Operational Mode Is a Low-Stress Way to Prepare for Your Annual Compliance Audit

One morning you sit down at your computer, take a sip of coffee, open your calendar, and see the reminder. Oh boy, here we go again. Your annual compliance audit is looming.

If you’re like most organizations, you have an annual audit season that’s punctuated by scrambling like mad to get your act together. There’s the hunting and gathering of evidence, the quarterly vulnerability scans that never got run or completed in time, and about two months’ worth of daily log reviews outstanding. Nothing is in the right place, and two of your key team members have moved on from your company since the last audit.

You’ve got your work cut out for you, and it’s not inconceivable that you won’t pass the audit.

Related reading: Turn Your Annual Compliance Push Into a Flywheel of Automation

You’re Doing Compliance Wrong

Compliance management isn’t supposed to be a once-a-year cluster of chaos. It’s supposed to be simple and manageable — you do a little bit here and a little bit there, throughout the year. That way, when the annual audit comes around, you’re organized.

But humans are procrastinators. Other priorities get in the way. Key people move on, taking their knowledge with them from the last scramble. And the tools you’re using don’t do anything to actively help you stay on top of compliance throughout the year. It’s a never-ending cycle that strains your resources for months, increases operational costs, and puts your compliance — and customer relationships — at risk.

I used to walk into annual engagements and discover that clients weren’t prepared. They hadn’t been doing the activities they were supposed to do throughout the year, and they had to answer tough questions in front of an auditor as to why things weren’t buttoned up. It’s a nasty situation for everyone to be in.

I didn’t want my clients to be in that position, and I didn’t want to get caught off-guard either. That’s why we built Operational Mode into TCT Portal.

One of the coolest parts about leveraging the power of the TCT Portal is that year over year, you have ONE place to go back to as reference for what evidence was needed to suffice certain requirements. Honestly, it’s magical watching clients who use TCT Portal starting into their second year realize just how huge of an impact having everything from the prior year at their fingertips means to streamlining the annual compliance process.

End the Cluster of Chaos

TCT Portal’s Operational Mode kicks in when you complete your first round of compliance management and begin the next annual cycle. Operational Mode automatically notifies you as those bite-size periodic requirements come up throughout the year.

Automated reminders are sent to the right people at the right time, so tasks are clear and manageable. This helps you to proactively alert team members of their responsibilities, confirm that tasks are getting done, and quickly identify any items needing attention to get back on track.

Operational Mode helps you avoid that chaotic rush of activity. When the audit comes along, you already have all of your evidence ready to go. There’s no chaos, no mad rush, no tough questions to answer with your auditor or assessor.

Operational Mode is one of the most powerful features of TCT Portal, and one of the many reasons our compliance management software is considered a game-changer in the industry. Its organizational power saves your team hundreds of hours they would otherwise waste attempting to manually gain control of compliance management. That’s right — TCT Portal can actually save you hundreds of hours each year.

Want proof? Add up the numbers for your organization — check out our ROI calculator.

What Others Are Saying

Here’s what some of our customers are saying about TCT’s Operational Mode.

“[If you’re using spreadsheets] there’s a lot of chaos. Especially when you’re on a once-per-year cycle of suddenly getting your stuff together before the auditor arrives for the annual audit. With TCT Portal, you get your compliance workflows in a rhythm, so compliance just happens throughout the year. If the auditor is suddenly coming in next week, you could have everything ready to go in time for the audit.” — Brian Blakely, Owner, Cosant Cyber Security

“TCT Portal helps me to manage the process and to know that we’re going to meet our compliance goals. And once the deadline comes and it’s time to sign that certificate, I can feel comfortable because the system looks at each checkbox and confirms that there’s corresponding evidence for each one.” — Kim England, Chief Compliance Officer, Phoenix Financial

“[TCT Portal] makes it easier, because you track things year-to-year. It takes a lot of the double work out of things. Compliance is a year-to-year process. Things don’t really change that much [in a year]. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel from year to year to year. We’re all busy. As much as we can, we like to eliminate the redundancies.” — Mike Conklin, COO, Crimson Security

Organizations that use Operational Mode have waved good-bye to the two or three month sprint before their annual audit. There’s no more rush to gather up evidence that should have been completed months ago, or track down missing documents. They save time, effort, operational costs, and wasted anxiety.

Learn more about TCT Portal compliance software