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Blog > Top 8 Compliance Challenges To Watch For In 2024

Top 8 Compliance Challenges To Watch For In 2024

VComply Editorial Team
January 18, 2023
8 minutes

As we enter 2023, we are still grappling with a slew of pandemic-related challenges in addition to the looming recession, talent shortage, and physical and mental health problems. Issues like inflation, shifting consumer and societal norms, and global geopolitical turmoil are adding to the increasing pressure on organizations.

As we enter 2023, we are still grappling with a slew of pandemic-related challenges in addition to the looming recession, talent shortage, and physical and mental health problems. Issues like inflation, shifting consumer and societal norms, and global geopolitical turmoil are adding to the increasing pressure on organizations. It has never been more crucial for organizations to strengthen their compliance and risk management programs with everything going on, including the continuous global conflicts and the unpredictable economy. 

Technology developments also have a significant impact on Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) management. According to the KPMG survey, over 50% of organizations paid significant fines for regulatory violations and non-compliance in the previous year alone, and 55% of businesses saw average profit losses of 1%. Today’s compliance costs are frequently one of an organization’s largest budget areas, whether they relate to taxes, commerce, energy, the environment, cyber security, or safety. 

Organizations must reinforce ethical behavior and corporate governance,  make sure they are flexible and game-ready, and be prepared to deal with unforeseen compliance-related challenges this year, to meet compliance obligations and support business growth.

In this blog, we uncover the top 8 compliance challenges you should watch out for in 2023.

The 8 most important compliance challenges of 2023 

#1. Employee protection and data laws 

Data protection and employee privacy laws are among the top concerns for employers as technology and digitalization continue to advance rapidly. As a result of this, employee confidentiality will take precedence in 2023. Data protection has become a more challenging problem, according to a 2022 study of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) from diverse businesses around the world. Data protection was perceived as a greater difficulty by 47% of CISOs of larger companies compared to 55% of respondents from smaller businesses.

Privacy rules apply to data that may be used to identify a specific individual, such as name, address, phone number, birth date, Social Security number, and so forth. Several federal laws in the US safeguard particular categories of personal data. Notable laws include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) and the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act (FACT Act).

Similarly, sensitive information such as race, ethnicity, or national origin, political beliefs or affiliations, union membership, sexual orientation, marital status, health-related details, and criminal background are all protected under the General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) in Europe.

Important factors to consider when complying with employee data and privacy protection

  • Understand the employee privacy regulations that are relevant. For instance, the California Privacy Rights Act (CPRA) and four other state privacy laws go into effect in January. Under the CPRA, employers are required to inform employees of these and other rights. Employees may seek access to, correction of, or deletion of their personal information.
  • Rationalize the gathering and use of personal information. According to the GDPR, personal data is information about an individual that can be identified by that individual’s “name, identification number, location information, online identifier, or one or more factors specific to that natural person’s physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity.
  • Keep employee data secure and promptly alert them to any data breaches. Organizations must make sure they have the necessary security measures in place to protect the data of their employees from complying with privacy legislation like the GDPR and CCPA.

#2. The role of climate change and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) regulations

Climate change is a top priority for 2023 following the recent COP27 summit in Egypt. Discussions at the summit focused on meeting ESG and climate regulations and avoiding greenwashing since compliance regulators are becoming more eager to hold companies accountable for their audacious statements around ESG and climate change. In 2022, Goldman Sachs  ($4m) was penalized for failing to conform to its procedures and guidelines for investments in the environment, the social sector, and other areas. 

Important factors to consider when complying with climate change

  • Rely on data quality to analyze and assess the applicability, completeness, and correctness of ESG risk and reporting data
  • Develop and embed ESG performance and resilience measures into your corporate reporting. Prepare to report high-quality, relevant, and transparent ESG data as well as the resulting financial implications.
  • Present a comprehensive, impartial viewpoint on ESG initiatives that highlights both accomplishments and shortcomings.
  • With the increased financial impact of ESG on companies, financial reporting and accounting teams play a significant role in the organization. The case in point is the creation of the International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) and the merger of the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) into the Value Reporting Foundation (VRF). 

#3. Increase in compliance costs 

Over the last five years, 90% of financial services organizations have reported increasing compliance costs. One major reason for this is that several organizations approach risk and compliance management from a functional standpoint rather than an overall organizational one. This segregated compliance management approach causes inefficiency and incurs significantly higher expenses.

Important factors to consider when complying with rising compliance costs

  • Team effort is necessary. Every function should work together to meet compliance requirements instead of working in silos.
  • Adopting a holistic approach covering risk management, compliance, and audit functions is the need of the hour to avoid compliance mishaps. 
  • Automating risk and compliance management saves costs, resources, and time that would otherwise go into manually managing adherence to compliance risks. 

Read more: A primer on incident and compliance management software 

#4. Constant regulatory changes – Traditional ways of compliance monitoring are not enough 

Most organizations have sizable revenue streams in the US or the EU and seek to expand them. However, they must deal with a tidal wave of economic and regulatory changes that are raising the stakes for compliance. 

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A few examples of new regulations are listed below: 

  • The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently revealed proposed regulatory changes that would mandate all public organizations to include specific disclosures in their registration statements and periodic reports pertaining to climate-related, cryptocurrency and cyber risks, and the organizations’ oversight and governance of these risks. 
  • The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive and MiFID II are two current legislations that the EU is now examining for key risk elements. 
  • The Financial Services and Markets Bill also proposes significant changes to the regulatory structure, and the UK’s new excise tax will go into force this July. 
  • The EU unveiled the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation in 2021, and the US passed the Climate Risk Disclosure Act.

Prior to the financial downturn, it was easy for risk managers to monitor regulatory developments manually through spreadsheets. However, the traditional regulatory tools are proven to be inefficient at tracking the developments as authorities continually introduce new regulations for disruptive technologies like digital assets, IoT, fintech, and cryptocurrencies. Subsequently, the plethora of manual solutions can quickly become difficult to manage, prone to mistakes, and frequently results in operational inefficiency in the compliance monitoring process.

Switching to a compliance risk solution will help organizations save time, effort, and overall cost. In addition, these solutions offer capabilities to automate workflows, reduce redundancies, improve transparency, and aid easy synchronization. 

For instance, by automating your governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) operations using VComply’s GRC platform, you can protect your organization from regulatory actions and save time sifting through spreadsheets. 

Read more: How can GRC software help in reducing costs? 

Important factors to consider when complying with regulatory changes 

  • Use risk-based frameworks and procedures to access more reliable risk-related data, spot emerging risks faster, and align new risk management priorities with business strategy.
  • Train employees regarding operational risk management’s significance and the costs associated with failure.
  • Identify and respond to legal or regulatory risks the clients face. 
  • Establish controls, identify risk gaps, and prioritize corrective actions.

#5. Fight for talent

Labor and talent shortages have surfaced since the Great Resignation, which transpired around the latter part of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a PwC survey of 52,000 employees in 44 countries, 20% of workers intend to quit their employment by the end of 2022, indicating that talent retention will remain a worry for organizations. This pernicious issue facing compliance and risk functions in organizations cannot be resolved by pumping millions at the authorities, even if organizations are willing to do so. 

Organizations must hire high-caliber compliance professionals with unique technical abilities, which are scarce globally. As compliance management becomes more involved in fields like digital security, ESG, and crypto-finance, demand for compliance management professionals is soaring.

Important factors to consider when complying with the talent shortage

  • To adapt and reduce their risk exposure, organizations must try to understand how global views on employment are changing.
  • The greatest alternative for organizations to reduce retention risk and secure skilled workers is to upskill their workforce.
  • Organizations should build a culture of compliance

#6. Fraud and Governance

The compliance and risk function are more volatile than ever owing to challenges with the economy, society, geopolitics, and the environment. Preventing fraud and other economic crimes is difficult due to this volatility. As organizations move swiftly to navigate change, bad actors attempt to take advantage of the possibly expanding gaps in fraud defenses. In a PWC survey, 46% of surveyed organizations stated that they had been the victim of fraud or perhaps another form of economic crime within the previous 24 months.

Cybercrimes, third-party risks, money laundering, and asset misappropriation are some of the major types of fraud experienced by organizations. 

The World Economic Forum estimates that each year, money laundering costs somewhere between $800 billion to $2.6 trillion and results in a loss of 2-5% of global GDP. Cybersecurity hazards continue to flare red on the dashboard into 2023, regardless of an organization’s IT security best efforts. The first half of 2022 saw reports of almost 236.1 million ransomware attacks worldwide. Working with third parties typically involves a significant amount of compliance risk, from bribery and forced labor to security, data privacy, competition, and conduct.

These frauds often cost businesses tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars. Costs go beyond just money; vital infrastructure, community cohesiveness, and mental health are all at risk.

Important factors to consider when complying with fraud 

  • Adopt a zero-trust security approach that mandates authentication, authorization, and validation for every digital interaction.
  • In a Gartner study, nearly 80% of legal and compliance heads reported that third-party risks were identified after initial onboarding and due diligence. It becomes critically important to add, review and update existing policies and procedures to assess and mitigate fraud and money laundering and third-party fraud risks.
  • Players in the cryptocurrency market should exercise caution to avoid enabling money laundering or terrorist funding.
  • Perform risk-based due diligence at the beginning of the business partnership and on a continuing basis.
  • Invest in employee training to provide improved preparedness to spot dangers, such as phishing, ransomware, distributed denial-of-service (DDoS), and so on.
  • Encourage employees to recognize that cybersecurity involves ownership and participation throughout the entire organization.
  • Set cyber and digital resilience as a top priority in advance of the soon-to-be-implemented new security mandates by the Government. 
Compliance CTA

#7. Embracing new emerging technologies 

The risk environment in organizations is unquestionably more complicated than it has ever been. In 2020, organizations in 190 nations reported an average of 257 regulatory and compliance warnings each day. Therefore, organizations must rely on emerging technologies such as big data analytics, machine learning algorithms, and RPA when it comes to compliance management. 

A GRC tool, risk management, risk assessment, and compliance platform with modern technology, automated processes, data sharing and integration, and clear analytics is necessary to simplify access to compliance-related data, controls, and testing. 

The ability of big data to assess data and automate security-related actions is key to its function in compliance technology. Leveraging Big Data allows the organization to identify hazards in real-time, offer guidance, and, in the case of automated systems, neutralize threats before they become a problem.

The fundamental goal of AI in the context of compliance technology is to automate operations, just like it is with its usage in other legal fields of technology. AI and machine learning aid in the conversion of regulatory knowledge into useful information.

Important factors to consider when adopting modern technology

  • Create a strong compliance team that is in line with new legislation, technology and has a clear, effective, and flexible risk management plan.
  • Implementing an active regulatory change management platform allows for horizon scanning and alerts on proposed and anticipated legislation.
  • Since compliance technology systems frequently feature advanced analytics capabilities that acquire, curate, integrate, and analyze dispersed and distributed pertinent data points, Regulatory Artificial Intelligence (AI) can be used to identify the best courses of action to reduce risk impact and recovery requirements.
  • Ensure there is an accessible, defendable, and accurate system of records that can be used to show compliance procedures, anomalies, exceptions, and approvals.

Read more: What’s the difference between a compliance officer and risk officer? 

#8. Be compliance-ready using VComply

Compliance and risk managers are aware of the severe repercussions of non-compliance by this point. An organization’s overall health can be impacted by insufficient or poor compliance through –

  • Compliance constraints – tedious, inadequate, traditional, or otherwise less effective processes that have an adverse effect on the experience, costs, and safety
  • Compliance breaches – serious instances that have a detrimental impact on an organization’s reputation or capacity to conduct business.

These problems often result from compliance being viewed as an unavoidable expense of running an organization rather than as a chance to build stakeholder confidence, enhance competitive advantage through modern technology, and encourage prudent risk-taking.

Identifying the most impactful areas for transformation, applying the right compliance and risk management platform, and overcoming other factors that hinder the effective adoption of technology are critical for risk functions to solve their compliance challenges. 

With its experience across regulations, compliance, and technology, VComply is well-positioned to help organizations address these challenges. Adopting an intuitive regulatory compliance management platform can help organizations stay on track with the complex regulatory processes that are otherwise tedious to track. This includes helping them manage their compliance needs, staying abreast of risk and regulatory developments, and charting a way forward during uncertain periods. 

With VComply compliance management software, organizations can assess risks; implement and align internal controls; eliminate risks; and stay compliant by implementing measures, processes, and policies. The fact that VComply streamlines regulatory compliance procedures with workflows, protects the management of data and assets, and secures them with internal controls makes it one of the most widely used and best regulatory compliance management solutions. 

Book your VComply demo to see how it helps streamline your organization’s compliance and risk management programs with a strong focus on collaboration. 

Getting ready with compliance demonstration

With increased regulatory enforcement, compliance investigations are an essential component of organizations. Companies must maintain a proactive compliance program as regulatory bodies throughout the world investigate the operations of financial institutions and enterprises more closely. This covers issues including antitrust and competition, corporate morality, data privacy, money laundering prevention, environmental laws, financial services, privacy laws, and even securities. Failure to comply with this could result in legal action or perhaps a criminal inquiry.

That the compliance ecosystem will undergo a wide range of changes in 2023, necessitating changes in reporting, data collecting, and supply chain logistics for businesses. Using compliance technology to demonstrate compliance can help organizations get ready for potential issues and enable them to adjust to new rules and regulations, as mentioned above.

The way forward

New compliance priorities, often inspired by new rules, are brought in with the new year. Considering this, in 2023, organizations must increasingly rely on risk-based regulatory compliance management platforms, which actively identify risks and mitigate them by implementing internal controls and internal control frameworks. 

A proactive strategy for creating a compliance framework can help organizations avoid future regulatory proceedings, develop their business model, and appeal to investors even during challenging times. By offering value-added technology, a digital GRC platform like VComply will no longer merely be a “nice-to-have” but rather a business accelerator.

Explore what makes VComply a consistent G2 high performer in Compliance Management. Request your demo today and transform your approach.