Compliance concerns C-level execs

* ControlPath survey shows that very few are fully confident that their companies are compliant

If you worry about your organization's regulatory compliance status, you're not alone. A recent survey from compliance management software vendor ControlPath shows that only 28% of respondents are fully confident that their businesses are complying with applicable regulations such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, Gramm-Leach-Bliley and the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.

ControlPath polled 132 financial and technology executives from across the U.S. The results show that most firms are struggling to implement multiple compliance mandates and haven't deployed a unified process to manage the overlapping requirements of diverse sets of compliance regulations. Not surprisingly, such work is expensive. AMR Research estimates that organizations spent $7.4 billion this year on compliance initiatives, including labor.

Only 30% of respondents say they are using a unified compliance process across multiple regulations. And a full 74% of respondents describe their compliance process as manual, or more manual than automated.

Respondents identified the following barriers to compliance: a lack of education on compliance mandates, a limited budget, lack of tools to manage the compliance process, lack of detail in regulations, and lack of accountability for compliance.

When asked about the most challenging aspect of compliance, the cost to manage compliance was most frequently cited. Measuring compliance is also challenging for senior management.

"As the cost of regulatory compliance continues to grow, corporations are stepping back and asking themselves hard questions about how to make the process more efficient," says Scott Crawford, senior analyst with Enterprise Management Associates. "Comprehensive management of the regulatory compliance workflow is where many companies will find significant savings that will directly benefit their compliance efforts."

For the results of the study, go to ControlPath's site.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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