The recent allegations against Wal-Mart that the company engaged in bribery to assist in its expansion efforts illuminates the great challenges facing multinational companies transacting overseas.
Tyson Foods, Diageo, IBM and Pfizer have been alleged to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).
And while these larger corporations have been subject to scrutiny, the Department of Justice is sure to be taking a closer look at smaller companies too as it ramps up its effort to clean its international house.
Needless to say, companies of all sizes must take the appropriate prudent measures to ensure operations abroad are in compliance with the FCPA guidelines.
It is critical that companies take a proactive approach and not wait for government authorities to come knocking at their door. Perhaps the Wal-Mart situation will highlight how imperative it is for investors to make sure they have adequate compliance programs in place.