SCCE Budget & Staff Survey

The Society of Corporate Compliance & Ethics has published a new report on the budget and staffing levels for compliance departments at various types of organizations. All you compliance officers looking to score more money from the board, take note.

The report only offers benchmarking data so you can see the average budget and staff for an organization like yours; no data on trends in budget or staffing levels over time to see whether those numbers are rising or falling. Still, SCCE provides a range of subsets and the data comes from more than 1,500 compliance officers across numerous industries, so it’s a good approximation of what other compliance departments like yours are probably doing.

Broadly speaking, the findings make sense: larger organizations have more budget and staff than smaller ones. Publicly traded companies have more budget and staff than private companies, nonprofits, and government agencies.

For budgets, the magic threshold seems to be about 7,500 employees; above that number, most organizations report an annual budget of $1 million or more. Take a look:

SCCE Budget

Credit: SCCE

Staffing levels are more intriguing. As you can see, even companies lots of revenue (more than $3 billion per year) can have small departments; 26 percent of respondents in that range said they had five or fewer employees.

That could be due to the nature of their business. Commodities firms, for example, can have large revenue numbers because of the products they trade, but small personnel operations where only a handful of compliance staff would make sense. So SCCE also included a chart breaking down compliance staff by total number of employees. Even then, however, nearly half of relatively large organizations (10,000 to 30,000 people) had 10 or fewer compliance department employees. Again, take a look:

The report has plenty more charts than these two. We should also note that this budget and staffing report is a companion to the SCCE compliance officer salary survey, released last fall. Both are richly detailed reports that let you place yourself among your peers — then you can gird your loins, enter the CFO’s office, and demand more money. Good luck.

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