Finance Executives Don’t Expect Regulatory Compliance Demands to Ease

Put 1,600 people in a room, and it would be difficult to get them to agree on almost anything. Put 1,600 or so accounting and finance executives in a room and ask them about regulatory compliance demands, though, and the responses might be almost unanimous.

So suggest findings from the recently released Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function: 2014, a study from Robert Half and Financial Executives Research Foundation, the research affiliate of Financial Executives International (FEI). In the report, 99 percent of U.S. executives and 96 percent in Canada said they expect their compliance costs to rise or stay the same over time.

Regulatory-related burdens are also seen as most likely to intensify. Just 2 percent of respondents in the United States and 4 percent in Canada think the pressure they face in dealing with regulations will diminish in the coming years.

The research furthers suggests small and midsize companies, in particular, are feeling the heat. More than 70 percent of executives at firms with up to $499 million in revenue anticipate the burden will be even greater in the coming years, and most of the remaining respondents thought it would be just as great. At organizations with $500 million to $999 million in revenue, 0 percent of respondents expect the burden to decrease.

For more insights on the compliance pressures executives are managing, as well as other key issues they face, please listen to a replay of a complimentary webinar Robert Half hosted with FEI on May 20. A panel of chief financial officers discussed compliance and other areas covered in Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function, including workforce management, accounting operations, financial systems, sourcing and internal controls.

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5 ways you can leverage the Benchmarking report:

  1. Compare your department's performance metrics with those of similarly sized organizations
  2. Identify key areas for improvements and develop a plan for implementation
  3. Communicate findings and proposed plans to senior management to achieve the required support and potential resources
  4. Share the recorded webinar with your colleagues
  5. Download your complimentary copy of Benchmarking the Accounting & Finance Function

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Photo source: "endless tunnel" by kimdokhac, some rights reserved

NOTE: This blog post was updated May 20. 

How do these findings on regulatory compliance compare with what you’re seeing? Weigh in using the comment section below.