Compliance Program: Tools & Tips



By Monica Bullard, CPA, CSCP
Managing Member
Focus 1 Associates LLC





As you already know, this year’s Compliance Program has been refurbished.  It has a new look and feel with consistent formatting and improved functionality and layout.


Compliance-Manual-200x200Important items to note:

  • Material changes to the 2016 Program Template are outlined in the Executive Summary Tab, under “First Quarter Review.”
  • Example risks have been included in your risk assessment for regulatory changes.
  • Be sure to ask about our testing and support templates which have been pre-formatted to match your Program.


Annual Review Tips

  • Risk Assessment
    • In addition to the risks which have been added as a result of changes in the regulatory environment, be sure to take a fresh look at the “examples” each year and as your business changes.
    • Best practice is to update the risk assessment on an ongoing basis. We recommend quarterly reviews and updates as a result of the testing conducted as you complete the program.
  • Monitoring Schedule
    • Be sure the monitoring schedule is customized to your firm’s practices and is consistent with your policies and procedures.
    • The monitoring schedule may need to be revised as a result of risk assessment changes from your quarterly testing.
  • Executive Summary
    • We recommend utilizing the Executive Summary Tab to document violations and significant events. This will make writing your Annual Overview Summary much easier at the end of the year.
  • Program Responses
    • Be sure to describe how the item is completed. For testing items, describe the testing conducted, the findings, and any action taken to prevent future occurrence, if applicable.
    • We also recommend referencing the location of the supporting documentation.


Excel Tips & Tricks

  • Switching Tabs
    • (CLRL + PAGE UP or PAGE DOWN) To quickly move from tab to tab within the Compliance Program, press and hold down the CTRL  key and press PAGE UP or PAGE Down to move through the tabs.
  • Hard Return
    • (ALT + ENTER) Sometimes it’s necessary to have more than one line inside of a single cell. To add a new line, hold down the Alt key and press Enter.
  • Edit Cell Contents
    • (F2) Pressing F2 takes you into Edit Instead of double-clicking, when a cell is selected, press F2 and your cursor will appear in the cell, at the end of any data already entered.
  • Select Data Quickly
    • (CTRL + SHIFT + END).  Press and hold CTRL, then SHIFT, then END to extend the selection of cells from the cell you have selected all the way to the last used cell on the worksheet in the lower-right corner
    • (SHIFT + END + Arrow Key). Press and hold SHIFT, press and release END, and press the arrow key to select down, up, left, or right to the end of a data set.
  • Fill Data Automatically
    • You can automatically fill a formula downward, for all adjacent cells that it applies to, by double-clicking the fill handle of the first cell that contains the formula.


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