Knowledge Base

The 5 Biggest Challenges to Effective Compliance Management

Compliance is complicated and expensive to manage – often made more so by the very tools and processes intended to get the job done. Otherwise capable compliance teams struggle with clunky, outgrown technology and inefficient processes. Indeed, 40% of compliance teams spend at least 4 hours per week creating and amending reports for the board. That’s a lot of time that could probably be spent more productively. 

Here are five of the most common challenges to effective compliance management: 

  1. Siloed functions
    Compliance processes are often created in response to a specific event – a new regulation, litigation, criminal investigation, and so forth – with little thought to how it all works together. When responsibilities are walled off this way, few people have the means, motivation, or opportunity to share information across functional lines.
  2. Disconnected systems
    When compliance responsibilities are confined in silos, chances are that the technology used to carry out those responsibilities is just as disconnected. That makes it very difficult to efficiently manage compliance across multiple business lines, functions, or locations. And with no easy way to exchange data, multiple people end up chasing down the same information.
  3. Manual processes
    Managing compliance via spreadsheets, shared files, and documents probably made sense at one time. But these tools were simply not designed to keep up with a sea of constantly changing regulations. It can take hours upon hours to manually update every spreadsheet in every location to accommodate a single regulatory change. Multiply that by the hundreds of regulatory changes that happen in real life, and you have a problem. Every piece of data that must be rekeyed or copied and pasted also opens the door to more human errors.
  4. Incomplete – or nonexistent – metrics
    Cobbling together information from multiple disparate systems – often by hand – into meaningful reports is a time-consuming, error-prone process. By the time a report is finally assembled, it’s likely woefully out of date. And without the help of sophisticated analytics to calculate potential risk and prioritize efforts, you are left managing compliance largely through a lens only able to focus on the past, not the future.
  5. No visibility
    Without an integrated view of compliance-related activities, it’s nearly impossible to identify gaps and inconsistencies in how compliance is tracked and managed. That means a damaging risk can easily slip by undetected or unaddressed because you couldn’t gauge the full impact until it was too late.

And the current take-no-prisoners social, economic, and regulatory environment is turning up the pressure on compliance from multiple fronts – from relentless scrutiny by stakeholders to the exponential growth of third-party relationships. Add to that an environment of ever-changing rules and regulations and ever-steeper consequences for failure. There’s simply no place to hide in today’s connected world – which makes effective compliance management more critical than ever.

Identifying your biggest compliance challenges is the first step toward overcoming them. What’s standing in your way?