For the last five years, Compliance Week has published an annual benchmarking survey, asking compliance officers how they work with their peers, what their responsibilities are, what resources they have and much more. This executive summary is the culmination of a much larger effort. We begin every winter, creating a survey to explore a wide range of issues confronting compliance organizations today. The 35 questions in the survey were grouped into four broad categories: the resources that compliance departments have; the responsibilities and activities with the compliance operations; the specific compliance risks within the extended organization; and the use of technology.

We then asked compliance executives across Corporate America (and overseas) to take the 2015 Compliance Trends Survey. The 364 responses we received—from around the world, across more than a dozen industries, and from organizations large and small—gave us the raw material to understand the common practices of many compliance functions today, and we’re grateful for their input. We used the data to answer three questions in this report:

Do compliance executives have the appropriate authority and resources to do their jobs?

Are compliance executives assessing the right risks in the right way?

How do compliance executives use technology to tame the challenges they face?