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Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance: It Can't Happen to Us—Avoiding Corporate Disaster While Driving Success by Richard M. Steinberg

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Chapter 3

Cost-Effective Compliance Programs

Every company must strive to comply with laws and regulations applicable to its organization and activities. This compliance is the C in GRC. We'll come back to the R and G later, addressing them in depth. But let's look now at compliance programs. Although they are viewed by many as a necessary evil, we'll see in this chapter that they can have associated benefits.

Certainly companies are finding legal and regulatory compliance costs soaring while effectiveness declines, giving rise to huge fines, penalties, awards, and settlements—often in the billions of dollars. Policies and procedures build with each new law and regulation but are disparate, duplicative, and fail to comprise an effective compliance program.

Yet some companies have not only made their programs effective and efficient, but have also gained tremendous business benefit. Understanding the rationale for ever-expanding legal and regulatory requirements, they recognize the underlying marketplace drivers and align strategic initiatives to gain market share, profit, and return. By aligning business objectives and building compliance programs into existing management and business processes, responsibility and accountability are put where they work best, increasing effectiveness, reducing cost, and providing senior management and the board of directors with the information they need.

What's the state of your company's compliance program? Is it truly effective, and are you ...

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