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How to be good at compliance

Depending on which side of the fence you sit, business compliance, as a point of discussion, may not be the most exciting of subjects in the world. The simple fact is, however, that business compliance, understanding what it is, and implementing it correctly, is incredibly important.

So how do you make sure you do what's required without being strangled by red tape? Luisa Grey, Eazipay’s Director, shares some thoughts.

What is Compliance?
According to the International Compliance Association - yes, it really exists - compliance in a business setting is twofold. Firstly, it involves complying with a set of rules that are set for it externally by industry governing bodies, and secondly, complying with sets of rules that are set by the company itself to ensure it complies with the external rules.

That's not quite as complex as it sounds. It pretty much means ‘have systems in place so you don't do mess up.' For Eazipay that means we need to make sure we comply with the edicts laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and follow the rules of Bacs, amongst others.

How do you know what you need to do?
Naturally, the bodies which set rules vary from industry to industry. The FCA might be experts on ensuring no one breaks the rules in the financial sector, but put them in charge of fishing and they'd be all at sea. (If it's a fishing regulator you're after, by the way, I'd try the Fish Health Inspectorate, amongst others!)

Anyway, the point is that you need to know which body makes the rules so you can start the business of complying with them.

As well as industry specific regulators, some compliance bodies are native to almost every business environment. The Health and Safety Executive, for example, will take an interest in accidents at work.

And remember that compliance is about more than rules set by others. Does your company operate in a risky line of business or dangerous part of the world and if so, how are those risks controlled? What are the rules concerning new clients or large orders? It's a minefield. This, by the way, would require a whole other level of compliance!

How do you go about complying?
By this point, you should know which regulators control your business, the rules they expect you to meet and what you'll need to do to meet them. And any internal rules that you need to follow to ensure the health of the company.

But how do you comply?

Like so many aspects of business life, a company's attitude to business compliance comes from the top. If a distribution company boss does wheelies on a forklift, then his or her employees are going to adopt a similarly slovenly approach. The best written policy in the world is no good if everyone treats it like a Christmas list to Santa.

All directors and management must be fully aware of the policy and follow it to the letter. Depending on the size of the firm this could mean having a Compliance Director on the Board who can report to the other directors, or perhaps a Compliance Officer who is at a sufficiently senior level to have real clout.

Again, if the company is large enough you might need more than one officer to monitor that all staff are adhering to the rules. Perhaps an employee in every department with special responsibility for compliance?

Monitoring on its own may not be enough. Compliance audits may be needed.

Drawing up policies is key. While the rules may be clear and obvious, how to comply with them might differ from business to business. Each individual firm needs to have its own set of risk assessments and statements that not only fit the rules but are also practical to enforce. They need to be detailed too. A health and safety policy for a scaffolding company that reads 'don't fall off' probably needs a bit of work.

Training is also important. If your staff don't know what the rules are and how the company expects them to comply, the chances are that, much like an overweight human cannon ball, they'll fall short of the target.

Despite all the above, sometimes things will go wrong and outside help might be needed. There’s nothing wrong with that, far from it. In fact, the key to compliance is sometimes as simple as employing the right firm, or the right person, for the job. No matter how good we are we cannot all be experts in all fields!

Luisa Grey is a director of Eazipay Ltd, one of the UK’s largest and fastest growing automated payment processing companies. Eazipay provides regular Direct Debit collection and processing services to thousands of SMEs and corporate organisations in a wide range of market sectors throughout the UK, Europe and beyond.

For more information visit www.eazipay.co.uk


James Simpson
SkinViva Ltd
Wonderful company. They offer a very efficient service with a quick turnaround time between Direct Debits being processed and the funds being transferred to your business. They provide good reporting that has helped our business gain a better understanding of our own clients. We've been with Eazipay for several years and all throughout that time we have received great customer service that has a very personal feel to it. It can often feel like you're their only customer!


John Cashin Tuition
We have been using Eazipay for our private tuition business for approximately seven years and we couldn't be more impressed. Deciding to use Eazipay has been one of the best decisions we have made. It is so much easier for me now that I do not have to chase customers for payment, it's all done for us - like clockwork. The staff are so helpful, courteous, friendly and super efficient. A very professional service indeed. For me Eazipay are worth their weight in gold!


Mark Ward
Midland Tech
Midland Tech have been using Eazipay for nearly four years and the service has been excellent. It's easy to use, payments are received promptly, and customer service is very good. Emails are answered quickly, nothing is too much trouble, and everyone you deal with is very knowledgeable and friendly I would recommend Eazipay to anyone.


Oliver Thompson
We have been using Eazipay to take direct debit payments from our clients since 2008. As a long standing customer our business could just not run without the assurance that we are going to get paid on time. Eazipay has allowed us to grow our business without the hassles involved in collected numerous monthly payments. We really appreciate all the hard work and expertise that the team at Eazipay bring to our business. Thank you from everyone at CCCit


Andrew Straton
Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
Eazipay have been collecting Direct Debits on behalf of the Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club since 2009 and we have never looked back! It has made our administration, run entirely by volunteers, so much easier and saved us large amounts of cash by not having to post reminders to members every year. Thank you EAZIPAY, you do a great job and I would (and have) recommend you highly to anyone thinking of using a Direct Debit system in the future.


Emma Statham
We have been using the services that Eazipay Ltd offer for some years now and cannot recommend them highly enough. in a nutshell, they offer an incredibly professional, personal , and faultless service allowing us to collect direct debit payments from some of our customers, hassle free. Natalie Terris is our account manager, and she is helpful, friendly and knowledgable. All our queries are dealt with simply and swiftly. All the Eazipay processes we use are simple to use. We wouldn't go anywhere else- Thanks Eazipay! x


121 IT Services Ltd
We started working with Eazipay in September 2013 and since that time they have made both our clients and 121 IT's life so much simpler. The staff are great, friendly and very good at what they do. Would totally recommend them, thank you.


Mark Wyatt
Telecom Network Services
Telecom Network Services has been a customer of Eazipay for 14 years, since I started the business. The staff at Eazipay are outstanding, always efficient and process payments accurately and on time everytime! I recommend Eazipay Ltd, they are a great company to do business with.


Steven Bourne
We have been a client of Eazipay for over two years now and the service is excellent. There is always someone available on the end of the telephone to deal with any queries and it is a very professional set up. The way in which the system operates is very straightforward and we save hours of time and hassle compared with using the old method of standing orders. I would thoroughly recommend Eazipay to any business which wants to make collecting money easy!


Emma Martineau
Phones 4 Business started collecting payments by Direct Debit in 2007. We chose Eazipay and have never looked back. I daren't calculate how much time I have saved in using Eazipay and staying with them is a no brainer! Why change when I have such a good supplier? It is service that counts; Natalie Terriss and the whole team are always very friendly, efficient and reliable. I have no hesitation in recommending them.

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