In this special five-part podcast series, hosted by Gan Integrity, we consider the evolution of compliance, from disconnected to connected. Over five episodes we will explore why compliance is disconnected and what can be done to connect it, how to build a connected compliance program, technology can help in this endeavor and finally what is the human side of compliance in the context of connected compliance. The series is a fascinating exploration of where compliance is in 2019 and where it is headed down the road. In this second episode, I visit Thomas Sehested, the founder and CEO at Gan Integrity to consider how he advocated that compliance should be connected under one roof, from his perspective as a serial entrepreneur in the tech sector.
It is this perspective that Sehested brings to the compliance arena that I find so helpful to the compliance practitioner. He said that he sees many technological solutions to other corporate disciplines, such as Human Resources (HR), finance and sales, but he sees a lack of systems that integrate compliance work processes which enable a compliance professional to generate statistics to demonstrate to senior management to validate what the compliance function is doing on a day to day basis. He stated, “When we looked at compliance, we know we didn’t see that functionality. We saw a lot of great point solutions that would handle your hotline, gifts, travel and entertainment expenses and your training of your employees. The disconnectedness came from the situation where there really was not a system that had all of this in one platform.”
In Sehested’s view, connected compliance “enables a CCO and all those people in the organization working with compliance, to have one central place, a one system of record for everything they do.” This can be their whistleblowing hotline, case management, training of their employees or training of their vendors policy. It is literally connecting them all so they are running from one central location and these disparate systems can be monitored from one central location. He put it as, “really like getting everything under one roof.”
I was struck by that metaphor, “getting everything under one roof”, as one of the struggles many compliance officers have is that the information they need is literally siloed across different functions of the company. Information can be contained in the sales function, where there may be employee expense data, information on marketing expenses or charitable donations may be in the sales organization but it could be spread among other corporate functions as well.
The GAN approach is to plug into these systems and transfer the data to one platform, so that the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) will have a consolidated view. From the technology perspective, this is designed to foster ease of efficiency for the compliance professional to access data. Sehested also believes this moves past simply the CCO or compliance function. It can elevate into senior management and the Board of Directors as well.
By having information on an integrated platform, presented in a visual format, a Board can more directly engage in its role of oversight of the compliance function. The Board can see the bigger picture at the strategic level and also drill down into the tactical level if it so desires.
For the C-Suite, it fosters a more effective compliance regime which can assist a business to run more efficiently and, at the end of the day, more profitably. Moreover, by having this data, a CCO can present information to those making business decisions to help them move the business forward to run it more efficiently. Sehested added, “information is really key here. If you are not dealing with all the information, it becomes very hard to make decisions. But if you consistently have a 30,000 foot view, a picture of your organization, you’re able to communicate that effectively, swiftly from your iPad, your phone, wherever you are to management when they need it. Not two weeks later.”
Join us tomorrow when explore how to construct a connected compliance program.
For more information on how connected compliance, visit our sponsor Gan Integrity Solutions, Inc. at www.ganintegrity.com.