Effective compliance meetings help companies navigate complex regulations. “Not-so-effective” meetings, however, contribute to a snowball effect of legal issues.

Picture this: J.P. Morgan paid $1.7 billion in penalties for violating the Bank Secrecy Act. So, what should you do to improve your compliance meeting? Keep reading to learn the following:

  • Four true purposes of compliance meetings
  • Four main meeting challenges
  • Three ways board portals solve meeting challenges
  • Five best compliance meeting agenda practices + a free template
  • Three benefits of agenda templates

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What is a compliance meeting?

A compliance meeting discusses various aspects of regulatory compliance, risk management, reporting, and internal policies.

Compliance meetings are the primary tool for businesses to supervise regulatory activities and implement compliance solutions. More specifically, compliance meetings serve the following purposes.

Risk assessmentMonitoring regulatory updates
Outlining compliance risks 
Developing compliance strategies 
Policies and proceduresReviewing, approving, and establishing policies and procedures
Evaluating internal policies and procedures against regulatory standards
Training and educationDeveloping a compliance program
Supervising compliance and ethics training and supporting continuing education units
Developing board training plans and organizing workshops and events
Corrective actions and networkingAchieving proper compliance reporting
Supporting the compliance community and continuous improvement
Collaborating with clients and other compliance professionals
Strengthening industry connections

4 main compliance meeting challenges

Compliance meetings help organizations make critical decisions and prevent disastrous compliance penalties (like the J.P. Morgan lawsuit or Binance’s $4.3 billion AML penalties). However, the problem is that most meetings are not productive, and board members face the following challenges:

Time-consuming preparations

It takes a lot of time to prepare for an efficient board meeting. Some say about the 1:1 ratio. However, sometimes, this ratio becomes 2:1 or even 20:1 for complex meetings. That is because preparations imply many manual, time-consuming tasks:

  • Compiling board packs
  • Writing, printing, and distributing agendas
  • Writing, sending, and replying to email newsletters
  • Writing and printing voting ballots
  • Arranging pre-meeting briefs

Lack of productive communication

Only 13% of boards have effective communications with key stakeholders and shareholders. Moreover, only 14% can request the right information from management. Communication challenges occur for several reasons:

  • Boards have no central data repository.
  • Emails and paper reports are slow and outdated.
  • Stakeholders have limited feedback opportunities.

Information overload

Gartner reveals that 40% of business leaders experience information overload. The survey reports the following findings:

  • 57% of stakeholders receive duplicate messages from internal channels.
  • 38% need to do extra work to keep up with updates.
  • 33% receive inconsistent and internally conflicting info.

The main reason is that companies use disconnected workspaces, email, and messengers. It takes considerable effort and steals energy from important work.

Low data protection

Data breaches are becoming more frequent and intense, touching all aspects of corporate governance. The Identity Theft Resource Center detected over 3,200 data breaches in 2023, a 70% YoY increase.

That translates into significant material risks as each data breach costs $9.48 million in the United States and $4.45 million globally. Companies that use emails and workspaces are the most susceptible to cyber threats due to a lack of:

  • Document permissions
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Security compliance
Source: IBM: Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023

Three ways board portals solve compliance meeting challenges

Competitive organizations leverage board software to make compliance meetings shooter and more productive at the same time. Board portals have the following benefits for compliance meetings:

Automated meetings

Board portals substantially reduce administrative burden and make it simple to prepare for, conduct, and follow up compliance meetings:

  • Central workpace. Leave back-and-forth emails in the past. Access board materials and collaborate in one workspace. Update participants, create meeting calendars, and manage tasks.
  • Automated agenda. Create digital agendas with autofill features, file attachments, tasks, meeting minutes, and discussion boxes. It takes a few clicks to approve and circulate paperless agendas.
  • Automatic meeting minutes. Record meeting attendance and decisions with automatic time stamps, motion trackers, board books, and progress bars. Meeting minutes are tied to respective agendas for simpler note-taking.
  • One-click board books. Generate seamless board books that contain agendas, meeting minutes, tasks, and all relevant notes and documents.

Value for compliance meetings:

✔️ Faster preparations

✔️ Fewer administrative tasks

✔️ Less paperwork

Seamless communications

Here is how board portals facilitate collaboration:

  • Digital voting. Create digital motions and cast votes. The voting system automatically counts votes and ensures your organization is meeting compliance requirements for legitimate decisions.
  • Electronic signature. Sign documents electronically directly in board books. You can also save signatures and apply them to as many documents as you need.
  • Action items. Assign action items before, during, and after compliance meetings. Actions contain assignees, due dates, linked meetings, descriptions, and attachments.
  • Video conferencing. Enhance your board portal with Microsoft Teams and Zoom integrations. Collaborate remotely and save time on costly trips.
  • Minimal information load. There is no need for duplicate intranet channels. You can use director dashboards and detailed activity logs instead.

Value for compliance meetings:

✔️ More feedback opportunities

✔️ Centralized communications

✔️ No duplicate info

✔️ Legal meeting compliance

Pro tip: Check how to make a motion in a board meeting for maximum productivity.

Military-grade data protection

Board portals protect confidential data with these essential elements:

  • Role-based permissions. Decide who is an administrator, secretary, board member, and guest. Each role has specific workspace permissions that ensure data security and integrity.
  • Encryption. Leverage the strength of military-grade end-to-end data encryption. Documents, action logs, and personal data are encrypted at rest and in transit with uncompromisable 256-bit ciphers.
  • Two-factor authentication. Protect your account with an authentication code from Google Authenticator, Authy, or Microsoft Authenticator. Two-factor authentication gives you powerful protection against phishing attacks and account takeovers.
  • Security compliance. Board portals comply with GDPR, CCPA, FedRAMP, ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 1,2,3, and other security standards.

Value for compliance meetings:

✔️ Strong data protection

✔️ Minimal data breach risks

✔️ Regulatory compliance

5 best compliance meeting agenda practices

These five proven tips and practices make actionable agendas that boost performance in compliance meetings:

Gain insights from your team

Collect feedback before finalizing your agenda. It will help you generate ideas on agenda contents, boost engagement, and improve board evaluations. Actions to take:

✔️ Create polls to finalize agenda contents.

✔️ Use decision matrices to prioritize relevant topics.

✔️ Distribute surveys with open-ended questions.

Set outcome-oriented meeting objectives

Set detailed, outcome-oriented goals if you want everyone to be aligned on the meeting topic. It’s easy for everyone to work toward a practical, measurable goal.

✔️ Good example❌ Bad example
Adopt amendments to human resources, data security, and workplace safety policiesEnsure the efficiency of compliance policies
Develop an effectiveness survey for a workplace safety policyAssess workplace safety effectiveness
Review data security policy against HIPAA standardsEvaluate data security compliance

Order agenda items wisely

Decision-making groups naturally spend more time on early agenda items. That is why you may unwillingly steal precious time from more important items if you put simple ones earlier on the agenda. To prioritize items effectively, use consent agendas. Actions to take:

✔️ Group and approve routine items in one motion.

✔️ Place main topics after the consent agenda.

✔️ Place organizational topics at the bottom of the main agenda.

Prepare a timed agenda

Discuss time frames for your committee meeting agenda. Time limits ensure balanced discussions, improve focus, and minimize side conversations. Actions to take:

✔️ Allocate reasonable time to content-heavy items, 20-30 minutes each

✔️ Allocate 5 to 10 minutes to routine items.

✔️ Reserve break time every 25-45 minutes.

Assign follow-up actions

Follow-up actions ensure that attendees have post-meeting responsibilities. Include these items on your agenda to promote accountability and monitor project progress. Actions to take:

✔️ Assign tasks to attendees for the next meeting

✔️ Set due dates and describe clear guidelines

✔️ Attach relevant documents

Download an adaptable compliance committee meeting agenda template to boost productivity, engagement, and accountability

3 benefits of a compliance meeting agenda template

Compliance committee agenda templates offer several benefits:

  • Better consistency. A standardized meeting format promotes efficiency and productivity. You can experiment with our template or create your own.
  • Better prioritization. A refined meeting template will help you stick to the processes that work best for your team and better prioritize agenda items in future meetings.
  • Easier preparations. You can spend less time preparing a meeting agenda if you have a clear format to follow. It will give you more content planning time, especially in time-sensitive gatherings like an emergency board meeting.

Bottom line

  • The main compliance meeting challenges are time-consuming preparations, lack of productive communication, information overload, and low data protection.
  • Board portals help board members and executives protect meetings, automate preparations, and centralize communications.
  • Feedback management, outcome-oriented meeting goals, follow-up actions, time stamps, and consent items make productive meeting agendas.
  • Agenda templates standardize meetings, minimize preparation time, and promote effective prioritization.

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Average rating: 4.5 | 35 votes
Casey Johnson Marketing strategist
Casey Johnson is a seasoned marketing strategist specializing in board portals. With over a decade of experience, she spearheads comprehensive marketing campaigns to enhance brand visibility and drive growth. Casey orchestrates content plans, conducts market research, and collaborates with content creators to ensure impactful marketing strategies.
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