Compliance is becoming so complex that it’s leaving many compliance officers wondering how it’s supposed to protect businesses in the future. This is one of the findings from The Compliance Horizon
, a survey conducted by The Risk Advisory Group of more than 200 compliance professionals across various global organizations. The majority of respondents, 83 percent felt that compliance had become more complex in the past two years, underscoring the difficulty of keeping up with all the changes happening in compliance and the impact it has on the organization. Below is a summary of the other main findings.
Compliance has become so complex that 78 percent of the professionals believe it is a risk in itself. As a result, 69 percent feel they are more exposed to risk than two years ago. A number of events, particularly the removal of Safe Harbor ruling and the in-statement of the EU Data Privacy Protection Regulation
have imposed obligations on organizations to understand who they are doing business with. Increasingly, these new regulations seek to make corporations liable in multiple jurisdictions. Knowing who organizations are conducting business with prevents them from suffering the costs of being subject to an investigation but is fundamental to commercial success.
Compliance professionals view themselves as brand guardians, since they have the task of protecting their company’s reputation. It’s no surprise that when asked what best describes the role of compliance, the top responses were protecting the company’s reputation and developing policies and processes (both 59 percent).
Recognizing that fear of negative exposure is a key business asset, 51 percent reported that fear of negative exposure is a key driver for compliance in their organization, just ahead of 50 percent that reported increased regulation as the main driver.
Looking at the year ahead:
Compliance professionals are cautious when assessing their risks for the year ahead. The top three external risks and challenges they expect to face in the coming year are increased regulation (55 percent), geopolitical events (41 percent) and big data/data privacy (36 percent). Of those that cited geopolitical events as one of the biggest risks, the EU Data Privacy Protection Regulation, the events in Russia and Ukraine and sanctions in the Middle East were the top three events that could have an impact on compliance.
With the pace of regulatory change and the number of new regulations growing rapidly in the past few years, compliance is more important than ever. In turn, this means that organizations are collecting more information in order to asses risk. In order to help compliance professionals keep track of the ever-increasing amount of data without undermining efficiency, Legisway offers a Compliance Management module. It allows organizations to track their regulatory processes through means of customized reports, a calendar and policy library in order to access information they need quickly to evaluate risks.