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The Wall Street Journal Risk & Compliance Poll Reveals Concerns and Recommendations for Compliance Program Improvement

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Last month, The Wall Street Journal released the results of its 2015 Risk & Compliance annual poll where participants offered their input on the top compliance issues and crises of the year, and shared their thoughts on what compliance professionals need in order to do their jobs better. [1]

Here’s a look at the results. What surprises you the most?

  • “What was the top compliance issue in 2015?” 3 percent of respondents agreed that the top issue was the increasing number and sophistication of cyberattacks.
  • “What was the crisis of the year?” More than half (58.1 percent) answered the Volkswagen emissions scandal while the ongoing FIFA corruption scandal came in second with 28.8 percent of the votes.
  • “Who was the most feared regulator in 2015?” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman received 37.2 percent of the votes followed by Richard Corday, Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), who received 24.1 percent of the votes.
  • “Which of these scenarios would most worry you as a compliance officer?” 8 percent of voters agreed that a company product recall due to illnesses and deaths would be the most worrisome while 20.9 percent said they would be most worried if their company was found accused of violating sanction laws.
  • “Which of these changes would most improve your compliance program?” 2 percent of respondents agreed that more money and more staff would improve their compliance program. Holding board members and management personally liable came in second with 23.2 percent of the votes.

 There’s no question that compliance will continue to be a key issue for companies in 2016. Do you have a plan for handling compliance issues when they arise? If not, the start of the New Year is a perfect time to lay out a strategy.

In a study published by ADP and CFO Research last year, we laid out a framework for how businesses can think about intelligent compliance management.2 As a first step, compliance officers should take an inventory of the systems they use to manage compliance activities. Following that assessment, they should consider investing in a platform that allows them to prioritize their compliance activities in an organized fashion. Ideally, this platform should also have reporting and analytics capabilities so business leaders can evaluate how compliance management is impacting the company’s bottom line. Finally, the platform should be flexible and able to adapt to changes as the regulatory landscape will continue to evolve.

Here are some key highlights from the study. Be sure to visit ADP SmartCompliance® for additional tools and resources.
Learn More About ADP SmartCompliance®

The information provided in this blog post is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing accounting, legal, or tax advice.  The information and services ADP provides should not be deemed a substitute for the advice of any such professional.  Such information is by nature subject to revision and may not be the most current information available.


[1]Results of the Risk & Compliance Journal Annual Poll –

2How Can Your Business Close the HCM-Related Compliance Gap? –




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