Survey: CCOs as critical as ever

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According to the third annual PwC "state of compliance" survey, chief compliance officers (CCOs) are as active as ever in pushing their organizations down a path for an effective program that dovetails with larger strategic goals. This is a sign of maturity, as the compliance function gradually morphs from one that is considered near-annoying and must-perform to one that can no longer be ignored by the C-suite and the board.

While this rise in importance is welcome, it's also clear that that CCOs are under heavier pressure as demand for greater evidence of program effectiveness continues to increase, especially from regulators (according to 57 percent of respondents) and audit committees (54 percent).  The top three risks identified this year are data privacy, bribery/corruption and industry specific risks (32 percent, 30 percent and 29 percent respectively).

And not to be forgotten, as it becomes more of a strategic function, CCOs are finding themselves under more pressure to prove a formal ROI.

In addition, reflecting their rising internal stature, more companies are establishing formal reporting mechanisms to CEOs, though fewer to boards, which PwC sees as a sign that CEOs are starting to take a more active role in the process. In addition, compliance budgets continue to rise, with 34 percent of U.S. companies saying they boosted their budget in the last 12 months. That said, 13 percent of respondents said they had no compliance budget at all.

For more:
- here's the survey