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Compliance Reviews – How to Pass the HR Audit

Contributor: Robin Tholt, Account Executive

January 9th, 2023 | 4 min. read

By Tony Calavitta

Compliance Reviews – How to Pass the HR Audit

Many businesses do not realize that they are out of compliance until it’s too late. But, in this case, ignorance is certainly not bliss – compliance violations lead to hefty fines and expensive lawsuits.

Here at Combined, we understand that employment law changes all the time and without reliable people and easy-to-use technology, it can seem impossible to keep up.

Our skilled HR experts work round-the-clock to not only find workable solutions to your compliance problems but also to help you apply them.

And this important operation starts with a compliance review.

This article will explore compliance reviews – what they do, how they work, and why they are an effective tool for compliance regulation.

By the end of this article, you will know whether a compliance review could serve as a springboard to the solution you came here to find.

Being out of compliance causes problems for your business

Here are 3 problems you get when you’re out of compliance:

  1. The risk of failing a compliance audit
  2. Unnecessary fines and legal damages
  3. Consumer and employee distrust

All these problems are damaging to your business. Avoid these and other problems by using a compliance review.

A Compliance review could be the solution to your problems

Compliance is the process through which an employer makes sure that all of their company policies are in accordance with employment law. Because employment law is frequently changing, these company policies must also change frequently to match them.

When policy fails to match mandates, the penalties for violating compliance can be costly. In fact, a recent Global Scape study estimates that the cost of noncompliance in 2022 in the US totals a staggering $14.82 million.

So how can you avoid contributing to this already monumental statistic?

The answer: a compliance review.

What is a compliance review?

A compliance review is a third-party assessment of how effective your current compliance policies are.

Compliance reviews are an effective tool that can save a business from the consequences of compliance mistakes.

By helping businesses to develop an organized monitoring procedure, reviews offer a long-term, running solution for businesses to stay informed, up-to-date, and on top of changing employment legislation.

What – Compliance reviews assess your unique situation

A compliance review gives you insight into where your compliance policy stands.

In the classroom, an assessment is a way for an instructor to evaluate your level of comprehension. It is usually informal and not graded but can provide valuable information on where you stand as a student.

If you perform poorly on an assessment, you will need to address more material to get you up to speed on the subject matter. But if you perform well, less material will be required.

A compliance review works the same way – a business struggling or looking to maintain compliance can schedule a review. This assessment is informal, unreported, and conducted by a team of experts who are able to constructively put your compliance policy to the test.

Some aspects of employment law that a compliance review will look into include:

  • Regulatory compliance: Is your business following all applicable and industry-specific federal, state, and local employment laws?
  • HR compliance: Is your business concerned with its employees – does it adhere to legislation surrounding proper recruitment, hiring and firing, documentation, appropriate overtime payment, and employee benefits?
  • Data Compliance: Does your business collect and store data securely?
  • Health and Safety Compliance: Does your business provide a safe, hazard-free work environment?

As with the classroom scenario, your performance on this assessment will identify necessary information on which areas of compliance you already do well in, and which areas need improvement.

And with this information, you and your review team can build a strategy to make sure your business is and stays compliant.

How – Compliance reviews propose solutions, develop applications, and encourage monitoring

A compliance review will allow you to develop a personalized strategy for compliance success.

You now know where your compliance policies succeed and where they fall short – the next logical step is to create a plan that reinforces the strengths, addresses the weaknesses, and proactively monitors policies as employment law changes.

This plan and its application are the intended result of a compliance review.

By identifying problems, review experts can find workable solutions and help you apply them.

Back to the classroom scenario – do you need to review previous topics, do you need to practice additional problems, or do you need tutoring?

Just like this example, the extent of what you need and difficulty in getting the help your business needs will be personalized to the compliance problems identified in the initial assessment:

  • Does your business simply need an employee handbook makeover?
    Difficulty: Easy

  • Does your business need to update policy on and integrate employee documentation collection, filing, and storage?
    Difficulty: Intermediate

  • Does your business require extensive training and specialized coaching in compliance culture?
    Difficulty: Expert

This means that a compliance review will determine what help you need and put a custom program in place so that you have access to it – whether that be the assessment alone, regular advising, increased emphasis on accurate documentation, or a partnership for routine consulting and administration.

With an effective compliance program in place, your remaining task is to keep your business policies current with changing employment laws.

Your compliance review service can help you understand how to monitor your policies and make sure that they are always current with regulation changes. And given that regulations typically change every 6 months, this becomes priceless.

In effect, compliance reviews give your business the capacity to not just become compliant but to stay compliant as laws evolve.

Why – Compliance reviews can help you pass the audit

Compliance reviews prepare you for an audit – a personalized plan makes sure that your compliance policies are ready to be tested at all times.

The goal of maintaining compliance is to create a positive and productive business atmosphere.

But, again as in the classroom, a student’s goal is to pass their tests.

So, truth be told, when considering the goal behind regulating compliance, it's also to do the same – to pass an audit should it occur.

A compliance audit is a formal and reported investigation into a company’s employment practices and is usually conducted as a result of an employee grievance. Because an audit can unveil violations and result in fines, lawsuits, or both, it is imperative that a business always be prepared for one.

The compliance review process is a proactive answer rather than a reactive response.

Next steps to passing your audit by using a compliance review

Without an expertly regulated compliance policy, passing an audit is a tough feat.

In order to make sure you pass an audit, you need to establish and monitor compliant employment policy.

Luckily, utilizing a compliance review can make this an easily manageable task.

A compliance review does this by assessing your situation, developing a personalized approach to improvement, and monitoring and adapting to successive changes.

And here at Combined, our compliance experts want to help you with your compliance policies. We are determined to help you not just pass the compliance test but do so with flying colors.

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Schedule a compliance review with one of our experts today and bring your company’s policies up to speed.

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How will the new laws affect your company?

Watch the webinar to get the answers you need from a compliance expert.

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If you are not yet ready to speak with an expert, you may find these resources useful:


This article is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel for legal advice.