The ROI of export controls and compliance software
Software benefits

The ROI of export controls and compliance software

Business leaders typically focus on increasing productivity, lowering costs, and winning clients. So what is the benefit and ROI of export controls compliance software?

To many, it seems like export controls and trade compliance do not inherently add value to a service or product – and they therefore regard it as a burden. After all, compliance can’t really be considered a revenue-generating portion of the company.

Those that fail to implement effective export controls and compliance programs, though, risk jeopardizing their business operations and reputations. Based on this alone, investing in compliance with export controls already makes good business sense. But there is even greater potential to be tapped: Companies that additionally introduce software into their internal compliance programs (ICP) also benefit from greater efficiency, reduced costs, and – importantly – increased regulatory compliance.

Any internal compliance program (ICP) today must be configured to cater for changing policies, legislation, technologies, and so on. It must be robust and adaptable enough to deal with uncertainty and unpredictability. You can read more about what constitutes an effective ICP in this article

Business benefits of compliance automation: Software for export controls

Considering the volume, complexity, and frequent changes of regulations in export controls across the globe, it’s virtually impossible to establish successful compliance programs without IT support. Software solutions reduce reliance on manual processes and therefore support companies to:

  • Decrease costs
  • Increase efficiency
  • Minimize errors
  • Standardize procedures
  • Increase regulatory compliance
  • Improve recordkeeping and the level of information available to auditors

The best systems enable you to comply with all relevant regulations, mitigate supply chain risks, increase efficiency, and demonstrate due diligence to regulatory authorities. The next section details some of the key aspects that you should be looking for in an effective trade compliance solution. 

Must-have aspects of export controls and compliance software

Integration with ERP systems

Export control compliance should be part of standard business processes and not a separate activity. Software can support real-time, automated checks for export license requirements, restricted-parties, and more, directly in your ERP.

Restricted-party screening

Screening all your business partner names and addresses against the sanctions lists of the UN, EU, US, and other authorities is simply not practical as a manual activity. Software can fully automate the process in real-time or as a batch run.

Product classification

The kind of automation commonplace for many other aspects of global trade and logistics is now also available to support the product classification process. Software can support correct identification of the customs commodity codes and/or dual-use codes.

License determination

Software can help you answer key questions about your shipment: Are there any embargoes in place for the country I want to ship to? Do I require a license to ship my goods? It should also block goods shipment if a license hasn’t been obtained yet.

Data update service

Automated data updates ensure that you are always checking against the most up-to-date version of the sanctions lists and export control regulations.

License management

Automatically identify which license might be applicable for the shipment; and, produce a full audit trail of which licenses have been used for which shipment including decrements on value and quantity.

Return on investment (ROI) of export controls and compliance software

Implementing an effective export control compliance program that is robust enough to cope with current challenges and is flexible enough to facilitate future requirements is of utmost importance in protecting your business operations and reputation. This requires investment. And to get investment, business leaders typically need to present the ROI. 

But a return on this type of investment is hard to measure. A robust compliance program is perhaps more comparable to having a good insurance policy in place. No reputable business would trade without insurance for professional liability, property, and vehicles. Similarly, no reputable business should trade without taking measures to ensure efficient export controls and overall regulatory compliance. Here are four good reasons why that can support your software business case:

1. Protecting brand image

Companies often spend significant amounts of money, time, and resources to develop their brand image. Integrity, trustworthiness, reliability, and transparency often form key elements of this. Unfortunately, however, it’s easy to lose a good brand image in a very short time if the right protective measures are not taken.

2. Avoiding penalties

Prevention is better than cure, as they say. Criminal fines, administrative penalties, and costs associated with defending against enforcement actions can impose a massive burden on a company’s finances. Effective export control compliance programs are the best way to avoid such penalties in your company.

3. Penalty mitigation

It’s far better to detect potential problems and violations before the enforcement authorities do so. If things do go wrong, your company can make a voluntary self-disclosure (VSD) of any issues. Typically, this will lead to a government warning letter or significantly reduced penalties.

4. Shareholder value

Damage to brand image and significant financial penalties can have a very direct impact on the shareholder value of the company. It is extremely important, therefore, to ensure that an effective export control compliance program is in place to avoid such financial impacts.

Trade compliance with AEB software: End-to-end export controls

AEB's Trade Compliance Management solutions deliver comprehensive security for the export control programs in your company with always available and up-to-date software for Compliance Screening, License Management, Export Controls, and Risk Assessment. The solutions integrate seamlessly into your ERP or CRM systems such as SAP®, Salesforce, or Microsoft Dynamics 365.