Any whistleblowing solution is cheaper than having none at all
Moving away from “Do I need a whistleblower solution?”….
As a successful entrepreneur, it is in your interest that your company remains successful. That is why you have already recognised it correctly: It is no longer a question of “Does my company need whistleblowing or not?”. It is about finding the right solution for you and your company – in terms of implementation as well as financially. What are the costs of a whistleblowing solution for your company?
… to “How much does a whistleblowing solution cost?”.
The rough calculation is done quickly: no matter which type of whistleblower solution you choose, it will cost you less than an existence-threatening scandal that goes public in the media. And this calculation does not include the upcoming fines for the violation of the EU Whistleblower Directive.
Different whistleblowing solutions, different costs
However, finding your way through the jungle of options is not that easy. Whistleblowing systems are based on different approaches and it is not always easy to tell which of them meet the requirements of the new EU Whistleblowing Directive.
As a managing director, you think in figures and logically strive to understand what costs you and your company will incur with which solutions. In the following overview, the focus is on the cost consideration and not on a detailed comparison of the technologies on the market.
Everyone knows that it doesn’t cost much time or money to place a letterbox on the wall of a house. But the cheapest solution is usually not the best solution when dealing with sensitive data. This is also the case when it comes to implementing the EU Whistleblower Directive.
The quality of the call centre solution depends strongly on three factors: Is accessibility guaranteed around the clock? Which languages are offered? And how is the data processed? The costs vary greatly depending on the provider and accessibility, but quickly reach 15,000 euros per year. The problem: If you decide to use a whistleblowing hotline, or if you already have one in place, you will have to install an additional channel that covers the receipt of written reports – this is required by the EU Directive on the Protection of Whistleblowers. So the invoice for the hotline services is usually not sufficient.
The costs for the cheapest technical solutions for companies with small numbers of employees range from about 500 to 12,000 euros per year. However, some providers do not give you a transparent price overview and often additional implementation costs are hidden. Of course, it pays to get an idea of the product and its functionalities in a demo and to get to know the provider as a company. But quite honestly: a price indication in advance is basically decisive for you whether you want to invest time in further research at all.
As a guideline for the annual costs, you can expect around 5,000 Euros. However, these costs only include the involvement of the solicitor as an e-mail or telephone contact. Any further services provided by the solicitor will be invoiced separately and additionally.
Hiring a compliance officer
In large corporations, the person responsible for whistleblowing is usually part of the compliance or legal team. However, apart from large corporations, this is a less realistic but more costly solution for your company.
When considering this, also take into account that the solution via a trusted and independent external provider will allow you to convince your employees easier that whistleblowers are guaranteed the appropriate confidentiality and anonymity.
Costs of economical and reputational damage
The costs of the whistleblowing solutions presented can all be quantified with precise figures. Not, however, the risks and damages that can arise if no whistleblowing system is introduced. In addition, many small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are not aware of the real existing risks, underestimate them or even think that such a scandal cannot happen in their company.
But especially in companies with a strong basis of trust in the cooperation and which therefore use fewer control mechanisms, have the risk that wrongdoing remains undiscovered.
According to a report in EY Finance & Performance Management Magazine from March 2020, it is estimated that companies lose 5 per cent of their annual turnover each year due to crimes in the business sector. How many euros of turnover would that be annually in your company?
Find the optimal whistleblowing solution for your needs
If you look at the different approaches to whistleblowing systems, you will find that the technical solution offers the most advantages. However, there are also a large number of providers in the area of digital whistleblowing systems, from which you first have to choose the right partner to meet your needs. In addition, the monthly costs are in the two- to five-digit range, and the costs for implementation often have to be added. Furthermore, you are probably also asking yourself the question: Can a software solution meet the individual requirements of my company management and corporate culture at all?
Value for money
Imagine booking a flight for your holiday with a low-cost airline. The low price compared to other competitors has simply convinced you. But at the airport you are asked to pay extra when you check in your luggage – you have not read the small print. The catering on board is also correspondingly poor, and back home you look at your bank account and discover that you have also been charged for the online reservation of your window seat on the plane. In the end, you have spent considerably more than you had actually calculated for both flights, there and back.
When choosing a whistleblowing software, pay attention to what services the software provider includes in its package. So that you are not surprised later by hidden costs. It is best to choose a provider who, in addition to an attractive price/performance ratio, also offers other things that are important to you as an entrepreneur, such as transparency at all levels or fast and competent service.
Whistleblowing solution with a focus on SMEs
There are providers who specialise in the SME sector. Why does that make sense? German SMEs have a great interest in avoiding scandals in the long term. To comply with the EU Whistleblower Directive with relatively little financial and personnel effort. Every managing director likes to read the name of his company in the newspaper, but never in connection with negative press. Besides, as a managing director you need flexibility. Your company is growing, the number of employees is increasing, maybe you are even planning to expand. Keep these future developments of your company in mind. Also take these aspects into account when looking for the optimal whistleblowing system.
Summary of the costs of a digital whistleblowing solution? 50 percent fewer losses
How can you make the right choice?
- Don’t lose the overview.
- Focus on the providers who also focus on you and who convey the same transparency in their appearance and offer you want to achieve with the product.
- Accept whistleblowing as an opportunity to counteract revenue losses: According to the EY Finance & Performance Management Magazine of March 2020, companies that have an internal reporting system record 50 percent fewer losses. Through what? By uncovering wrongdoing in time and actively taking countermeasures.
Simply summarised: Not implementing a whistleblowing solution can be expensive and even drive your company to the edge of its existence. With a solution, you can prevent sensitive information from being leaked, have the chance to actively counteract it and thus keep the reins in your hands.
You want to be proactive? Are you looking for a simple solution explicitly designed for SMEs? You want to calculate exactly what costs your company will incur if you introduce a digital whistleblowing solution like LegalTegrity?
Then feel free to contact one of our experts and arrange a demo appointment.