ability to find and resolve risks of non-compliance. Your business can be subject to large fines if you violate these regulations.
Audits are done by third parties, typically compliance professionals. You must have them done periodically to keep up with the growing list of regulations.
What is the Purpose of Compliance Audit Services?
Now that you know what a compliance audit service is let’s dig into detail about its purpose and what it can do for your business. Here are four of its purposes in business:
Identify Risk Areas
A compliance audit will closely examine your business’s internal processes and procedures. The main purpose of the audit is to compare your processes to the standards dictated in compliance frameworks.
In this comparison, an audit can reveal areas of your processes or procedures that pose a non-compliance risk. After you learn about these risks, you can improve your program to meet compliance regulations.
With the help of an audit, you can improve your compliance procedures and protocols. Your business will avoid large penalties and fines by reducing any non-compliance risks and matching the required standards.
Show Commitment to Compliance
In addition to avoiding penalties like fines, you can preserve your business’s reputation. With the help of an audit, you can show your commitment to compliance and your ability to find and reduce possibilities of non-compliance.
After you have identified the risk areas in your business, you can make the necessary adjustments to remain compliant. A compliance audit is meant to help your business stay compliant by providing inspections outside of regular internal monitoring.
You ensure your business remains compliant over time by making these continuous improvements.
Different Types of Audits
Depending on what industry your business is in, it will be subject to different regulations. There are different types of compliance audits to match the standards of various regulations.
Businesses in the healthcare industry that handle consumers' sensitive health information are subject to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. HIPAA requires businesses to store and protect health information securely.
A HIPAA audit will review the business’s processes for handling and storing consumers' personal health information. The audit will review physical and digital methods to assess their security concerning HIPAA standards.
One of the most common types of audit is a financial audit. Finance businesses will be subject to laws like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) and others, which regulates a business's financial records.
A SOX audit, for example, will consist of a full review of the business’s financial reports and processes. SOX requires that businesses safeguard and report their financial data in regulation.
Another large sector that is subject to heavy regulation is the consumer data industry. Legislation like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) dictates how businesses use and collect consumer data.
A GDPR audit will observe a business’s data collection process and how they obtain a consumer's consent to collect their data.
All businesses are subject to human resources (HR) regulations and must comply with the standards for working conditions. Businesses will be subject to the regulations of their local state or federal laws for their treatment of employees.
Typically, HR audits review the conditions and compensation of employees. The audit ensures employees are paid fairly or subject to working conditions that meet stringent HR standards.
Best Compliance Audit Services
Enlisting the right audit service is just as important as the audit itself. Third-party compliance professionals can offer compliance audits and many other benefits for your business in a CaaS solution. Here are some of the best compliance audit services:
Captain Compliance offers compliance audits as well as a large number of other compliance services in one package. Our compliance solution covers all basis for any kind of business, using updated technology features to ensure complete compliance.
Captain Compliance offers in-depth audits to all companies, whether you’re in a high-risk industry like health or finance or a low-risk industry.
Captain Compliance provides a full review of your compliance program and will be committed to resolving any non-compliance risks for you.
What sets Captain Compliance apart is the wide range of services offered in one suite and the expert team of professionals that combine their knowledge to guarantee your business’s continued compliance.
LexComply is a technology-based compliance software that allows businesses to collaborate on one platform. LexComply offers a library of regulations for your business to monitor and use as a compliance standard.
LexComply offers risk management solutions and audits so that you can identify and mitigate risk areas immediately. The solutions can range from the most specific area of your business to the entire structure. You will have greater insights into your business’s compliance network and be able to assess and monitor it through one platform.
MasterControl is an automated auditing software to help your business ensure compliance with regulatory standards. MasterControl allows your compliance officer to access data and visualization tools to help understand the causes of any non-compliance risks.
MasterControl offers an easy-to-use audit calendar feature that makes for easy scheduling of regular audits for your business.
AuditBoard offers a global compliance service that allows you to comply with regulations in multiple states or countries. AuditBoard contains the full menu of compliance services from top to bottom so your business can create and maintain a compliance program in one place.
AuditBoard uses its auditing software to enable your business to identify risks and assess any discrepancies between your program and required standards.
What to Look for in Compliance Audit Services
The best compliance audit services will provide easy access and a wide breadth of tools for your business. You should research the services available and keep these key features in mind before using a compliance service for your business:
One of the most important things to look for in a compliance audit service is the methods used to detect non-compliance and stay updated with regular changes in laws and regulations.
A good compliance service will always know the latest changes to industry regulations and what your business must do to meet them.
You want to make sure your compliance audit service is knowledgeable of all required industry standards and the exact criteria to use when evaluating your business.
Expertise and Experience
To be able to effectively evaluate your business and offer insights, a compliance audit service must have a professional team operating it.
Only through combined knowledge of multiple fields and industry compliance regulations can an audit service offer a thorough audit.
Through audits, you can identify weaknesses in your compliance program and take steps to mitigate the risks. Experienced compliance professionals will be able to identify the risk and recommend actions to take to ensure compliance.
Reporting and Communication
Another important aspect of a compliance audit is that your business knows about the non-compliance risks present in your program.
An effective compliance audit service will have open communication and report all findings directly to the designated manager at your business.
Keeping you in the know is crucial to allow your business to develop mitigation and prevention measures and adjust your compliance program as necessary after an audit.
Scalability and Customization
Ideally, you should use a compliance audit service that can scale up or down as needed. Additionally, the types of audits should also be customizable within reason.
Receiving a review of your business as a whole will allow you to adjust your compliance framework on both a large and small scale.
Depending on the industry and your business's services, you may also require a precise analysis and review of your compliance program.
A good compliance audit service will be able to cater to the specific needs of your business.
How to Choose Compliance Audit Services & Expectations
The process of choosing a compliance audit service may seem complicated. However, understanding the process of how to choose one and what they will do can help your business create effective compliance programs.
Here are some steps to choose a compliance audit and what you can expect:
The first step for choosing a compliance audit service is to find the compliance audit service and contact them. This is where your business should research audit services that suit your needs the best.
After finding and contacting the service, you must schedule a time for initial meetings (if necessary) and schedule the audit. Some services may need access to the information required and can conduct the audit themselves.
Upon meeting with the auditing service, your business will likely be required to gather certain information. This can be training protocols, financial records, documents, etc.
All of this information will be used during the audit to assess your business’s compliance. You must gather all the required information the audit service describes before beginning the audit process.
Evaluation and Risk Assessment
The next step is the compliance auditor's evaluation of your business’s current infrastructure, security policies, safety protocols, data collection practices, etc. You can expect that the auditor will look in depth at your business's current operations and compare them to regulations and laws.
Depending on the service you hire, the auditor must come to your workspace in person. There are also fully digital audits where they only need access to your documents and records and can complete the audit independently.
Upon evaluating your business and understanding its operations, the auditor can point out any non-compliance risks or weaknesses in your system.
Analysis and Reporting
After completing the evaluation and risk assessment, the auditor will report their findings to your business’s compliance officer or operations manager. Their results will be in the form of a report that contains their findings.
When you receive their analysis, you can make adjustments according to the risk assessment they provided. Some auditing services will also offer suggestions and actions for your business to take along with their analysis.
Depending on the auditing service you enlist, they may continuously monitor your compliance program.
If any relevant changes to legislation affect your business, they will inform you so you will stay caught up. If the auditing service handles this independently, it allows your business to focus purely on other operations other than compliance.
Who Performs Compliance Audits?
Audits can be done by third-party audit services, often hired professionals. Certain governmental agencies will also perform audits to check if you’re eligible for a fine.
What Are The Areas That A Compliance Audit Looks At?
The contents of an audit will depend on your business and industry. A compliance audit can include your business’s security practices, record systems, safety protocols, infrastructure, procedures, and policies. These will be compared to industry-specific compliance frameworks.
What Is The Purpose of A Compliance Audit?
The purpose of a compliance audit is for an independent, unbiased party to evaluate your business’s procedures, protocols, and policies to see if they meet compliance standards dictated in laws and regulations.
What Is The Compliance Audit Process?
The compliance audit process will typically consist of contacting an independent auditor, setting up a first meeting, gathering required documents and materials, an evaluation, a report, and continual monitoring.
What Is A Compliance Audit Checklist?
A compliance audit checklist lists applicable standards that an auditor will use to measure a business’s compliance with the relevant regulations.
Your business should enlist the help of an independent compliance auditing service to maintain compliance with updated regulations and receive a new perspective on programs and current protocols.
Captain Compliance is an all-in-one compliance service suite where you can receive audits for your business, among many other compliance services.
By enlisting the help of Captain Compliance’s team of superheroes, you can rest easy knowing your business is in line with all required compliance regulations. Get in touch today!