Yesterday we considered the compliance professional in the 2020s and beyond. Today we look at the Compliance Function. The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated change in compliance that have been percolating for the last few years. Indeed, I believe that in as short a time as 5 years, 2020 will be seen as an inflection point in compliance; IE., the Year When Everything Changed. There are four major changes I would like to highlight.

Compliance Convergence. In 2019 there were three significant releases of information by the federal government which directly impacted compliance professionals.
Public/private partnership in anti-corruption fight. Over the past few years, the DOJ has gone far towards laying out real incentives for corporations to help in the fight against the international scourge against bribery and corruption.
Data, Data, Data. The DOJ has made it clear that it expects companies to be more robust in their use of data analytics in compliance programs.
Compliance as the Ethical Edge. We have known for many years that companies with more robust compliance programs were most generally better run companies.

This academic research and other case studies demonstrate the effective compliance programs equates to more efficient business processes and leads to greater profitability. As senior business leaders come to understand this message, they will (properly) see compliance as a business process which can be analyzed and improved through continuous improvement to make companies run more efficiently and at the end of the day more profitably. These companies do not make money because they have a better heart, they are more profitable because they are better run. Finally, all of this ties back to a requirement from the DOJ for continuous improvement of your compliance program.

Three key takeaways:

  1. It’s all about compliance now.
  2. Compliance connectedness.
  3. It’s all about the data.