A recent survey of compliance officers at 150 financial and insurance companies in the U.S., Europe and Asia by consulting firm Accenture found a lack of awareness for how evolving technologies are making it harder for compliance professionals to do their jobs effectively. Somewhat surprisingly, the survey found that almost 60% of respondents didn’t view understanding technology as being a key skill.
Authors of the report say they are “sounding a cautionary note” because despite the stature of compliance as an important and relevant function continuing to rise, “compliance officers’ understanding of the implications of a changing ecosystem seem less advanced than it should be.” The ecosystem in this regard comprises various external factors, including a shifting regulatory landscape, the evolution of digital technology, changing customer behaviors and greater supplier diversity.
In the authors’ view, compliance needs to ensure that development priorities become informed by emerging trends, while retaining a balance against ongoing regulatory imperatives. “We think compliance officers who fail to strike such a balance risk developing a function that fails to meet the needs of the future,” the report concludes.
“Compliance professionals who can keep pace with this changing ecosystem, partner with the front office and help the organization effectively meet the digital demands of its customers will be integral in driving competitive advantage.” said Steve Culp, senior global managing director of Accenture’s finance and risk services practice.