Compliance and Ethics: An Investment, Not a Cost

Corporate Compliance and Ethics Week places the spotlight on the importance of examining your company and its accordance with industry laws and regulations. Standards are constantly changing due to the increasing accessibility of private information. Having the time or budget to do an audit can be overwhelming. It is tempting to assume that your current resources are up to par and push-off a compliance and ethics audit until a later date. However, compliance can and should be viewed as an investment rather than a painful expense.

The first and foremost risk of not performing an audit is data security. Non-compliance results in risking the integrity and vulnerability of your data. The cost of downtime, deploying backups, and possible loss of sales are among the financial costs of not investing in your company’s compliance and ethics. In addition, you run the risk of being fined by an industry agency.

In the healthcare industry, non-compliance can cost far more than an audit and system upgrade – fines are frequently levied against offenders in the hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Perhaps even worst is the impact to your company’s reputation, costing untold revenue.

While you can see an audit and compliance upgrade as a painful cost now, consider it as an investment. It will cost the company in the short run to audit and update their practices but by remaining compliant, your company reaps a host of financial and intangible benefits. A clear compliance program builds trust, proving your dedication to doing business the right way. Furthermore, remaining compliant will instill confidence in your customers that you can be relied on to keep their data as safe as possible. A compliant company is also more likely to be engaged by new clients, resulting in future revenue.

Compliance is a solid investment in your company’s future. The cost of employee training, business continuity plan development, and other proactive efforts are typically less expensive than the cost of a fine resulting in a breach of ethics or compliance.

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