Compliance, Controls Processes Struggle to Add Organizational Value, FloQast Report Claims

FloQast, a provider of accounting workflow automation software created by accountants for accountants, released the results of its latest market research survey, Compliance and Controls: The State of the Industry, in conjunction with the University of Georgia Consumer Analytics program.

With only 26% of participants believing their existing compliance and controls processes add significant value to their organization, the study “explores the root of this alarming phenomenon.”

It also “offers key solutions – including reinvestment in compliance and controls management strategy, reevaluation of team structure, and adoption of technology – to alleviate the biggest compliance and controls management pain points and drive greater value within the organization.”

Mike Whitmire, co-founder and CEO of FloQast, CPA, said:

”Accurate and agile compliance and controls management programs are essential for protecting companies and avoiding costly inefficiencies, especially during turbulent economic times. Our survey revealed most compliance and controls programs aren’t providing value to teams, but also found clear and actionable steps that companies should take to improve these processes, and that the risk of not taking these steps is simply too great.”

Taking into account the perspectives and opinions of 213 accounting and finance professionals from the United States and 157 from the United Kingdom, findings from Compliance and Controls: The State of the Industry reveal “that there is significant room for improvement within compliance and controls management environments, and that reinvestment in compliance and controls programs may not only benefit and protect the company during challenging economic times, but also improve employee work-life balance.”

Key findings include:

Today’s compliance and controls management professionals “are just scratching the surface” when it comes to delivering organizational value:

While the average organization “spends about $2.4 million annually on compliance and control processes, only 26% of survey participants believe their existing compliance and controls management processes add significant value to their organization.”

93% of compliance and control professionals “cite adherence to regulations, not a desire to add organizational value, as the motivation for their efforts.”

There’s a lack of strategy within existing compliance and controls programs:

  • Only 37% of participants reported a current strategic initiative around compliance or controls management programs. Most initiatives cited were general efforts to understand compliance and controls processes, rather than those focused on how to optimize compliance and controls management for greater organizational strategy or agility.

Compliance and controls management professionals are experiencing inordinate levels of stress:

  • The average professional rated their current compliance and financial control function a 69.9 out of 100 – about 70% benefit and 30% burden.
  • More than half (56%) of participants indicated that current compliance or controls processes were adding stress to the work rather than removing it.

Organizations are inefficiently staffing their compliance and control teams:

  • Only 37% of professionals reported having sufficient headcount in place to manage compliance/financial controls processes.
  • 35% of the survey participants had a clear understanding of how their work impacted their company.

Technology is not properly being leveraged to drive organizational value:

  • 70% of organizations would benefit from automating their compliance processes.
  • Those that already have a strong technical foundation indicated they are seeing greater benefit from their adoption of new technology.

Looking Ahead – Developing Solutions to Optimize Compliance and Controls:

FloQast’s study “uncovered three key ways that organizations can transform their compliance and controls management programs to not only decrease burden but to also increase value and improve strategy, efficiency,” and employee wellbeing:

  • Improve the strategic focus behind all compliance and controls activities – teams should implement strategic process narratives in compliance and controls management programs in order to lay out processes in context, provide greater clarity around how they are functioning, what they seek to accomplish, and boost organizational agility and efficiency, particularly from a cost standpoint.
  • Staff compliance and controls management to better reflect companies’ scale and needs – companies must work to appropriately staff their teams with professionals who understand how to deliver strategic value through their work.
  • Perhaps most importantly – implement workflow automation to streamline processes and glean richer data insights – workflow automation solutions are a key tool to supporting compliance teams by helping streamline activities, eliminating manual and tedious processes, improving cross-team visibility, empowering programs’ strategic focus, and reducing the levels of burnout that employees might be experiencing.

As a company founded by accountants, for accountants, FloQast not only “understands the critical nature of compliance and controls, but sees the value the process can bring to companies when transformed to be more strategic and efficient.”

With this study, FloQast is dedicated “to uplifting the solutions accounting and finance firms can implement to create a more strategic, successful and compliant future.”

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