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Financial executives feeling effects of compliance crackdown

Perhaps due to the array of new regulations being handed down by government officials and oversight groups, a substantial number of financial executives say that compliance management is more difficult this year than it has been in recent past, according to a new poll.

The poll, which was commissioned by a human resources and interim staffing company, found that among the 2,100 chief financial officers surveyed, approximately 20 percent said they considered compliance-related initiatives to be a more onerous task, especially when compared to 12 months ago.

It may be because of these more challenging compliance circumstances that’s resulted in a greater focus on training employees. For example, nearly 60 percent of respondents said they were increasing the amount of training resources and 57 percent said they were reinforcing their staff with extra help from new hires.

Paul McDonald, senior executive director for the Menlo, Calif.-based hiring management company, indicated that not only is compliance difficult, but so is keeping up with what new regulations are being implemented. In other words, just as soon as compliance is achieved in one area, soon thereafter there are new rules that have to be learned and applied in a different one.

“Training and continuous learning become crucial in meeting a broad range of mandates, from financial reporting and tax laws to the Affordable Care Act,” said McDonald.

Compliance experts being recruited
In addition to training existing staff and hiring new workers, other ways in which CFOs said they were addressing the compliance crackdown, according to the study, were by enlisting consultants or project professionals to offer their expertise and increasing workloads so that compliance rules could be used in practice.

Buy-side financial institutions, specifically banks, say they intend to increase their investment in compliance management strategies substantially in the next couple of years. In a separate analysis performed by a global management consulting firm headquartered in New York, nearly two-thirds of banking executives said they’d supplement their investment in compliance resources by 10 percent or more for both 2014 and 2015. Additionally, six in 10 respondents said that they needed to work on their company’s compliance culture, where more workers are attuned to what has to be done to conform to specific rules and data management best practices.

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