Companies that take a strategic approach to the challenge of complying with tough new corporate governance requirements can create opportunities to strengthen their internal processes and enhance their business.
This article is one in a series from Microsoft Office System that explores issues and perspectives facing finance executives.
Making Sense of the Global Regulatory Patchwork
Even For the global economic system to function as it should, investors, employees, consumers and the general public must have confidence that they will benefit from it — and from the work of corporations that support it. Recently, that confidence has been severely shaken.
As the names of several top corporations have become synony-mous with corporate misconduct and financial scandal, a call for more effective corporate governance has been raised worldwide — from finan-cial reporting and internal controls to how a corporation selects, trains and evaluates its board of directors. (This article is not a legal analysis of corporate governance, but rather a look at a range of issues associated with it and how some companies are responding to those issues and using compliance efforts to build greater business value.)
While corporate governance has largely been portrayed as an issue of compliance, analysts and business leaders increasingly are seeing good governance as good business. Finance organizations will see the cost of compliance increase in the coming years as firms move from the investigational phase to implement-ation. Hence, finance executives are looking carefully at the cost-benefit of compliance. In the end, sound corporate governance can reduce market volatility, encourage invest-ment and promote sustainable productivity and growth. The push today is toward putting into place a combination of internal controls, explicit businesses processes and systems for corporate governance that can also build business...