As the focus on cybersecurity continues to rise, many organizations are realizing that maintaining compliance and keeping their systems safe can come with many challenges. While consolidating audits and auditors is one way to streamline the process, compliance management software is another.
More than nine out of ten organizations are now using audit software solutions, up from 71% in 2022, according to A-LIGN’s 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report.
In this blog, we will discuss the benefits of compliance management software and highlight some of the most popular and in-demand features and capabilities that organizations should consider when evaluating compliance management software.
What are the benefits of compliance management software?
Once an organization realizes the business value of compliance, they may want to implement more efficient compliance processes. Compliance management and audit software is one way that organizations can consolidate their audit process. The benefits of compliance management software include:
- Efficiency: Using compliance management and audit software has the obvious benefit of saving organizations time and improving their efficiency by streamlining the audit process. Organizations can reduce the internal resources required by automating tasks such as evidence collection and project management. This can help organizations to reduce costs, save time, and focus their resources on other important business activities.
- Consistency: Organizations can ensure that their audits are conducted consistently across different business units and locations by using a standardized audit software solution. Consistency can help to reduce the risk of errors in the audit process.
- Visibility: Compliance management and audit software can provide organizations with improved visibility into the audit process, such as progress tracking, status updates, and compliance assessments. By continuously monitoring compliance state, organizations can identify issues or gaps more quickly, and work to remediate these risks before they disrupt their business.
Overall, the use of compliance management and audit software solutions can provide organizations a competitive advantage by improving their efficiency, accuracy and decision-making.
How to evaluate compliance management software
When it comes to compliance management and audit software, there are a lot of options. A-LIGN’s 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report provides benchmarking data to help organizations determine the most popular and in-demand features for these solutions.
A-LIGN’s survey found commonly mentioned features, including:
- Evidence Collection: More than half of respondents reported that their compliance management software collects evidence required for their audit. A centralized approach to evidence collection can streamline what can otherwise be a time-consuming and complex process. Organizations can achieve even greater efficiency with automated evidence collection.
- Task Management: More than half of respondents reported that their audit software helps manage the process with features like task assignment, tracking, and reporting, which can help ensure audits are completed on time and with accountability.
- Gap Assessment: Almost half of respondents reported that their audit solution helps to assess gaps before the audit, which can identify potential compliance issues in advance, enabling organizations to address them proactively.
- Compliance Reporting & Analytics: Almost half of respondents reported that their audit software solution helps to prove compliance, which could include features such as automated reporting and analytics. Reports generated by the software can help demonstrate compliance and identify areas for improvement.
- Policy Implementation: Less than half of respondents reported that their audit software solution helps to implement policies needed for the audit, which could include features such as policy templates and workflows for policy review and approval. This also includes ensuring that policies and procedures are in place and up-to-date.
- Continuous Monitoring: Only about a quarter of respondents reported that their audit software offers continuous compliance monitoring, which can help identify issues in real-time and enable organizations to take corrective action more quickly. It is worth noting that continuous monitoring is now the most in-demand feature for organizations evaluating audit software solutions.
Ultimately, compliance management and audit software solutions can simplify, centralize, and organize audit processes that may otherwise be time-consuming and complex. Furthermore, more advanced solutions offer continuous monitoring and automated processes to enable even greater efficiency.
How to streamline the audit process with A-SCEND
A-LIGN’s automated compliance management software, A-SCEND, is an end-to-end audit solution. From readiness and evidence collection to reporting and certification (and more), A-SCEND streamlines the full audit lifecycle. Key features and benefits include:
- Automated Evidence Collection: Save time and resources.
- Cloud Integrations: Accelerate readiness to reporting.
- Continuous Monitoring: Reduce security and compliance risks.
- Policy Center: Access industry best practices at your fingertips.
- Automated Readiness Assessments: Get audit ready in half the time.
- Consolidated Audit Requests: Easily satisfy multiple audit requirements with one click.
To learn more about the strategic benefits of compliance, read A-LIGN’s 2023 Compliance Benchmark Report.
Contact A-LIGN to learn more about how A-SCEND can streamline your audit process to drive a competitive advantage for your organization.