Prioritize continuous education on evolving regulations, fostering a compliance-oriented culture within the organization. ~ Michael Branover, Business Development Director, Branover Contractors Inc
Navigating the labyrinth of industry regulations is a critical skill for today’s professionals. From a Director of Digital Marketing’s advice on SaaS tax compliance to a Communications Manager’s insights on software export controls, we’ve compiled the wisdom of nine experts, including CEOs and directors, to guide you through complex regulatory compliance.
- Navigate SaaS Tax Compliance
- Prioritize Training for PPA Regulations
- Leverage Security Maturity Models
- Stay Updated on Data Compliance
- Understand University Regulatory Changes
- Engage Experts for Data Protection
- Implement a Content Review Process
- Establish a Robust Compliance Framework
- Ensure Accurate Software Export Controls
Navigate SaaS Tax Compliance
Tax laws get complicated for SaaS businesses, so we navigate those waters carefully to ensure we remain compliant. Seven American states tax SaaS as a product, while 24 other states consider SaaS as a service provider, which comes with different rules and obligations. And that’s only within America itself.
When you expand internationally, you can’t afford to rush compliance efforts—you need the best experts in the industry to ensure you’re staying compliant and keeping your business safe.
Prioritize Training for PPA Regulations
When new PPA regulations emerged, we ensured full compliance through staff training, contractual updates, and vigilant deal audits. No shortcuts—regulatory mistakes erode client trust and company reputation.
For example, we delayed a $90 million solar project closing by three weeks to integrate the new disclosures into our financing agreements. I advise others to take an overly cautious approach, no matter the time investment required. You’ll avoid painful oversights down the road.
Leverage Security Maturity Models
Cybersecurity compliance is now a key expectation among customers. Most expect software firms to have ISO 27001 and SOC 2 certificates. These certifications are very complex to manage because there are a lot of things you need to keep an eye on.
Additionally, if you comply just for the sake of compliance, you may not actually be implementing the fundamental, mature security processes, leading to wasted efforts from a security perspective. We learned that good security is not a byproduct of regulatory compliance, both for our customers and for ourselves. Instead, regulatory compliance is an easy byproduct of good security.
But then, how do you achieve good security cost-effectively and ensure you keep track of the battlefield? In our experience, it is best to use a security maturity model such as OWASP SAMM. This gives you a clear overview of the maturity of the processes and helps you develop a roadmap for further fundamental improvement. Documenting everything under OWASP SAMM makes compliance efforts very easy.
Stay Updated on Data Compliance
Working in the field of data analytics and website insights means that I have to carefully navigate complex regulatory compliance regarding my customers’ data. My advice to those in the same industry, or any niche that requires dealing with consumer data, is to be well-versed in data compliance rules and regulations.
Stay on top of the updates so that you can adapt your practices accordingly. When it comes to dealing with data, especially that of other people, it is always better to err on the side of caution.
Understand University Regulatory Changes
We’ve followed all regulatory requirements and guidelines in the college admissions industry to ensure our clients receive the best possible services. However, different top-tier universities have different rules and regulations, and many have introduced new compliance measures after the pandemic. We had to navigate this complex web of rules to continue providing our clients with top-notch services.
One example was when we had a client who wanted to apply to multiple Ivy League universities. Each university had specific requirements and deadlines that needed to be met to ensure the application was not rejected. Other schools had different requirements, such as additional essays or letters of recommendation. My student was overwhelmed, and I had to step in and help them navigate through the maze of regulations.
This experience taught me a valuable lesson—always stay updated on regulatory compliance changes in your industry. I recommend that others in similar positions stay vigilant and regularly check for any regulation changes or updates. It’s also crucial to have a solid understanding of the requirements and deadlines set by various institutions. I’ve found it helpful to create a checklist for each client, outlining all the necessary steps and deadlines they need to meet.
Engage Experts for Data Protection
Recently, enhanced data protection legislation could have nearly derailed a time-sensitive client deliverable. European team members required explicit consent forms to be finalized before sharing project files through our typical channels.
With no legal background personally, I tapped into our advisory network to rapidly construct minimally viable agreements, allowing progress while engaging subject matter experts long-term to bolster governance. In volatile situations, the key I would advise is to avoid analysis paralysis while also bringing in specialized perspectives to unravel your issues.
Temporarily simplify, if required, to move your project forward responsibly. But dedicate resources to clarifying the exact regulatory implications for lasting protocols that allow above-board scaling.
Implement a Content Review Process
The beauty and cosmetics sector is subject to extensive regulation. Everything from the wording used in advertising to the ingredients in the products themselves is under close examination to ensure consumer safety. These regulations are embedded in every aspect of our work, including our copywriting, product reviews, and the cosmetology advice we provide. Along the way, we’ve gained valuable insights.
Regardless of your location, complying with the advertising regulations specific to your region is essential. For instance, in the UK, we follow the guidelines set by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), and in the EU, compliance is governed by the European Parliament, particularly under Regulation Number 1223/2009.
To maintain the quality and compliance of our marketing materials, we’ve established a comprehensive content review process. After creating an initial draft, the material undergoes scrutiny from another member of our marketing team before being submitted for further approval within the organization. It’s important to strike a balance because excessive revisions can sometimes lead to substantial alterations, making the content unrecognizable from its original form.
I recommend, at the very least, implementing a three-stage approval process: an initial review by the author, followed by a peer review, and finally, a check by a legal expert or senior team member.
Establish a Robust Compliance Framework
Navigating complex regulatory compliance in my industry requires a meticulous approach. When faced with intricate regulations, it’s crucial to establish a robust compliance framework. Prioritize continuous education on evolving regulations, fostering a compliance-oriented culture within the organization. Regularly conduct internal audits to identify and rectify potential compliance gaps.
Collaborate with industry peers, leveraging shared insights and experiences. Embrace technology solutions that streamline compliance processes, ensuring accuracy and efficiency. This multifaceted strategy not only helps maintain compliance but also positions the organization to adapt swiftly to regulatory changes.
Ensure Accurate Software Export Controls
Our technology firm, which specializes in the development of advanced encryption software, is subject to rigorous export control regulations. In our approach, we work closely with attorneys to ensure accurate product classification and the acquisition of all required licenses.
We also provide frequent training to our sales and development personnel to help them understand the consequences of noncompliance. It is my firm belief that precise product categorization and comprehensive knowledge are of the utmost importance for technology enterprises navigating export regulations. Make sure you’re in complete compliance with all international trade rules by working with lawyers and training your employees.