Category: Budget

Year-End Budget Left? Where to Spend It!

It’s that time of year when we heed the warning about budget – use it or lose it!
If you find yourself in the lucky position with some year-end cash, here are some great ideas for where to spend it, and some strategies to try to get the most bang for your buck.

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Budget Season: Your Ultimate Checklist to Get What You Need

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… no, not the holidays – Budget Season! It’s the time we cry and fight and claw our way into next year, making the case for what we need.  Sometimes you know exactly what is called for, but other years it can be difficult to know what to request.  No need to worry, we’ve got you covered.  Here’s the ultimate checklist to get what you need.

1.     Third-Party Due Diligence Reports

A risk-based approach to due diligence necessitates that higher-risk third-parties receive greater due diligence than lower-risk third-parties.  You need to have budget to request deeper dive reports – whether that means that a human who speaks the local language is performing a deep-dive desktop review, or, for your highest-risk third-parties, an on-the-ground review including reputation checks from various sources.  These reports can get expensive, but having a budget for at least a few will make your program significantly more defensible if there’s an investigation.

2.     Travel/Training Budget

Everyone knows that the most effective training is done in person.  There’s nothing like being on the ground in a high-risk territory to find out what’s really happening.  You can answer questions in real-time during training, and follow-up to ensure that people understood what you were saying.  Asking for a travel budget is critical.  If you can’t get a travel budget, at least try to get budget for an online face-to-face tool like Zoom or Adobe Connect.  Seeing someone’s face is the best way to engage.

3.     A Professional Risk Assessment

The DOJ’s recent Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs guidance made it clear: if you don’t have a current risk assessment, you need to make it your priority to get one…

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Why You Need a Learning Budget (and How to Ask for One!)

What’s the single best perk you can negotiate for next year?  A 2% raise?  Maybe.  A better 401(k) or pension contribution?  That’s always nice.  But if you really want to crank up your skills for next year, ask for a learning budget. 

What’s a learning budget? 

A learning budget is simply an amount of money set aside by your employer to pay for your skills to be improved.  When I was in private practice, they called it a “book budget,” but it could also be spent on electronic books, magazines, or trade publications that would enhance my ability to do my job effectively.

How much should I ask for?

I’ve seen learning budgets range from $50 – $1500.  The average is about $250.  It may be easier to get budget if you ask for a specific resource(s) – say, $400 to attend four SCCE webinars or $300 to attend the updated Wildly STRATEGIC Compliance Officer Academy online course.  You might also consider asking for services with a monthly cost, like a subscription to the Wall Street Journal, which will be a small monthly fee but will give you great new content every day.

If your learning budget is big enough, you may be able to use it to take you to conferences like the fabulous SCCE European Compliance and Ethics Institute (March in Frankfurt!) or other compliance-related events.   Books, magazines, trade publications, webinars, conferences – the choices are endless.

What should I spend it on?

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