For businesses that are wondering what GRC means, you need to know that it is something that your business cannot live without no matter how small it is. At some point, your business will require activities that stretch beyond just the good or service that it provides. Simply stated, GRC is the backbone of your business and you need to focus on it every bit as much as you do on making money.
The first element of GRC is governance. This can involve a wide variety of functions that relate to running your business. For example, it can include the information technology function that underpins your business. Your systems and technology can either give you an advantage over your competitors or can set you behind. Investing in this area is vital for the success of your business. In addition, this area can include human resources and other vital functions such as audit. This area is essentially the critical infrastructure that your business needs to operate on a daily basis. Without this function, your business will lack an underpinning to both provides its goods and make sales.
A business will have any one of a number of risks, many of which are existential issues. For example, the business can have financial or credit risk. Businesses must be conscious of their exposure to various other entities. If your business relies on one major supplier, you will always be in danger if that supplier experiences financial issues and goes out of business. Similarly, if you have extended credit to a major customer, your business will be in jeopardy if that customer goes bankrupt and cannot pay their bills. Another risk is that of fraud. If your systems are hacked or your business is otherwise defrauded, your finances can suffer greatly. Risk management is an effective strategy to ward off or manage all of these dangers and keep them from curtailing your day-to-day operations.
The regulatory environment facing business changes frequently. Companies are subject to any number of laws and regulations. When you are dealing with regulatory obligations, not knowing the requirements is not a defense when you have failed to comply. Not only can legal issues cause you expensive headaches, but they can also result in reputational risk your company. More than ever, companies need to institute effective compliance strategies for tracking and following these obligations. This can involve proactively engaging legal help or purchasing an effective system for managing these issues. This is an area that businesses cannot attempt to cut back on in an effort to save money. Even though this is not a revenue-generating part of the business, failure to spend here will cost you more than you save.
How to Focus on GRC
The most important thing to remember when addressing GRC is never to attempt to go it alone. GRC is where someone else’s expertise can be worth its weight in gold. While it may take you countless hours dealing with an area with which you are not familiar, a dedicated system or consultant can save you both time and money. Business owners should not attempt to cut corners here, but instead should proactively seek help. What you spend now can save you headaches down the road and will free you up to focus on what you do best.