Compliance refers to the process of ensuring that an organization meets the requirements of regulatory and legal rules that govern their activities. Compliance managment is the set of procedures and methods by which managers organize, plan and control the activities that will ensure compliance as required by laws, standards and ethical business practice.
Meeting the legal and regulatory requirements when conducting business is not a new concept and in the past has been performed as a part of the overall management of an organization. In recent times organizations have established dedicated departments that are tasked with identifying compliance requirements and dealing with any violations. Sometimes seen as part of risk management, a failure of compliance can be a costly process and result in a loss of reputation which can be even more damaging. As the old adage goes, while compliance is expensive the alternative is more expensive still.