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What is cost of compliance?

Compliance cost refers to all the expenses a business incurs to comply with industry regulations. Compliance costs include salaries for people working in compliance, time and money spent on reporting, new systems required to meet retention, and more.

Key points to remember

  • Compliance costs refer to all the expenses a business has to incur to ensure it meets industry regulations.
  • Compliance costs include compliance department payroll, regulatory reporting costs, and any systems required for the process.
  • Compliance costs for a business increase as regulatory standards in an industry increase and a business expands globally.
  • Areas where a company should ensure it is compliant include environment, human resources, independent audits, regulatory filings, financial accounting standards, and more.
  • Typically, compliance costs increase for businesses as stricter measures are put in place to prevent fraud, loss of data privacy, environmental pollution and terrorism.

Understanding the Cost of Compliance

Compliance costs generally increase as regulations around an industry increase. Compliance costs can be incurred due to local, national, and international regulations, and they typically increase as a business operates in multiple jurisdictions. Global companies that operate in jurisdictions around the world with different regulatory regimes naturally face much higher compliance costs than a company operating solely in one location. Compliance costs are sometimes referred to as compliance air.

Compliance costs are often confused with regulatory risk and driving costs. Regulatory risk is the risk that all businesses face due to potential changes in upcoming rules and conduct costs are the fees and payments a business makes for violating applicable regulations. Compliance costs are simply the price to pay for following the rules as they are. For a listed companycompliance costs include all industry-specific compliance: environmental assessments, human resources policies, etc., as well as the costs of shareholder votes, quarterly reports, independent audits, etc.

The rising cost of compliance

In a globalized world, compliance with changing regulatory regimes is a complicated task. Businesses face different regulations as well as expanding jurisdictions where countries like the United States scrutinize a company’s total operations to ensure compliance with anti-corruption, anti-terrorism and anti-corruption legislation. money laundering. Then there are places like the European Union, which seem to have regulations for the majority of business practices. In 2016, all companies selling goods and services were informed that they had to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which increases compliance costs by mandating the appointment of a data protection officer (DPO) to oversee the implementation of privacy systems and reforms.

Due to rising compliance costs, many companies are turning to large enterprise level systems to reduce the staff they have to devote to compliance. Interestingly, the trends that created these large systems, such as big data analytics, also helped regulators spot non-compliance. So while spending on compliance costs has increased, driving costs have also increased.

This trend appears to be continuing as the number of environmental, tax, transportation, public health and other regulations have increased. Many countries go through phases of increased regulation followed by deregulation up to a point, and the United States is no different. That said, the general rule is that once a rule is on the books, it is changed rather than deleted.

In fact, studies from 2018 showed that 58% of companies expected increased interaction with regulatory staff. The study also revealed that two-thirds of companies expected their total compliance budget to grow, while 43% expected their compliance department to grow. In addition, 41% of companies expected to spend more time on compliance related to fintech regulation, as this is a new and growing sector of the industry. The cost of senior compliance officers is also expected to increase, as there is a high demand for the position and a high level of skills and knowledge needed for the role.

Despite the increase in compliance costs, studies show that it is more costly to fail to meet compliance standards, by at least 2.7 times. The cost of compliance, on average, is about $5.5 million, while the cost of non-compliance is about $15 million.

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