As the business landscape grows more complex, so does the importance of robust conflict of interest (COI) management. In this article, we discuss how COI tracking software safeguards regulatory compliance, instills transparency, preemptively tackles potential conflicts, streamlines compliance management for efficiency, and provides comprehensive records for audits or legal disputes.
As the global web weaves tighter connections between individuals and organizations, minimizing the degrees of separation and increasing the potential for conflicts of interest. The phrase “six degrees of separation” pertains to the idea that two people can be linked together through six or less acquaintances. A game, based on this concept, is called, “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” in which players attempt to connect Kevin Bacon to another actor or actress by listing the fewest films connecting him to the actor/actress. For example, we can connect Michael J. Fox with Kevin Bacon in this way; Michael J. Fox was in Back to the Future 2 with Elisabeth Shue and Elisabeth Shue was in Hollow Man with Kevin Bacon. As the film industry grew and featured more films with Kevin Bacon, it became easier to connect him to other actors.
In the same way, through the expansion of the internet, the addition of social media, and apps like LinkedIn, the global business landscape has grown, allowing for greater connectivity between individuals and potential for conflicts of interest. As complexity increases in the business world, compliance management becomes more and more important, especially tracking conflicts of interests.
Following are five reasons why your compliance management efforts aren’t complete without conflict of interest tracking software.
Safeguarding Regulatory Compliance
COI tracking software helps businesses stay compliant with industry-specific regulations and laws, enabling organizations to define and enforce policies and procedures related to conflicts of interest, ensuring adherence to legal requirements. The types of conflicts that are tracked can be customized to align with specific regulatory frameworks, streamlining compliance reporting activities. By utilizing tracking software, businesses can minimize the risk of non-compliance and associated penalties or legal consequences. Organizations can maintain accurate and up-to-date records of conflicts of interest and the steps taken to address them, which demonstrates due diligence to regulatory authorities.
Instilling Transparency in Compliance Management
Allowing stakeholders, such as employees, investors, and regulatory bodies, to have visibility into the organization’s COI management processes, tracking software enables organizations to generate reports that give insight into each employee based on their own responses. Such transparency can build trust and confidence among stakeholders by showcasing commitment to ethical business practices and regulatory compliance. This transparency allows more individuals to view potential conflicts of interest and report them to protect the organization.
Preemptively Tackling Potential Conflicts
Acting on conflicts of interest after they manifest can be detrimental. However, COI tracking software’s early detection systems ensure immediate alerts on potential conflicts, promoting prompt action.
Such swift recognition enables businesses to resolve conflicts before they escalate, preserving both the organization’s integrity and stakeholder confidence. With this tool, companies emphasize proactive conflict management, ensuring a steadfast commitment to ethical operations.
Streamlining Compliance Management for Efficiency
In today’s dynamic business environment, the need for efficient compliance management cannot be understated. COI tracking software addresses this need by offering a centralized database. Instead of navigating multiple systems or leafing through heaps of physical files, stakeholders have access to a unified source of information, ensuring consistency and updated data across all departments or business units.
Furthermore, the automation capabilities of such software cannot be overstated. Routine tasks, such as sending disclosure forms or reminders, no longer rest on the shoulders of individual employees. These automated processes not only relieve manual burdens but also introduce a level of consistency and timeliness that manual operations often lack. Beyond automation, the software often provides customizable templates, simplifying the creation of new compliance tasks or projects. This is complemented by the real-time monitoring features most modern COI tracking systems possess, giving stakeholders a live overview of compliance statuses and potential areas of concern.
To make the system even more efficient, its design typically centers on user experience. With intuitive interfaces, employees can seamlessly navigate and utilize the software, minimizing the time traditionally spent on training and adaptation.
Providing Comprehensive Records for Audits or Legal Disputes
COI tracking software provides comprehensive records that can be crucial during audits or legal disputes. Instead of spending valuable time and precious resources on an effort to retrieve and gather documents, COI tracking software allows organizations to generate reports and documentation on conflicts of interest, actions taken to address them, and compliance activities. All aspects of the COI disclosure process (question sets, disclosure history, responses, and reporting) are saved, recorded, and easily accessible. These records serve as a valuable resource for regulatory inspections, internal audits, and in the event of legal disputes, they provide organizations with evidence to support their compliance efforts and decisions.
Effective COI Management Starts With COI Tracking Software
Utilizing a better system for tracking and managing conflicts of interest today sets your business up for success long into the future. ComplianceBridge makes it easy to create and coordinate the COI disclosure process from start to finish, giving you valuable insights into conflicts so you can address them before they become an issue.
Our state-of-the-art COI tracking software includes the following features:
- Regular COI disclosures (instantly distribute COI requests and set the frequency [annually or quarterly])
- Automated reminders and notifications (scheduled reminders that continue until employees complete assignments)
- Custom question sets (quickly build questionnaires with the ability to add conditions and external reference materials)
- Audit trails (all aspects of the COI disclosure process are saved, recorded and easily accessible to facilitate auditing)
- Assign evaluators (assign authorized parties to review and grade responses)
- COI manager dashboard (review and manage responses with the ability to identify trends and export data for additional analysis)
- Flag low compliance (users who fall below standards will be flagged by the system)
Request a demo with ComplianceBridge today to find out how your organization can take control of managing your conflict of interests.