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Companies, directors and officers are operating in an environment
of ever-increasing laws and regulations — and breaking them can
have dire consequences. Make sure your business plays it safe by
creating an effective compliance program.
Failure to adhere to the constantly increasing list of laws and regulations may
subject companies and employees to substantial fines, penalties and consequences,
up to and including imprisonment. Fortunately, various U.S. and international
laws provide companies with a defense or an opportunity to mitigate fines and
penalties if they have an effective compliance program, which should consist of
the following elements: Ethical Culture: Promote an organizational culture that
encourages ethical conduct and law compliance; Risk Assessment: Periodically
assess the risk of criminal and unethical conduct and modify the program to reduce
risk; Policies & Procedures: Establish and distribute standards and procedures to
prevent and detect criminal and unethical conduct. Training & Communication:
Continuously train and communicate on standards and procedures to ensure
comprehension, endorsement and adherence; Reporting & Investigations: Maintain
a mechanism whereby allegations of criminal and unethical conduct may be
reported on a confidential and anonymous basis without fear of retaliation;
Monitoring & Auditing: Conduct monitoring and auditing to detect criminal and
unethical conduct and evaluate the effectiveness of the program. Although an
effective compliance program can require substantial effort, doing so will reduce
the risk of regulatory violations and unethical behavior at your organization while
providing a stronger defense against enforcement actions and strengthening your
organization’s shareholder, customer confidence and public trust and loyalty.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard Montes de Oca is the Managing Partner of MDO Partners, a
boutique law firm that focuses on Corporate, Real Estate & Immigration
Law as well as Global Compliance & Business Ethics; 175 SW 7th St., Ste.
1900, Miami; 305.704.8452, MDOPartners.com.
32 Be Prepared
Don’t wait until next April to think about tax time: Preparing
should begin right with the start of the fiscal year. These 3
apps provide useful tools to help make sure your dealings
with the IRS stay headache-free.
Still stuffing receipts into manila
folders or Excel spreadsheets?
There’s a handier way. Shoeboxed
lets you submit them via
email, web upload or even your
smartphone, then files and tracks
them for you; Shoeboxed.com.
Did you drop that old couch, car or
electronics off for a charity donation?
It can save you big come tax time. Use
iDonatedIt to track what you’ve given and
what it was worth, along with photos for
your records; iDonatedIt.com.
You’ve done all the work: Now
where’s that refund check? Track how
close you are to getting your cash
with IRS2Go, a handy app provided
by the IRS that shows you just when
to expect your money; Apps.USA.gov.