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Compliance modernisation to pick up pace in next 12 months

Compliance is in focus as about half of senior executives and compliance professionals say their organisation's compliance functions will be modernised in the coming 12 months, while just over a quarter expect to increase resources for this.

The poll by Deloitte found that:

  • 48.3 per cent of risk and compliance, internal audit, c-suite executive and board professionals plan to modernise their compliance functions by changing core compliance execution practices during the next 12 months;
  • 27.5 per cent expect to increase resource levels for compliance teams while 37.6 per cent expect resources to remains flat in the year ahead; and
  • only 11.5 per cent of professionals surveyed reported that their compliance functions are value-creating or seen as a strategic advisor.

'Shiny and new' v. effective

The functional transformation and modernisation of compliance entails the adoption of emerging technologies, such as cognitive compliance, automation and robotics, to drive integration of risk and compliance with business strategy and drive value across the enterprise, Deloitte stated.

The firm's Tom Nicolosi commented: “One of the typical challenges we see companies face while trying to achieve a modernized compliance program is weighing ‘shiny and new’ solutions against those that have been evaluated as sustainable, effective solutions. It may seem simple to differentiate between the two, but it’s not always.”

To address this challenge, compliance professionals should consider how new technology can increase productivity and reduce costs. Nicolosi added that solutions using new technologies such as robotic process automation, artificial intelligence and/or cognitive computing should be able to create value for three areas of the business: business units, risk management and compliance functions, and internal auditors.

Shared responsibility across business

The poll found that 26 per cent of respondents said that the risk management and compliance departments have most responsibility within the organisation for executing compliance, although an almost equal number, 24.9 per cent, said this responsibility lies with the business units, their professionals and centres of excellence. Nicolosi said it is encouraging to see business units taking responsibility for compliance in their organisations, rather than relying on risk and compliance departments. He added: “I suspect we’ll see further acceleration adopting that approach to compliance management.”

He also concluded that the relationship between compliance professionals and their IT colleagues is important: “Engaging IT is a critical step in compliance modernization, as compliance teams need the instrumental IT guidance and support that’ll help identify, tailor and operationalize new technologies.”

The poll gathered responses from 420 professionals in compliance (22.4 per cent), internal audit (31.8 per cent) and risk management (12.3 per cent) or with C-suite or board roles (32.3 per cent).

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