Despite two decades of technology advances, most businesses today continue to navigate compliance with a distinctly pre-digital mindset. Many controls and processes, for example, still entail significant manual effort: On average, only 15% of a company’s Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) controls are automated, according to PwC research.
This glacial pace of progress can be explained, in part, by the fact that many business leaders view compliance as an obligation that yields little strategic or competitive value, and thus have not invested in compliance processes at the same rate as other parts of the business.
That’s starting to change. Business executives are waking up to the powerful promises of automation to significantly reduce costs of compliance. PwC’s own analysis suggests that a 15% increase in automation can yield a 10% decrease in the cost of compliance in many companies today. Compliance now represents a prime opportunity to lower costs as companies modernize systems, migrate to the cloud and adopt low-code automation.
What’s more, tech-enabled processes can help reinvigorate overworked compliance teams, deliver meaningful insights early on and rapidly maximize the value of robust compliance and risk assessments. These capabilities are increasingly essential, given the escalating complexity of compliance requirements. In fact, our 2022 Global Risk Survey found that keeping pace with digital transformation and compliance pressures are among today’s top overall business concerns. Almost three-quarters (74%) of respondents told us external compliance requirements are consuming the resources and time of the risk-management function.
Principal, Enterprise Technology Solutions Leader, Cyber, Risk and Regulatory, PwC US