Why Getting Gifts and Entertainment Right Matters

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Compliance professionals spend too much time dealing with gifts and entertainment. Back-and-forth emails. Spreadsheets. Manual audit logs.

Not only is the entire process inefficient, it poses significant risk to businesses that are unable to accurately audit all activity.

You also spend less time on work that matters, and create a transactional relationship with the business that diminishes your ability to establish a genuine culture of compliance.

So, what’s the solution?

In our webinar on June 6 2024, BRYTER’s Matthew Darvell-Wright spoke to Dell Technologies’ former Head of Compliance – Europe, Middle-East and Africa, Yolanda van Wyk, and Consilio’s Bartu Gundogdu and Jamie Goldrich to learn how automation can lower risk, make the gifts and entertainment process more efficient, and can support a culture of compliance.

Read on for the key takeaways.

The broad scope of compliance and its growing importance

Matthew Darvell-Wright kicked off the webinar by emphasizing the breadth of compliance and its critical role in organizations.

“Compliance is an area with significant consequences,” he noted, highlighting that these consequences are not only financial but also reputational, impacting employee health and safety. The stakes are high, with a 50% year-on-year growth in fines and an average revenue loss of around $4 million for non-compliant organizations.

Matthew underscored the need for constant improvement in compliance practices, stating, “Nearly one in five organizations have faced regulatory penalties in the past three years.” This statistic illustrates the pervasive nature of compliance challenges and the necessity for organizations to remain vigilant.

The rising costs of maintaining compliance

One of the significant challenges Matthew highlighted is the rising cost of maintaining compliance. “A staggering 90% have quoted a 30% rise in costs to maintain compliance within their organization,” he shared. This increase is driven by the need for proactive compliance measures across all business areas, especially in complex, international organizations.

The importance of proactive compliance was a recurring theme in Matthew’s discussion.

He pointed out that having robust approval procedures and the ability to audit activity and monitor risk are vital components of a successful compliance strategy.

This is particularly true in the context of anti-bribery efforts, which often serve as a cornerstone for broader compliance initiatives.

Anti-bribery as a critical compliance area

Anti-bribery emerged as a central focus of the webinar, with Matthew stressing its significance.

“Anti-bribery breaches are one of the most common breaches and fines that are increasing to worrying levels,” he noted. He pointed out a number of events that exemplify this.

The importance of anti-bribery measures lies in their ability to touch every employee within an organization, fostering a compliance culture from the ground up.

The upcoming major events like the Olympics in Paris and the Euros in Germany present additional compliance challenges.

These events, coupled with day-to-day customer and vendor activities, require organizations to be vigilant about gifts and hospitality practices.

Matthew emphasized, “Gifts and entertainment are areas that touch every part of the business,” making it crucial for companies to have clear policies and procedures in place.

Real-life compliance challenges: Yolanda van Wyk’s insights

Yolanda van Wyk provided a real-world perspective on the challenges of compliance, drawing from her experiences at Dell and in subsequent roles.

At Dell, Yolanda focused on auditing and reviewing compliance with anti-bribery and corruption policies. She shared the innovative approach Dell took to training, using a Tomb Raider-style game to engage employees and reinforce compliance concepts.

Yolanda also highlighted the difficulties of auditing and maintaining records, noting the absence of a central repository for approvals and decisions.

“There was no central repository where you could quickly access all the requests for approvals or their associated responses,” she explained. This lack of centralized data made auditing and investigating compliance issues time-consuming and challenging.

The high stakes of compliance failures

Yolanda’s post-Dell experience further underscored the high stakes of compliance failures.

She recounted her involvement in defending against an investigation into bribery of government officials across multiple African countries. The complexity and scale of the investigation were staggering, with the document count reaching 63 million pages.

The lengthy investigation had devastating consequences for those involved, highlighting the importance of efficient and effective compliance practices.

Yolanda stressed that having a central repository for compliance records could have significantly expedited the investigation process and potentially mitigated its impact.

Leveraging technology for compliance

Jamie Goldrich and Bartu Gundogdu discussed how technology can streamline compliance processes, particularly in managing gifts and entertainment.

Jamie highlighted the partnership with BRYTER to develop a highly configurable solution that can be implemented quickly, reducing the time and cost associated with traditional compliance systems.

Bartu provided a detailed demonstration of the platform, showcasing its customizable intake forms, approval workflows, and comprehensive audit trails.

The platform’s ability to filter and export data, combined with its integration capabilities with tools like Microsoft Teams, makes it a valuable asset for compliance teams.


The “Why Getting Gifts and Entertainment Right Matters” webinar emphasized a critical aspect of modern business: the need for robust compliance strategies. Matthew Darvell-Wright and Yolanda van Wyk brought to light the escalating stakes and costs associated with non-compliance, painting a clear picture of the landscape that businesses today must navigate.

Their insights underscore the imperative for companies to adopt proactive compliance measures, especially in anti-bribery efforts. With hefty fines and potential reputational damage on the line, the message is clear: organizations cannot afford to be complacent.

Yolanda’s real-world anecdotes highlighted the often-overlooked complexities and consequences of compliance failures. Her experiences reveal the high cost of inefficient processes and the crucial need for centralized, easily accessible compliance data.

As Jamie Goldrich and Bartu Gundogdu illustrated, leveraging advanced, configurable platforms can streamline compliance operations, making them more efficient and less costly. Their demonstration showed that with the right tools, businesses could manage compliance more effectively, reducing the burden on their teams and mitigating risks.

For businesses aiming to safeguard their reputation and ensure sustainable growth, investing in proactive compliance strategies and cutting-edge technology is no longer optional — it’s essential.

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