Compliance and procurement professionals are positive about the current and future effectiveness of their functions, but many believe regulations have increased risks to their businesses over the last three months, a new survey has found.

More than 90% of over 600 UK and US compliance and procurement professionals polled for a Dun & Bradstreet survey registered positive sentiment in the current effectiveness of compliance and buying.

However, more than half (53%) of those surveyed said regulations hindered their ability to do their jobs effectively, while around 65% said existing regulations have increased the risk to their business in the last three months.

Only 3% of procurement professionals were not concerned about the impact of regulation in the next six months. 

"Both compliance and procurement leaders continue to be concerned with regulations," the report explains. "The regulatory landscape is more complex, and organisations need due diligence programmes that are robust, but flexible. These teams also need to be agile enough to respond to change quickly, while still meeting requirements."

Convergence between supply risk management and compliance has continued, the survey found. Both disciplines have similar, overlapping needs, and – in some companies – one executive can be responsible for both functions. In those cases, they tend to be more successful than their counterparts.

Indeed, close to one-third (30%) of the professionals indicated their focus spans both procurement and compliance. An overwhelming majority (94%) of respondents with blended functions are key decision-makers. They report having a more positive experience within their corporation related to internal stakeholders and resources, according to the research.

Many organisations have adopted technology as part of their compliance and procurement programmes, but there is still room for improvement, the survey found. As technology changes and solutions like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics come into play, an organisation's due-diligence programme can benefit if the technology is adopted correctly. However, technology was highlighted by around 36% of respondents as a possible barrier to their success.

The top four concerns highlighted by the respondents over the next six months were: customer/vendor due diligence; internal training to ensure understanding of regulations; ongoing supplier and vendor monitoring; and implementing a risk-based approach.