Turn compliance into an opportunity with the support of technology

Jun 14, 2021

Let’s admit it: compliance has long been – and still is – considered a hurdle. Regulations change rapidly and compliance is complex, placing a heavy burden on financial and people resources. Are you, as a CFO, struggling to manage compliance in your organization? Turn it into an opportunity with the support of delaware and technology!

Governing processes as diverse as financial controls and reporting (SOX), privacy and data protection (GDPR), food and chemical safety rules and adherence to product and tax regulations: compliance is a very broad concept that takes different forms with different intents. Deep down, however, it always comes down to one principle: being able to act according to a set of rules and file accurate reports to prove your actions.

Three levels of compliance

“We distinguish three levels of compliance,” says Evelien Vanhooren, solution lead at delaware. “First of all, there’s the agreements and regulations that every organization has to comply with, like privacy or identity and access management rules. In addition, there’s an industry-by-industry focus: depending on the industry in which organizations are active, they may be subject to specific regulations. Food and chemical companies, for example, have to comply with the FDA or REACH regulations, respectively. Then there’s the domain level: a finance team has a large series of specific rules to comply with, as do purchasing, logistics and human resources.”

Experts at every level

delaware helps customers master compliance on all three levels. Evelien: “We don’t have one single compliance team. Customers will always get the support of expert consultants. General compliance topics like identity or access management, for example, are mainly covered by our colleagues from Infrastructure Services. Our vertical and domain experts, on the other hand, will help customers with industry- or domain-related compliance needs. Our finance team, for example, provide CFOs with solutions to simplify or automate tax, trade, safety and product compliance. If the finance office needs a solution to legally archive documents like e-invoices, we’ll join forces with delaware’s document management experts.”

Tools to ease compliance

Evelien highlights that delaware consultants are not legal advisors: “We implement or build the solutions our customers need to comply with legislation, rules or standards. ERP systems like SAP and Microsoft Dynamics 365 come with specific features or modules designed to make compliance easier. They help users to smoothly collect information spread across the organization, maintain up-to-date regulatory content, track registrations, deliver reports or automate certain compliance tasks, etc. In addition, there is a lot of specialized software to facilitate compliance in specific domains, like tax compliance software that provides organizations with accurate local and federal tax calculations, automated tax form filling and reporting.

Where required, we can develop a customized app or an add-on, like the Nutri-Score tool we built for Agristo. Last but not least, we ensure that the solutions are closely integrated into other systems. That’s a must to ensure consistent, reliable and, as such, compliant results.”

"Our consultants help customers define their needs, implement or build the solutions they need and ensure integration into other systems."

Evelien Vanhooren, solution lead

How compliance adds value

When it comes to ensuring compliance in finance, delaware works according to its finance transformation roadmap. More than offering CFOs assurance that their workflows are compliant, technology solutions also drive efficiency and effectiveness. “When businesses take it one step further still and connect their compliance processes with their corporate strategy, then they will be able to add real business value. Compliance can help to strengthen their brand image or even open up opportunities to target new markets and gain a true competitive edge,” Evelien concludes.

Safe and legally compliant archiving

Invoices, financial records, tax forms, contracts, certifications: we no longer store them in rows of filing cabinets and towers of storage boxes. Yet, the digital documents we exchange today have to be archived just as safely and securely as their paper counterparts – or rather, even more safely, as privacy and security regulations are becoming ever more stringent.

Legal storage: 4 criteria

“There is a big difference between digital storage, which we all handle using  Google Drive, MS OneDrive or SharePoint solutions, and compliant archiving,” explains Carol Van der Donck, Enterprise Information Management Solutions manager. ”Document storage is only legally compliant when it meets strict rules and procedures for scanning, indexing and archiving. Digital records have to be stored for several years and in various formats to ensure readability over time; access should be restricted to ensure data security, and all activities involving the documents have to be fully traceable. Only when these criteria are met digital solutions replace your physical archives.”

Harmonization across EU

With the eIDAS regulation, the EU made electronic interactions between businesses safer, faster and more efficient. That has made it easier for member states to exchange, store and archive digital documents, as the same rules apply in every country. “eIDAS legislation is a huge leap forward, as there’s now clarity regarding how to legally sign and store electronic documents, and the rules apply for every member state. This allows organizations to set up solutions shared across European geographies and benefit from economies of scale,” says Carol.

Document management made easy

delaware provides document management solutions based on OpenText software to help customers legally store any type of document. “While digital is most common these days, many companies still have to process a mix of paper invoices, various file types that arrive by email and structured e-invoices. We can help them manage all three with ease: paper documents are scanned, digital documents are ingested automatically, every document is signed electronically, all actions are registered, and the process is documented and watertight. As a result, digital documents are safe, secure, always accessible from within the core business processes in a fully transparent, legally compliant way, not only today but also 10 or 100 years from now. In this way, we help our customers realize digital transformation, also specifically for legal and industry compliance, in an effortless way.”

"We can ensure that all digital documents are safe, secure, always accessible and legally compliant, not only today but also 10 or 100 years from now."

Carol Van der Donck, Enterprise Information Management solutions manager

Interested to discover how your organization could ease or automate compliance?

get in touch