I don’t mean to alarm you, but it’s coming soon… the rustle of leaves underfoot, the back-to-school bonanza, the big push until the holiday season begins.  Fall is frequently the busiest time of year for compliance officers and the business.  What can you do now to prepare?  Here are four ways to get ahead of the game before the frenzy takes hold…

1.      Prepare for Budget Season

In most companies, September and October are budget season, where departments submit their requests for next year’s budget.  Where can you request more budget for next year, or, alternatively, where can you afford to cut?  By thinking about what you want now, you can prepare statistics, benchmark against other companies’ expenditures, and draft your arguments for what you’re going to need.  Start early so that you’re ready.

2.      Plan your End-of-Year Spending

Many companies have a “use it or lose it” approach to budget.  If you see that you’ll have excess budget by December, plan now for how you’ll spend it.  Can you get an additional online training module?  What about an external compliance program evaluation?  Maybe some new posters about the whistle-blowing hotline for the break rooms?  Plan how you’ll spend your budget now, and always remember: if you don’t use all of your budget, you’re likely to have your budget reduced.

3.      Review your HR-Related Goals

Remember back in January when you set your goals for the year?  How are you doing with those anyway?  Many times, your bonus will be affected by how well you met the goals you set for yourself at the beginning of the year.  By reviewing these goals at the end of August, you give yourself space to plan on their completion before you’re up against the end-of-year push.

4.      Take it Easy

The dog days of summer are here.  The sun is setting sooner each day.  Nearly everyone in Europe is on vacation.  Take advantage of this time to relax a bit.  Take a day (or week) off, leave right on time or a little early.  Take your lunch outside in the sun.  The fall always comes with a flurry of activity, so enjoy the last days of summer while they last.

Autumn will be here before you know it, so make your plans now to get ahead, then take it easy.  You deserve it.