It is of vital importance that you stay up to date on business regulations in your sector to keep pace with new rules and practices. Compliance with business regulations should never be compromised because there can be serious repercussions for a company if it is discovered that there is a lack of compliance.
Failure to comply with regulations can result in huge fines in some industries, and compliance is important from business start-up through to sale. If a business is found to be ignoring some part of business law it can result in negative publicity that can damage a business image and brand permanently.
Large businesses manage to stay on top of regulatory changes by having a dedicated compliance officer who will often be educated in a relevant field of law and will monitor the press and business news websites daily to learn of important changes.
Smaller companies will often incorporate compliance into the Human Resources department and tasks will be shared. For small businesses and sole traders, however, compliance can be difficult. Unfortunately, difficulty in keeping up to date with the latest changes is not an excuse for failing to follow regulations.
Large companies are not immune to compliance failures. In August 2012, Pfizer was charged by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the US when one of its foreign subsidiaries was found to be bribing doctors and healthcare officials in exchange for guaranteed orders. It cost Pfizer $60 million to settle.
In 2008, the German electronics company Siemens was fined $1.6 billion by the US and German authorities when eight former executives were caught in a $100 million bribery scheme.
In both of these cases it was poor management in satellite offices that resulted in those breaches. Bribery, however, is certainly not the only action that can result in hefty penalties.
Stay current and boost business
Staying current can be a major factor in businesses making a huge amount of progress in their industry. There are a variety of ways in which this can help an organization to move ahead of its competitors.
The best way to ensure that you get the latest regulations news is to follow the most important news websites in your industry. Many people will actively updates pages on Twitter and Facebook, as well as their own websites, when important changes come into effect.
Many business sectors also have regular news magazine that will provide important updates. Take the time every month to read through the magazines, look at the most important websites and check new posts on social networking sites such a LinkedIn for news of changes. Also check general news concerning important people in your business, such as Francesco Corallo news from prnewswire.co.uk.
Another effective way to keep an eye on your industry is to use automated internet search services such as Google Alerts. Google Alerts allows you to enter a web search terms and then whenever Google indexes new results you will be sent an email. You can add as many alerts as you wish to cover specific terms.
A general search of [compliance small business] for example, will show general changes to regulatory framework that might affect any small businesses. A search for [compliance retail] will provide the latest pages that have compliance stories relating to retail.
Many websites also provide RSS feeds that you can subscribe to by email. Chose several different methods for gathering news and be sure to add compliance checks to your monthly agenda. Failure to comply with a regulatory change could be harmful to your business.