Compliance and Procurement Professionals' Confidence Declines as Environmental, Regulation, and Fraud Concerns Grow

Overall Sentiment, a Measure of Effectiveness in Existing Regulatory Processes, Deteriorates in 2019

Dun & Bradstreet’s 2019 Compliance and Procurement Sentiment report finds that confidence around the efficacy to prevent fraud, manage regulations and Brexit-related changes, and identify environmental, social and governance concerns (ESG) has dropped.

The findings show that confidence in the current effectiveness of compliance and procurement decision makers is down 7% since June 2018, resulting in 86% of respondents now showing confidence. The future effectiveness of compliance and procurement functions also decreased by 4% to 87%.

Although compliance and procurement professionals are generally positive about the effectiveness of their business functions, 53% say existing regulation has increased the risk to their business in the last three months. Retail and governmental business leaders displayed the biggest decrease in confidence overall.

Th report, the third in a series from Dun & Bradstreet, uncovers and tracks areas of short-term and long-term success and concerns for compliance and procurement professionals, including:

Environmental, social and governance (ESG): Concerns for ESG rose dramatically, with more than 43% confirming it is difficult to identify ESG within customer due diligence processes. Professionals are struggling to identify, account and monitor for the issue within third party risk management programs.

Supplier risk management and compliance converge: There is an ongoing convergence of the two functions, which 13% of professionals feel would have a “negative” or “very negative” outcome on the business; half (50%) say it will have a “very” or “fairly positive” impact. These findings suggest a lack of clarity in business.

Corporations continue to experience fraud: The ability to detect and respond to fraud is a challenge for procurement and compliance professionals around the world. Supplier, customer and third-party relationships are growing more complex, and fraud is harder to detect – 56% of respondents said that technology and policy are the top contributing factors to fraud.

The impact of regulations and Brexit: Just under half (44%) of respondents believe that regulations are a barrier to doing their job effectively. In addition, a third say that Brexit is a liability to their business as respondents believe that treating the EU as a separate country will add to the complexity of customer due diligence.

Commenting on the findings, Brian Alster, General Manager, Supply & Compliance at Dun & Bradstreet, said: “The report has shed light on the increasing pressures professionals are under to maintain compliance in an ever-changing economic, business and political environment. Gaining full insight and transparency into all third-party relationships - suppliers, customers, vendors, etc. -  is critical to managing risk for both compliance and procurement officers. Fraudulent activity and Brexit-related regulatory change are complex issues, but by knowing the processes needed within each department, businesses can successfully ensure today’s requirements are being met while planning for the future, too.”

The report also highlights the top six concerns regarding Iran sanctions for the UK and US.

About the Survey

The survey was conducted by ComRes on behalf of Dun & Bradstreet. 620 compliance and procurement decision-makers were interviewed online between October – November 2018.