Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC)


Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) is a strategic framework that aims to synchronize information and processes across an organization. It involves managing an organization’s overall governance, enterprise risk management, and compliance with regulations. GRC ensures that a company’s objectives are achieved effectively and efficiently, while also managing risk and complying with relevant laws and policies.


Governance: /ˈɡʌv.ən.əns/Risk Management: /rɪsk ˈmæn.ɪdʒ.mənt/and: /ænd/ or /ənd/ Compliance: /kəmˈplaɪ.əns/(GRC): /ˌdʒiː ɑːr ˈsiː/

Key Takeaways

<ol><li> <b>Interrelation and Importance</b>: Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) are three pillars that work together for the purpose of assuring an organization’s goals are reached. They are crucial components in business strategy to effectively manage business operations, deal with uncertainties, and remain compliant with legal and regulatory obligations.</li><li><b>Integrated Approach</b>: Rather than treating governance, risk and compliance as separate entities, efficient organizations strive for an integrated GRC approach. This enables better decision making, eliminates redundancies, and reduces the possibility of failure to comply with laws and regulations. </li><li> <b>Technology and Automation</b>: In today’s complex and ever-changing business environment, managing GRC manually can be time-consuming and prone to errors. Implementing GRC software can provide greater visibility into operations, automate repetitive tasks, and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness of governance, risk management and compliance efforts. </li></ol>


Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) is an essential concept in business and finance as it ensures a company operates within legal and regulatory boundaries, effectively manages potential risks, and is governed by strong leadership. The implementation of GRC assists a firm in aligning its business objectives with the current market standards and ensures the company is compliant with all related policies (both internal and external ones), which in turn boosts the firm’s credibility in the marketplace. Moreover, a properly managed GRC framework provides an effective evaluation of potential risks, helping companies to mitigate these and avoid serious financial losses or reputational damage. Thus, GRC is an integral part of the strategic decision-making process, with substantial implications for a company’s longevity and success.


The purpose of Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) is to ensure a company’s operations and actions comply with legal and regulatory requirements, while also meeting business objectives. Housed under the umbrella of GRC, governance refers to the overall management approach through which top-level executives direct and control the entire organization, while risk management focuses on forecasting and evaluating business risks, alongside identification of procedures to avoid or minimize their impact. Meanwhile, compliance ensures that the organization adheres to a set of laid out rules or standards, typically legal obligations, professional standards, or ethical practices.GRC, therefore, provides a structured approach to align IT with business objectives, while effectively managing risk and meeting compliance requirements. A well-planned GRC strategy comes with numerous benefits, such as improved decision-making, more efficient IT investments, elimination of silos, and reduced fragmentation among divisions and departments, etc. It is used to coordinate information and activity across departments to operate more efficiently, enable more effective information sharing, report more timely and accurate information to management, and avoid wasteful overlaps.


1. Financial Services Industry: Banks and other financial institutions are under constant government scrutiny and regulation. They have to ensure compliance with rules such as those set forth by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act, and countless others. They have to have governance policies in place to ensure they’re operating within the law and ethically, maintain systems to manage a multitude of risks including credit, market, and operational risks, and stay compliant with all relevant rules and regulations. For instance, if a bank fails to maintain proper risk management protocols, it could lead to significant financial losses and regulatory penalties.2. Health Care Sector: The healthcare sector is also heavily regulated. For instance, in the United States, health care providers must comply with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), which governs how individuals’ health information is protected, among other things. This requires strict risk management procedures to protect against data breaches and robust governance procedures to ensure compliance. Non-compliance can lead to significant fines.3. Oil and Gas Industry: The oil and gas industry must adhere to strict environmental regulations, safety standards, and reporting rules. For example, they must take steps to manage the risk of oil spills, which are heavily penalized and can be catastrophic both environmentally and reputationally. They also have to comply with regulations set forth by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure the safety of their workers. Their governance policies will likely incorporate oversight of these areas, and they must stay up to date with all relevant rules to remain in compliance.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC)?

Governance, Risk Management, and Compliance (GRC) is a strategic framework composed of three critical elements used by businesses to ensure they meet their goals. Governance refers to the overall management approach through which senior executives direct and control the entire organization; Risk Management involves predicting and managing risks that could hinder the organization from reaching its objectives; Compliance ensures that the organization is adhering to all external relevant laws and regulations.

Why is GRC important?

GRC is crucial for ensuring an organization is operating within legal, ethical, and safety parameters, hence reducing financial risks, enhancing operational efficiency, and protecting its reputation. It also helps the organization to align with its strategic goals.

How does GRC differ from traditional risk management?

Unlike traditional risk management that deals mainly with financial or operational risks, GRC offers a holistic approach covering a broad spectrum of risks including operational, compliance, strategic, financial and reputational risks.

Who is responsible for implementing GRC in an organization?

Responsibility for implementing GRC should be shared across an organization. While the board and management team play a crucial role in setting the tone for GRC, all employees should be aware of and accountable for GRC in their roles.

Can you give some examples of GRC in action?

GRC comes into play when an organization conducts internal audits to ensure compliance, carries out risk assessments to identify potential risks, drafts governance policies for business operations or when the board of directors oversees the execution and performance of an organization’s operations.

How do companies typically manage GRC?

Companies manage GRC using a variety of strategies, systems and tools. This can range from simple spreadsheets to advanced software solutions that automate much of the process. Some companies choose to manage GRC in-house, while others will outsource to specialist firms.

Is GRC related to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)?

Yes, CSR is an aspect of governance, where an organization voluntarily commits to certain societal goals in terms of environmental protection, social wellbeing, and economic prosperity. CSR can form an important part of a company’s broader GRC framework.

What are the benefits of integrating GRC?

Integrating GRC can help companies gain a more comprehensive understanding of their risks, improve decision making by providing insight into the performance of key risk indicators, ensure consistent compliance processes, and reduce duplication of efforts.

Related Finance Terms

  • Internal Control Systems
  • Regulatory Compliance
  • Operational Risk Management
  • Corporate Governance
  • Compliance Auditing

Sources for More Information

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More