Following the fallout from major corporate crashes such as Enron
and Worldcom, stricter compliance legislation has been introduced
around the world to ensure that business managers and principals
are more accountable for their actions.
The latest compliance standards focus on greater accountability
and control in key business processes – most importantly document
flows and data management.
There are two central aspects to enforcing compliance:
Non-compliance is not an option, companies risk stiff fines and
executives can be held personally liable if information is not in
order. Therefore, it is important that the business examines all
regulations, not just those affecting their specific area of operation,
but also generic legislation affecting general business activities.
The consequences of non-compliance are extremely serious; in December
2002 the SEC fined five Wall Street brokerages a total of $8.25m
for improperly storing e-mail communications (Forrester Research).