What is GRC? (Governance, Risk Management & Compliance)

The governance, risk management, and compliance system has one main goal - to increase both communication and efficiency within the organisation.
November 10, 2021

What Is GRC? (Governance, Risk Management & Compliance)

If your business doesn’t have a GRC plan and your problems are not getting solved, the snowball effect can take place, turning those problems into disasters. A system needs to be put in place in order to monitor for problems, and inform the related areas of these problems so they can deal with them as they arise. In other words, there needs to be a plan, and a well-organised GRC system can help.

How Did it Start?

While GRC may sound complex, the GRC meaning is simple (Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance). GRC has been around for a while, as a way to help scale businesses. It didn’t have its current name originally, however, when various business scandals occurred in 2002, it was suddenly realised that code-of-conduct and regulatory enforcements were needed to be a part of everyday business operations, and thus GRC as we know it was formed. It is a way to be proactive when it comes to problems within the company and to think of long-term solutions to those problems, in order to avoid them in the future.

The governance, risk management, and compliance system has one main goal - to increase both communication and efficiency within the organisation. It is there to eliminate repetition and create the most efficient and effective workplace possible, while having systems in place to handle problems as they arise.

Here is a little more detail about each of its components:

  • Governance - This has to do with how a specific organisation manages all of its processes, relationships, etc., on a high level. The way the organisation makes and implements decisions is affected by how they govern their employees, stakeholders, etc. When you hear the term “governance” within the GRC system, it usually refers to corporate governance.
  • Risk Management - Managing your risks is essential within any organisation because it directly affects every aspect of the business. Within GRC, it refers to a set of very specific processes devised to identify, analyse and respond effectively to every potential risk within the organisation. For the best results, the company has to include a very specific plan to handle all potential risks.
  • Compliance - Complying with various regulations, laws, and standards is a way to protect your organisation from penalties and avoid legal costs, along with tarnishing your brand image. After all, laws and regulations are setup for good reason and compliance should be your first priority when implementing a GRC system.

If your business has a GRC program in place, but your problems arn’t being effectively dealt with, Wise Group can help. We’ll help you focus on the right issues and make sure that you never fall out of compliance, which can happen faster than you think.

We will also personalise your program by taking your reputation, customer base, and ethical content into consideration. A personalised GRC program will empower your organisation and teach you what you need to know to make the program a success.

GRC Programs Today

In the past, GRC programs were all in written form and the binding regulations were published regularly so that everyone at the organisation was aware of them. These days, regulators often cannot keep up with the changes because today’s climate involves social media, where consumers often act as “regulators” as they respond to and describe corporate missteps, sometimes immediately after encountering them.

When your organisations brand reputation is negatively impacted due to a decision (whether legal or illegal) your reputation also suffers. As social media gives everyone a voice and a platform for it, businesses have to be more careful than ever. 

Things to Know About GRC Programs

In addition to asking, what is GRC? You might be wondering why you need it if you feel that everything in your organisation is running smoothly. The truth is that there is always a potential risk. Remember, GRC is a proactive tool that helps you reduce the odds of severe risks happening or smaller risks becoming more impactful.

With this tool, you can identify gaps in order to fill them before a serious issue occurs. It also allows you to make sure that all of your security policies are up to date and being followed.

Now you might be wondering, how do you implement a GRC program? The most common way is through special software that helps define your requirements and outline a specific plan personalised to meet your needs, ensuring the program can be put into place quickly.

When using certain technology and software, it becomes easier to execute these efforts and break down the barriers that tend to create difficult environments. The software itself will simplify the process and enhance performance, allowing you to make sure that all of your business goals are achieved.

Some of the things possible with GRC software programs include:

  • Using configurable risk assessments to identify the critical risks within your organisation
  • Using alerts, tasks, and reminders so that the right people are engaged in every step of the risk process
  • Storing all data in one convenient centralised framework (along with having a backup server)
  • Using taxonomy technology to break down data, to learn the connections between your risks and your goals
  • Using custom dashboards and reports to deliver great presentations and the use of GRC tools, such as risk control matrices and heat maps
  • Discovering your organisation’s vulnerabilities so that it is more secure
  • Using to-do lists that are easy to access and track the status of all of your responsibilities at the same time

Why Choose a GRC Program for Your Organisation?

Even if you don’t feel like your organisation needs it, modern GRC management tools have a lot of advantages over other systems, including data-rich spreadsheets. They make your organisation run smoothly and greatly reduce the risks of something going wrong.

Let’s take a look at these benefits in a little more detail.

  • 24/7 Automation -With hundreds of regulatory updates coming out almost daily, it is impossible to keep up with them without an automated software system. And since it’s automated, you can easily increase the productivity of your team and reduce the likelihood of human error.
  • Personalised Approach - When you need to identify, measure, and even remediate risk throughout your organisation, the task is simply easier when the software is programmed to suit your business needs.
  • Reporting - Spreadsheets are cumbersome and can make it difficult to manage your GRC tools, but software doesn’t have that problem. All parties in the compliance process find it easier to collaborate with one another, and it makes it easier to track activities, set deadlines, and much more.
  • Efficient Onboarding & Integration - Today’s GRC software makes it easy to learn the system with detailed tutorials, webinars, and all types of other training. The user interface is simple and efficient, and it helps manage compliance data across all of your teams.
  • Monitoring & Reporting in Real-Time - With this software, you don’t have to wait until your team finishes their tasks before running a report or analysing the data. Everything is done in real-time in order to give you a true picture of how your organisation is doing.
  • Financial Savings - Handling governance, risk management, and compliance the old-fashioned way costs both money and time, but the right software saves on both of these things. Technology makes things more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Increased Security - Most GRC tools offer encrypted data storage and secure data transfers. No more saving Excel spreadsheets to multiple users computers, leaving you more exposed to cybersecurity threats.

Indeed, risk management in most organisations is a constant threat, so taking a proactive approach is your best course of action. As social media customers can now tell the world about anything that went wrong when they utilised your products or services, it is more important than ever before to make sure that your management of risks is top-notch. The last thing you want is for your business to be tarnished due to something you could’ve taken steps to eliminate or reduce the impact.

If you’re interested in learning more about a GRC program, contact us today and we would be happy to answer your questions and discuss how our expertise can best help you.