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Opinions of Sunday, 24 June 2018

Columnist: Enoch Korley Tachie

Relevance of compliance program in sustaining Ghanaian businesses

Several businesses have been sent to thier knees for flouting some operation laws Several businesses have been sent to thier knees for flouting some operation laws

In every field of operation by any business, there are standards, legislations/ regulations, risks of financial loss, risk of sanction, risk of business failure, people risk, systems failure, etc, and therefore Compliance program is critical.

Compliance is as important as the desire to operate a profitable and ethical business, whether in the Educational sector, Agri-business, Real estate, Pharmaceutical, Manufacturing, Service, Media, Financial services etc and should be given the priority.

The collapse of banks in Ghana, hefty fines imposed on radio stations, conviction of radio stations and their management for allowing threats on their airwaves, the alleged wrongful operation by some companies in Ghana, financial misappropriation by staff, withdrawal of companies from the stock exchange, bribery and corruption, employees flouting company policies, etc are signs of weak or absent compliance programs.

Compliance risk is exposure to legal penalties, financial fine and material loss an organization faces when it fails to act in accordance with industry laws and regulations, internal policies or prescribed best practices. A good corporate compliance program identifies all policies, procedures, systems, legislations, people etc. and helps to prevent and detect violations of laws and regulations.

In Ghana, there are various legislations governing companies and entities in every sphere of the economy and at any time, the requirements of these legislations can be invoked with applicable sanctions.

The relevance of corporate governance and compliance program in entities cannot be overemphasized. An business that seeks to grow or be sustained or avoid reputational damage in the eyes of the public and stakeholders or avoid regulatory/ statutory sanctions or avoid abuse of company resources by staff or avoid the abuse of power and power-play by executive management and Board of Directors and above all, make good profit, must consider Compliance program as critical to its operations.

No matter how big and solvent a company is, disregard for corporate governance and compliance programs will bring the company to its knees.