Compliance – An Expensive Black hole or a Strategic Imperative?

At CompliSpace we would be very happy to receive a dollar for every time we’ve heard complaints about compliance killing business, wasting valuable dollars and distracting board members from assisting organisations to achieve their goals and objectives.

Let’s face it compliance doesn’t have the best of reputations.  “Mindlessly boring”, “innovation stifling”, “tick-box mentality”, are all phrases that come to mind.

Well, times are a changin’. These days, if you search the corridors of progressive organisations, behind the compliance function, you will find technology savvy change managers, not cardigan wearing box tickers.

Compliance basically comes down to two things:

  • Ensuring organisations do what they are supposed to do (complying with laws, regulations and contracts); and
  • Ensuring organisations do what they say that they are going do (complying with organisational policies and treating risks).

It’s not rocket science, however, doing what you are supposed to do, and what you say you are going to do, must be a strategic imperative for any organisation that is serious about building stakeholder value.

Maybe we can explain this in pictures – Which one of the following images do you equate with compliance in your organisation?




The image on the left is our latest ‘Aussie hero’, Cadel Evans after winning the Tour de France.

Ask yourself; did he do this on his own, or did he have a team of people behind him, making sure that he was doing what he was supposed to do, and helping him to do what everyone expected him to do?

The compliance guys will never get the glory, however, they are there in the background, making sure that the superstars, the money makers, do what they are supposed to do, and what they say they are going to do.

Among the other benefits it will provide, a well designed and implemented compliance program will:

  • Reduce adverse risk events;
  • Decrease business complexity;
  • Increase profitability; and
  • Increase shareholder value.

So how do you create a low cost, highly effective, compliance function in your organisation?  Here’s a hint!

Don’t simply throw people at the problem.

Do design a program that will work for your organisation.

Do embrace the latest technology solutions.

By embracing the ‘Do’s’ and avoiding the Don’t, you will be able to create a highly efficient compliance program in your organisation and maintain it on an ongoing basis, for about 25% of the cost of a traditional manual system.

At CompliSpace we specialise in designing and implementing governance, risk and compliance programs that integrate with your day-to-day business operations, reduce your compliance costs, reduce your risk profile and increase profitability and shareholder value.

If you have any questions about this blog or would like to find out more about CompliSpace please contact us on +61 2 9299 6105, or visit

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