Challenges of Implementing Corporate Compliance in Contemporary Brazil
Brazil has gradually adhered to global best practices relating to corporate compliance, as evidenced by the anti-corruption Law 12,846 enacted in 2013. Companies have progressively implemented controls in order to adhere to the terms of this law and mitigate related risks. This is happening in the midst of the largest federal investigation which ever occurred in Brazil against corruption and money laundering: the so-called “car wash” operation.
A recent survey issued by KPMG Brazil, with the participation of more than 200 major companies, demonstrated that the level of maturity of the compliance area still needs to be improved. Almost half of the analyzed companies have either minimum or no compliance structures. Taking into account that the majority of the companies have a formalized code of ethics, it would appear that concern exists in theory, but monitoring and controls have not been effective.
Country, society and corporations are moving forward in respect of corruption. Admitting its existence and combating it is the first step and this is definitely in place. However, one of the key challenges is how to perpetuate these actions in a highly bureaucratic country/economy. A World Bank survey “Doing Business” indicates that Brazil ranks 120, in a total of 180 countries, in relation to ease of doing business. As an example, an average Brazilian company spends 2600 h per year with tax compliance procedures as compared with 218 h in Germany and 175 h in the USA. This provides clear evidence that more requirements/formalizations do not necessarily mean a more compliant environment.
The purpose of this chapter is to demonstrate what actions government and corporations are taking in order to improve the corporate compliance environment in Brazil, aimed at achieving a balance in terms of costs, reputation preservation, and business flexibility in a demanding environment of economic growth allied to corporate social responsibility.
KeywordsBrazil Corporate social responsibility Anti-corruption law Maturity of compliance Bureaucracy
- Brazil, Decree 8,420 from March 18, 2015.Google Scholar
- Brazil, Law 12,846 from August 1, 2013.Google Scholar
- Brazil, Law 13,303 from June 30, 2016.Google Scholar
- Brazilian Federal Prosecution website, retrieved on July 31, 2017 from http://lavajato.mpf.mp.br/
- Brazilian Institute of Planning and Taxation website, retrieved on July 31, 2017 from https://ibpt.com.br/
- Gomes, L. (2007). 1808: The Flight of the Emperor: How a weak prince, a mad queen, and the British navy tricked Napoleon and changed the new world (p. 177). São Paulo: Editora Planeta do Brasil.Google Scholar
- KPMG Brazil. (2017). Survey on the maturity of compliance in Brazil.Google Scholar
- World Bank. (2017). Doing business 2017: Equal opportunity for all. Washington, DC: World Bank.Google Scholar