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The dynamicity of compliance programs and its benefits

September / 2019

Currently, there has been a lot of talk about compliance, a term that comes from English, derived from the verb “to comply”, generally understood as being in conformity with rules – whether they’re legal or not. In Brazil, compliance gained strength especially since the enactment of Law n. 12.846/13 – popularly called Anti-Corruption Law – and Decree n. 8.420/15, responsible for formally incorporating it into the Brazilian legal system.

As compliance is a very popular mechanism these days, there are several ways to address it. Precisely because it is a very broad concept that has many variables – legal, commercial, accounting, tax and many others – there is plenty of room for customization and dynamism, which renders it possible to create various types of compliance "programs", seeking to meet different needs in different companies.

Such programs can, for example, contain points such as:

  • Verification of the company's regularity with the most varied legal, labor, financial, tax, regulatory, technical, environmental requirements and obligations, among many others;
  • Adjustments in the company’s board’s liabilities;
  • Introduction of a corporate governance program;
  • Provision of a whistleblowing channel for employees and third parties to expose and report any non-conformities found; and
  • Establishment of an ethics committee to investigate any irregularities related to the company and its employees.

Therefore, what are the benefits of having a compliance program in a company when considering its possible implementation’s obstacles and difficulties?

Among its many benefits, it is possible to mention:

  • The company’s safety in being in conformity with the most varied requirements and obligations;
  • Possible reduction of the incidence of sanctions, frauds and lawsuits against the company;
  • Greater comfort and convenience to the company’s employees;
  • Potential commercial appeal, considering that possible customers will be confident about the company's regularity or, at least, its commitment to do so;
  • Advantages in bidding procedures, which increasingly demands that competitors have compliance programs or gives advantages to those who have them; and
  • Possibility of other benefits, such as discounts on credit lines, greater credibility with the market, increased valuation in case of M&A, among others.

The benefits of compliance programs are intrinsically linked to its depth and scope, which are defined according to the company's interests. In this sense, there are situations in which the company only wants to have a formal compliance program, aiming to achieve a specific objective; just as there are realities in which the company really wants to make a change in its culture in order to apply ethical principles and ensure conformity in all its endeavors.

Regardless of the reasons behind the interest in a compliance program, it is important that the company has at its disposal a range of different options, modules and paths to follow, adopting a program that fully suits their needs and wishes.

vlm|a is at the disposal of its clients for more information on the subject.