Global compliance source of opportunity: builds trust and business reputation, reveals survey from Mazars

22 November 2021, Geneva: Mazars, the international audit, tax and advisory firm, today shares ‘Unlocking trust: why global compliance is on the business agenda’. The study, based on a survey of 892 senior accounting and tax compliance professionals working in multinational companies from 25 countries, highlights the opportunities and risks associated with compliance now and in the future.
  • Majority of businesses see compliance as an opportunity creator that can build trust and reputation, rather than just an obligation.
  • Business leaders invest significant time in compliance: three-quarters have top executives/board members engage in compliance functions at least quarterly.
  • Over half of respondents (51%) expect compliance requirements to become more difficult to meet in the future and therefore plan to invest in technology (machine learning/AI) and skills to keep up.
  • Four-fifths of businesses (82%) are confident they are meeting compliance requirements today – and will continue to in the future.
  • Regions and countries expressed a broadly consistent sentiment, with some outliers identified.

José Caneda, CEO, Mazars in Switzerland says: “Global compliance has long been a cornerstone of good business practice but can still be viewed by some as simply an obligation to be met rather than an opportunity to be capitalised on. That’s why we set out to uncover how business leaders approach global compliance, including the attention they devote to it, the returns they expect, the risks they anticipate, and where they focus investment. Our survey and study show when global compliance is done well it builds investor confidence, increases client and customer trust, and shapes a positive reputation with the outside world”.

José adds: “This survey and study demonstrate the clear sense of responsibility business leaders have towards compliance. With scrutiny on business as tight as ever, the findings that most leaders plan on increasing financial and human resources dedicated to compliance should be reassuring for anyone who wants to see good business done well”.


Mazars, in partnership with GQR Research, surveyed 892 senior accounting and tax compliance professionals working in multinational companies, between 30 April and 2 June 2021. Fieldwork was conducted online and was on a “double-blind” basis: respondents did not know that Mazars was the sponsor of the survey. Respondents were from private sector, multinational businesses. They were at least Director-level in seniority, worked in a Global/regional headquarters and had responsibility for multiple countries. They were involved in accounting and tax compliance within their organisation.

Respondents came from all global regions, with an emphasis on Western Europe and Asia-Pacific: Africa & Middle East (100 respondents); Asia-Pacific (251); Central & Eastern Europe (50); North America (51); Latin America (101); Western Europe (339)

Size of organisation of respondents:

  • Fewer than 1,000 employees globally: 268 respondents
  • 1,000-10,000 employees globally: 380 respondents
  • 10,000 employees globally or more: 244 respondents