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Compliance officers fight for slice of IT budget

IT’s patch is under attack from a new quarter, as compliance officers parachute into the boardroom and wrest control of IT regulatory budget.

IT’s patch is under attack from a new quarter, as compliance officers parachute into the boardroom and wrest control of IT regulatory budget.

Currently, just 38% of compliance spend in large firms comes from IT budgets, according to a survey by Critical Research. The rest appears to have already been siphoned off into new compliance divisions which have sprung up over the last 18 months to help firms deal with the deluge of legislation.

Heading up these units is a new breed of compliance experts “catapulted straight into the boardroom with the budget and authority to get what they need,” says Robert Dent, chief executive of the survey’s sponsors Achiever Business Solutions.

The budget could be used to choose platforms and compliance systems that fall outside existing IT policies.

“This could lead to tensions in the boardroom as boundaries are re-defined and room at the top is made for the new kids on the corporate block,” cautions Dent.

Overall, compliance budget averages £87,000 with a further £33,000 allocated for support and maintenance. Half the survey respondents expect this budget to increase as extra demands emerge.

One area that could easily mop up both IT and compliance budget are proposed changes to quarterly reporting for listed companies.

The radical overhaul outlined by the International Audit Network, which counts the big four auditors among its members, includes greater use of technology to provide more non-financial information to shareholders in real-time.

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