This is the next post in a series of articles discussing the importance of compliance programs for Olympia or Tacoma, Washington businesses. The previous article focused on compliance with internal policies and procedures. Developing policies and procedures outlining your expectations and guidance for employee behavior can help minimize violations of laws, rules and regulations. Ensuring that employees are trained about the contents of the applicable policies and taking action when violations occur may reduce a company’s legal risk. An experienced corporate attorney can help identify which laws apply to your business and prepare policies and procedures that fit your business’ needs. In this post, we will focus on another key element of a successful compliance program: periodic internal compliance audits. If your business needs assistance, contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
A compliance audit is a review of a company’s existing policies and procedures as well as applicable laws and regulations to measure how well the business is meeting the standards. Depending upon a company’s industry, ownership structure and a multitude of other factors, the laws, rules and regulations that apply to a business may be different. For that reason, compliance audits will vary from company to company. Regardless of the format, audits should be conducted periodically as a proactive tool to manage a business’ legal risk. An in-depth review will help identify potential areas of concern and allow the company to develop strategies to correct problems. Audits often help prevent possible violations of laws or regulations resulting in potential fines and other penalties. They may also result in opportunities to streamline business practices, save other costs or be more efficient and competitive. An experienced compliance attorney can assist your internal staff in conducting a compliance audit or can manage the audit on your company’s behalf.
If you need assistance developing a compliance program or conducting a compliance audit, contact our office to speak with an Olympia lawyer. The firm also services the Thurston County cities of Lacey, Tumwater, and Yelm, the Pierce County cities of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Lakewood, the Lewis County cities of Centralia, and Chehalis, the King County cities of Seattle, Auburn, Bellevue, Burien, and Federal Way, as well as other areas in Washington, including Grays Harbor, Mason, Cowlitz, and Pacific Counties.