With the continuous tightening of regulations in the accounts receivable industry, the need to adapt and change in order to meet compliance standards within the accounts receivable management (ARM) industry should be the first priority of every company. This company-wide viewpoint indicates that the responsibility for compliance falls upon the shoulders of everyone in the company. However, different levels of responsibility are required, from the senior managers to middle management to the front-line workers.
The most important part of compliance is the involvement of senior leadership. Are they involved in a meaningful way in the compliance direction for the company? When they set the tone the others will follow. Have they shown a clear path and compliance expectations for everyone in the organization? Do they demonstrate that they hold themselves just as responsible, if not more, for compliance? Are they getting regular reports? Do they investigate discrepancies and offer compliance training and improvement rather than assigning blame?
Managers (both middle and front-line) have the responsibility to disseminate the compliance policies to their employees and ensure that they are followed. Do they have clear policies and procedures? Have they shared those policies and procedures with their staff? Do they have regular training to ensure their employees feel confident in their compliance activities? Are regular audits and reviews set up? Are the employees accountable for compliance and is it a meaningful part of their compensation package? Is there a consumer-centric complaint response process? If an internal or external audit is initiated, can data be produced quickly and easily to demonstrate compliance up to current codes?
The front-line people are the first line of compliance. They must feel that they are a critical part of the team and that they are participating in keeping the company in compliance. Managers can not just tell the employees what or what not to do. They also have to tell them why. For the front-line people to understand their compliance boundaries they must understand the framework. Training should be part of every floor meeting and reinforcement should happen throughout the day. A comprehensive training program has expense but the cost of non-compliance is much higher. If you walk into different departments in your organization, your employees should be able to explain what is required of them for compliance and the policies they are responsible for upholding.
In summary, compliance is the responsibility of everyone in the organization. Whether it is your front-line team making sure every call can pass the compliance test, your middle managers providing compliance training, or your senior managers setting policy and requiring compliance throughout your organization; everyone must be committed to compliance.