RSM Malta

2019 is the year to be compliant

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The requirement for compliance is becoming more demanding internationally within all industries, from financial services, remote gaming operators to insurance companies.

Regulations are becoming more stringent and seek to enforce compliance as industries continue to progress and grow.

Entities are being pushed to get on board the compliance train, doing otherwise would leave them falling behind and eventually facing harsh penalty fines, which would ultimately affect their operations and result in a greater cost from a financial and reputation risk perspective.

The reality is that Regulatory changes bring about several challenges to well established and growing businesses. As entities continue to implement new strategies for the upcoming year, such hurdles need to be taken into consideration.

When taking into consideration all obligations, stakeholders would start to question whether they have the necessary tools and resources to deal with all the requirements being demanded of them.

Therefore, entities may decide to implement an action plan to invest the relative tools, resources and seek support or choose to sail close to the periphery in order to "tick" the minimum requirements box. Entities opting for short term strategies would eventually come to a point, whereby, they will be left with no choice but to start investing in a stringent (yet practical) compliance program or continue to play catch up with the Regulations as they are further enforced.

All the above emanates from the mentality of the stakeholders as well as the understanding of accountability. Compliance and accountability naturally go hand in hand. Accountability and culture must adopt a top down approach, however, if key personnel are not aware that they too are accountable for any shortcomings of the organisation, the embedding of a compliance culture is not possible.

Implementing an action plan and embedding compliance in the organisation’s culture is a slow and steady process. So why not get on board?

The following are some initial processes organisations could adopt to start reaching their compliance goals and objectives this year:

1) Implement an action plan;

2) Evaluate and assess your current compliance position;

3) Devise a strategy and methodology to mitigate the identified risks;

4) Seek assistance and support;

5) Implement a compliance program.