10 Pressing Challenges that Corporations Face in Compliance Management 

Effective compliance and risk management are essential components of corporate governance. As leaders and decision-makers, we bear the responsibility of ensuring that our organisation adheres to a strict and rigorous implementation of all laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices.  

Why would anyone choose to confront the consequences of non-compliance, such as penalties, legal actions, and litigation? 

Enforcing compliance should be a recurring practice for key stakeholders within a business as this lays the foundations of a sound and excellent future for our business. However, business leaders are hounded by insurmountable challenges brought by the complexity of the compliance process. 

In an article published by Harvard Business Review, authors and compliance experts Hui Chen and Eugene Soltes noted that “One of the main reasons that companies keep investing more and more in compliance is that they do not have the right measures and thus cannot tell what works and what doesn’t.” 

“At many companies, strengthening compliance has become synonymous with hiring more compliance managers, buying more-sophisticated software, and creating more policies, even when those moves are redundant and wasteful or just don’t deliver results,”  

As a governance specialist, Governance Manager believes that it is crucial for organisations to be abreast of the contemporary issues that shape the compliance terrain. Here, we delve into ten pressing challenges that corporations should keep their eye on in pursuit of effective compliance management. 

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity. The surge in cyber threats and the increasing importance of data privacy regulations pose significant challenges to corporate compliance. Governance specialists must grapple with ensuring that sensitive data is protected, and organisations adhere to stringent data protection laws, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). 

Globalisation and Cross-Border Regulations. As businesses expand globally, governance specialists face the complex task of navigating diverse regulatory frameworks. Harmonising compliance across borders and ensuring adherence to various international standards demands a nuanced understanding of regional nuances and legal requirements. 

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Compliance. The growing emphasis on ESG factors requires organisations to integrate sustainability into their business practices. Governance specialists are tasked with ensuring that companies align with ESG principles, fostering transparency, and addressing environmental and social concerns. 

Dynamic Regulatory Landscape. Rapid changes in legislation and regulatory frameworks necessitate continuous monitoring and adaptation. Governance specialists must remain vigilant to stay ahead of regulatory shifts, ensuring their organisations are agile in response to new compliance requirements. 

Third-Party Risks. As businesses increasingly rely on external vendors and partners, managing third-party risks has become a critical facet of compliance. Governance specialists need to implement robust due diligence processes to mitigate risks associated with suppliers, contractors, and other collaborators. 

Ethical Conduct and Corporate Culture. Maintaining a strong ethical culture within an organisation is integral to compliance. Governance specialists must foster a culture of integrity, emphasising ethical conduct from the top down and implementing measures to detect and address any lapses in ethical behaviour. 

Technology and Automation Challenges. While technology facilitates streamlined compliance processes, it also introduces challenges such as cybersecurity risks and the ethical use of artificial intelligence. Governance specialists must strike a balance between leveraging technological advancements and ensuring the responsible and ethical use of these tools. 

Whistleblower Protection and Reporting Mechanisms. Encouraging a culture of reporting misconduct and protecting whistleblowers is essential for effective compliance. Governance specialists need to establish robust reporting mechanisms, educate employees on their rights, and ensure the confidentiality and protection of whistleblowers. 

Crisis Management and Response Planning. In an era of heightened uncertainty, governance specialists must develop comprehensive crisis management plans. This includes preparing for unforeseen events, ensuring swift responses to crises, and mitigating the potential fallout on compliance frameworks. 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Compliance Societal expectations regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion have intensified. Governance specialists play a pivotal role in implementing and monitoring DEI policies, ensuring fair and inclusive practices within the organisation. 

Staying informed, embracing technological advancements, fostering ethical cultures, and addressing global and socio-economic shifts are imperative for organisations striving to meet the demands of an ever-evolving compliance landscape. 

In the same way, engaging in a partnership with an established and reputable compliance specialist such as Governance Manager can prove to be instrumental in achieving a seamless compliance process. By addressing compliance challenges head-on, we are building a resilient, responsible, and compliant corporate entity. 

Talk with our Governance Manager compliance specialists and advisors today! 


Hui Chen and Eugene Soltes, Why Compliance Programs Fail – and How to Fix Them, March – April 2018, Why Your Compliance Programs Are a Million-Dollar Waste of Time (hbr.org) 

Using Governance Manager Articles

Governance Manager articles offer a strategic approach to knowledge acquisition within a particular field of governance.  Each article is meticulously crafted to synthesise a substantial body of research into a concise and readily digestible format.  This comprehensive approach ensures readers are presented with the latest data and leading industry perspectives.

To maximise the utility of these articles, readers are encouraged to actively engage with key concepts.  Consideration of these concepts can prove invaluable when evaluating current governance practices and designing tailored improvement programs specific to an organisation’s unique needs.

For a more granular assessment of governance maturity, the Governance Manager tool is a valuable companion resource. This tool allows for the benchmarking of an organisation against recognised industry standards.  It also facilitates the development of bespoke improvement programs informed by expert guidance from a global network of specialists.

For more information, contact a Governance Manager partner at www.governancemanager.com.au.