In the complex realm of corporate compliance, Chief Compliance Officers (CCOs) are navigating a landscape filled with challenges, as highlighted in the recent KPMG International survey of 765 CCOs from around the world.

The theme of this year’s survey centers on the anticipated pressures of heightened regulatory expectations and scrutiny over the next two years. These pressures underscore a strategic awareness within the compliance domain, acknowledging the need for adaptability in the face of evolving regulatory frameworks.

Strategically, CCOs are honing in on critical areas of improvement, with cybersecurity taking a prominent role. This strategic emphasis reflects a proactive stance against escalating digital threats. Simultaneously, there's a focused commitment to data privacy, underscoring the industry's dedication to safeguarding sensitive information. Technology assumes a pivotal role, with CCOs foreseeing an increased budget — a strategic acknowledgment of technology's integral role within compliance. Alongside this, there's a parallel narrative of expanding compliance teams, recognizing the synergy between human expertise and technological advancements.

Beyond the strategic focus, the survey explores emerging challenges, such as new regulations and the integration of data analytics. Boards are expected to play a more active role in compliance oversight, emphasizing a strategic collaboration between leadership and compliance functions.

This survey offers a glimpse into the industry's commitment to keeping up with regulatory changes, leveraging technology effectively and fostering a robust culture of compliance.

Explore the full report for a complete understanding of the complexities shaping the compliance landscape and find out key actions organizations can take to enhance their compliance efforts and help navigate the evolving regulatory environment. 

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Stepping up to a new level of compliance

KPMG Global Chief Ethics and Compliance Officer survey

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Explore the key findings

A vast majority of CCOs (84 percent) say their companies will likely face increasing regulatory expectations and scrutiny in the next two years, with the greatest pressure coming from customers, regulators and social policy/public perception.

CCOs say that new regulatory requirements (34 percent) are the greatest challenge to their compliance efforts over the next two years. Data analytics and predictive modeling come a close second (30 percent) as companies strive to identify and collate reliable, accurate data to monitor and report their compliance efforts.

With regulators increasingly focusing on data, respondents consider cybersecurity (36 percent) and data privacy (35 percent) as their top two process improvement priorities, followed by product safety and people’s health and wellness.

Just seven percent of CCOs say their ESG compliance programs are fully developed and operational, reflecting the evolving nature of sustainability. Half of respondents have implemented their programs, with 41 percent still in the planning and development stage. Policy management is the number one area marked for development.

Seven out of ten CCOs surveyed expect their technology budgets to increase, with 56 percent anticipating a five to ten percent hike. This investment is expected to be focused on data analytics, cybersecurity and data privacy, and process automation. In addition, most companies are some way off achieving technology maturity, especially regarding automation and AI.

Despite economic uncertainty, 72 percent of CCOs anticipate increasing the number of full-time employees in the next year. Ethics and compliance training is high on the agenda to improve performance (50 percent), as well as leveraging skillsets from other business functions (53 percent).