Company News » June: Bribery; quality staff; legislation complexities

Back hander
Companies are battling the effects of bribery on their businesses despite the
rise in international anti-corruption legislation. The findings of the global
fraud survey from
& Young
, Corruption or compliance: weighing the costs,
interviewed business leaders across 33 countries and found that 23% had been
approached to pay a bribe in order to retain or win business. A further 18%
claimed they lost business to a competitor as a result of that competitor paying
a bribe.

Can’t get the staff
Difficulties in retaining high quality staff are the biggest concern companies
face through globalisation, according to a study by the Economist Intelligence
Unit on behalf of business advisory firm
North American executives were found to be 12% more likely than European ones to
cite globalisation as a challenge to retaining skilled staff. Western European
executives found their primary challenge was funding expansion into new markets.

Litigation risk
The increasing complexities of legislation make 39% of respondents to a report
compiled by
the insurance underwriter, Directors in the Dock, agree that companies expect
the growing risk of litigation to increase costs of their products and services
over the next three years. More than 50% also said that inadequate technology
security created the highest risk of liability for the company, but 29% had not
given it consideration at board level.

Survival manual
has compiled a Recession Survival Guide, to help finance
departments limit the impact a global recession could have on its organisation.
“Being indecisive or slow about cuts can put the entire business at risk; but
cutting too fast or too deep can leave companies unable to grow again when
financial seas are once again calm”, it says. Another guide produced by the
of Corporate Treasurers
urges companies to reappraise their
business plans with a newly critical eye.

Here to stay
The credit crunch will last until at least the end of the year, according to the
CFO Survey. One-fifth said they did not expect liquidity to improve until the
last quarter of 2008, but 50% of respondents believe this won’t happen until the
first half of 2009.

Last word on IT
Although IT leaders remain accountable for technology initiatives in an
organisation, the final say over IT investment rests with non-IT board members
such as FDs, CEOs and the executive team. A study sponsored by business
management software providers
software, Closing the IT Gap, found that 64% of non-IT executives agreed with
this statement.