November 9, 2023

An Integrated GRC Program: How to Connect Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Your Business

Workiva Solutions


Minutes to read

An integrated governance, risk, and compliance (GRC) program is essential for any business striving for success. Traditionally, these pillars operated in isolation, with their own rules and responsibilities.

What is GRC?

Governance was all about the big picture. It involved setting policies, procedures, and auditing standards to ensure things ran smoothly.

Risk primarily involved looking back. Companies assessed past performances, gauged potential issues, and often relied on qualitative judgments.

Compliance ensured the organization didn't step out of line. Its main job was to make sure every action aligned with laws and regulations or policies and procedures.

But here's an idea…

What if these pillars were all connected and their information was completely integrated?

This would mean shared data and common goals, using the same taxonomy, and helping the organization make real-time decisions to drive the achievement of strategy.

An integrated GRC is all about collaboration. To obtain an integrated program, let risk be the primary driving force.

By infusing risk practices into every part of the organization, it becomes the bridge between governance and compliance. This means data is shared seamlessly, goals align more naturally, and there's a common language spoken.

What would an integrated program look like?  Where would you start?

The Integrated GRC Approach

Start by linking your business goals and objectives – this is your governance – to any potential risks. This will show your company what they need to watch out for as they proceed – this is your risk management.

For example, focus on anything directly impacting your company’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives. This could be information security risk, regulatory compliance risk, etc.

Then, once your company determines its potential risks, you’ll understand how to strengthen your operations to protect yourself better – this is your compliance.

Lastly, connecting those areas of operations that need improvement allows your company to establish new and more robust processes, procedures, and controls – this would be a combination of your improved governance and compliance.

When working through this integrated approach, your business will need multiple departments to collaborate to receive real-time and accurate data.

This integrated approach is all good in talk, but how does your company implement it?

How can we get all the risks your company faces linked to your goals and objectives, your operations, and your process improvements?

How to Implement an Integrated GRC Program

  1. Understand your goals and objectives.
  2. Determine the risks that will impact the achievement of your goals and objectives.
  3. Adjust your operations to improve your company’s defense against those risks.
  4. Establish a way for your company to capture any data around these risks.
  5. Analyze your risk data.
  6. Engage key stakeholders that are directly affected by those risks.
  7. Develop further responses to those risks and implement them across your company.

For many companies, implementing an integrated GRC program seems like an immense undertaking – especially on their own.

To combat that, companies use platforms like Workiva to implement GRC solutions that streamline your GRC functions. The platform can help integrate audit management, SOX compliance and controls, enterprise risk management, and more!

How to Connect Governance, Risk, and Compliance in Your Business using the Workiva Platform.

It’s a cloud-based platform that will help you by providing data-driven business decisions, real-time risk exposure reporting, and integrated aligned risk management.

All of which will drive your operations to achieve your goals and objectives.

Get started on your completely integrated GRC program! Contact Heather Verhagen ( directly for more information.  

Scott Freinberg
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