In the rapidly transforming ecosystem of the financial services industry, the challenges for compliance officers have become more acute and complex. Changes to the compliance function are imminent; reporting lines are shifting; and new risks have emerged from the multi-channel digital platforms.

However, according to the Accenture 2016 Compliance Risk Study—based on a survey of over 150 leading compliance officers at banking, capital markets and insurance institutions across the Americas, Europe, and Asia-Pacific—compliance officers remain positive about their ability to deliver on other priorities, particularly regulatory reporting (84 percent), and management reporting (87 percent).

Compliance reporting will evolve with the age of big data

This confidence comes despite investment in compliance appearing to slow. Even with the resource restrictions they are facing, compliance officers are also confident in their ability to deliver on data governance (83 percent of the survey respondents said they felt positive). And a whopping 80 percent agreed that industry shared services will facilitate compliance as data protection improves. Clearly, data and technology continue to be the major cornerstones of an effective compliance risk management framework.

Compliance reporting will evolve with the age of big data

The time has come to translate this confidence into a clear roadmap for the future. This will show industry leaders that existing constraints can be managed and capabilities transformed to the levels necessary for compliance to be both an effective risk manager and strategic advisor to financial services institutions.

Compliance should balance its role as a strategic advisor, articulating risk in a way that enables the front office to act but does not compromise its ability as an objective control function. Nearly one in three study respondents (28 percent) have low or very low confidence in their ability to maintain clear governance between first and second lines of defense.

In response to these trends, compliance leaders will need to keep making the difficult choices that support the delivery of excellent risk management services, and keep asserting a leadership role within the business.

Compliance stakeholders are often more diverse than ever before, spanning senior management, media, shareholders, and regulators. Defining a plan that delivers regular outcomes tailored to each group, and that can be confidently communicated, is key to maintaining strategic alignment of investments and measuring progress along the journey.

To learn more, register to download the report: Compliance at a Crossroads: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

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