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“We are in a period of discordant and highly sensitized public policy—as well as intense regulatory activity—affecting all industries. Compliance feels acute pressure to enhance—not only to be more effective and efficient—but to also meet increasing board and regulator expectations. Technology and data analytic investment to the Ethics & Compliance function is no longer a 'nice-to-have;' it’s a necessity to help mitigate, measure, and identify risk.​”

- Amy Matsuo, Principal and National Leader, Compliance

The KPMG 2023 CCO Survey: Anticipating more scrutiny draws on the perspectives of 240 Chief Ethics & Compliance Officers (CCOs) representative of the largest companies operating in six industry sectors who provided insights into their current focus and two-year outlook on key areas of ethics and compliance including regulatory complexity, operational challenges, ethics and firm culture, sustainability/ESG and evolving technology. See highlights below and download the full point of view for details, key drivers, and actions leaders can take related to these key findings.

1. Pressure on compliance

Pressures coming from boards and regulators.

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4. Sustainability/ESG

Compliance programs in development.

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2. Looming challenges

New regulatory requirements top concern.

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5. Areas to enhance

Compliance technology and data analytics top areas to enhance.

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3. Compliance focus

Industry regulations in focus for improvement.

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6. Workforce worries

Accountability and talent shortages/retention top workforce worries.
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Pressures on Compliance from boards and regulators

Most CCOs expect the focus on compliance to increase based on expanding regulatory expectations and scrutiny, with the greatest pressure to enhance coming from their boards and regulators.

Explore the findings, drivers, and actions companies can take to manage these pressures.

Pressure to Enhance Compliance

New regulatory requirements top the list of looming challenges

CCOs say that new regulatory requirements pose the greatest challenge to their compliance efforts over the next two years followed by data analytics/predictive modeling and attracting capable talent.

Top Compliance Challenges

Industry regulations in focus for compliance improvement

Consistent with the challenges to meet increased regulatory scrutiny and expectations, most CCOs say they are targeting improvement in processes related to industry-specific regulations.

Top Areas to Improve

Sustainability/ESG compliance in development

About half of CCOs say they are in the process of implementing Sustainability/ESG compliance programs, though nearly as many say they are still in the planning and development stages. Key areas of focus include monitoring and testing, regulatory scanning, and policy management.


Read the full report to learn more about these findings and steps companies can take to avoid design and implementation challenges in building out an ESG compliance program.

Compliance technology and data analytics are top areas to enhance

The majority of CCOs name technology and data analytics as the top areas to enhance in the next two years. Related budget increases will focus on cybersecurity/data privacy, data analytics, process automation, and AI.

Accountability and talent shortages/retention top workforce woes

Despite economic uncertainties, most CCOs anticipate increasing the number of full-time employees (FTE) in the next year–even though attracting and retaining talent are key workforce challenges within this area.

Compliance FTEs

Want to see additional findings, drivers behind the data and actions to consider?

Read the full survey report including industry observations.

Request the PDF to explore how CCOs are advancing their ethics and compliance functions, operations, and analytics from responsive to proactive.