A growing global regulatory focus on consumer privacy and data protection, along with new sustainability measurement and reporting laws, reconfirm the vital role of the chief compliance officer, according to Accenture’s latest global compliance risk study.
The seventh edition of Accenture’s annual compliance risk report (“Can compliance keep up with warp speed change?”) was based on a survey of 860 global compliance executives across 10 sectors.
Among its key findings is that even as compliance pressures continue to increase at speed and scale, significant strides have been made toward establishing a working system that is more responsive and agile. For example, 95 percent of survey respondents say they have built or are building a culture of compliance to share the responsibility across the enterprise.
Still, a substantial number of compliance officers feel a greater emphasis on the function’s stature is needed to truly strengthen compliance and uphold its mandate.
“As compliance functions mature from a reactive role to a proactive partner of the C-suite, the next generation of leaders should focus on building a strong model of collaboration and shared success within the function and beyond,” said Jason Dess, Accenture’s senior managing director and global. “In the face of accelerated transformation, rapid regulatory change, unforeseen crises and mounting data complexity, yesterday’s compliance solutions simply won’t cut it.”
The study identifies several practices compliance leaders can adopt now to move toward a more adaptable and tech-driven compliance function in the future:
- Spearhead C-suite participation across functions to ensure alignment of compliance and business strategies. Establish an enterprise-wide data and information-sharing process to allow compliance leaders to integrate their insights for sharing with senior management and boards of directors. Only 19 percent of respondents say their risk assessment process is integrated across lines of defense and levels of control.
- Build a strong technology and data foundation generating insights at pace for faster and better-informed decision-making. Fifty-two percent study respondents noted the lack of data and information to identify and properly assess business exposure to third-party risks. And 93 percent of respondents agree that investments in new technologies such as AI and cloud can create compliance cost savings not previously possible.
Download the report here.