Compliance Officers

What is Compliance Officer?

Compliance officers ensure that the firm operates within the company, state, federal and international regulations set. They make sure that no rules are flouted intentionally or by mistake. They prevent lawsuits, fines, and penalties. 

Large firms having a vast geographical expanse often need more than one compliance officer. Moreover, most small businesses that are unable to afford a full-time compliance officer prefer outsourcing. Nevertheless, the role of a compliance officer is indispensable.

Key Takeaways
  • Compliance officers ensure that all stipulated rules and regulations pertaining to the county, state, and federal law are followed.
  • These officers update, plan and implement compliance policies keeping with the latest regulations. Additionally, they train individuals and create compliance reporting channels.
  • Candidates holding bachelor’s degrees can become compliance officers even if they are not associated with finance or business. T
  • hese Officers earn around $72,500 to $100,000 annually, depending on their experience.
  • To land this job, candidates visit local vacancies, expand their network, and send resumes to prospective employers.

Job Description

Compliance is the ability to act according to an order, set of rules, or request. The International Compliance Association defines two levels of business compliance.

Level 1 – compliance with the external rules that are imposed upon an organization as a whole.

Level 2 – compliance with internal controlInternal ControlInternal control in accounting refers to the process by which a company implements various rules, policies, or procedures to ensure the accuracy of accounting and finance information, safeguard the various assets of the business, promote accountability in the business, and prevent the occurrence of frauds in the company.read more that are imposed to achieve compliance with the externally imposed rules.

The job description of a Compliance Officer involves the following roles.

Compliance Officers Roles

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  • Updating the firm with global, federal, and state regulations.
  • Planning, implementing, and overseeing risk-related policies.
  • Creating and coordinating proper reporting channels for compliance issues.
  • Developing company compliance communications.
  • Coordinating and scheduling compliance training for employees.

A Compliance Officer updated with the regulations can help the firm avoid missteps resulting in hefty fines, legal ramifications, or reputation damage. Along with firm leadership, officers make sure that the employees are actually following internal compliance policies. In addition, these officers are expected to possess or develop good interpersonal skills. This way, officers can approach each individual based on specific personality traits. As a result, adherence to regulations is more effective.

It is a challenging role; regulations are constantly changing. Often Officers would be required to make drastic changes in a company’s operating model. Since officers deal with legal issues, they need to be assertive and get things done. Any oversight will have exponential consequences.

Compliance Officer Career Path

Compliance Officer is a suitable career path for those interested in business and ethics. First, candidates understand the profession by shadowing, interning, and volunteering for compliance departments. Then, if sure, candidates need to narrow down the specific field they want to become an officer. Options include credit intermediation, management of enterprises, healthcare, finance, academia, the corporate sector, environment, and working for the government. 

Although the bare minimum is any bachelor’s degree, typically, candidates prefer law, business, or finance. Acquiring a master’s gives the candidate a competitive edge. In most cases, candidates with the necessary credentials receive on-the-job training and get paid for the position. Recruits work under the tutelage of an experienced officer.

Additionally, a candidate can get certified as a compliance officer to improve their job prospects. Most candidates prefer to get certifications from the following recognized institutions.

  • Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional Program via the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics
  • The American Bankers’ Association compliance program 
  • The National Association of Federal Credit Unions program

Salaries

Salaries vary depending on numerous factors like expertise, experience, the firm’s scale, performance scores, key performance indicatorsKey Performance IndicatorsKPI stands for key performance indicators to measure the efficiency of an organization concerning the way it has been achieving all its long-term and short-term goals. Companies use this performance indicator to evaluate the effectiveness of all their decisions in business operations.read more (KPIs), and the geographical region. Some industries pay more than others. For example, banks heavily rely on these officers and pay more. This is because banks are prone to fraud and ethics violations. Non-profit or self-funded environmental programs emphasize less on ethics.  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018, the annual wage for a compliance officer in the US was around $72,500. The top 10% earned $109,650 annually. Those with certificates and higher education earned more. For example, officers with a master’s earned an extra $1,434 per week. The same study demonstrated more demand for compliance officers in highly populated areas. 

How to Get Compliance Officer Jobs?

In addition to the required bachelor’s education, candidates can take proactive measures. For example, instead of merely responding to job advertisements, if a candidate wants to work in healthcare, he can visit hospitals and healthcare facilities. In addition, candidates can directly enquire about possible job openings. Finally, candidates need to update and optimize their resumes specifically for each job.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the requirements to be a compliance officer?

Although the bare minimum is any bachelor’s degree, aspirants typically prefer law, business, or finance. Acquiring a master’s gives the candidate a competitive edge. By shadowing, interning, and volunteering for compliance firms, aspirants gain a better understanding of the profession.

Is a compliance officer a good job?

Financial services industry officers can be hard to find in today’s hiring market; many firms are prepared to offer compelling compensation to in-demand candidates. The annual wage for compliance officers in the US was around $72,500. The top 10% earned $109,650 annually.

Is a compliance officer a lawyer?

Most financial service industry officers prefer law, business, or finance. However, candidates with any bachelor’s degree are eligible for this profession.

What do compliance officers get paid?

The annual wage for compliance officers in the US was around $72,500 in 2018. The top 10% earned $109,650 annually. Those with certificates and higher education earned more. For example, officers with a master’s earned an extra $1,434 per week. The same study demonstrated more demand for compliance officers in highly populated areas.

This has been a Guide to meaning of Compliance Officer and their roles. Here we discuss the compliance officer job description and how to get this job along with career path and salaries. You may also have a look at the following articles to learn more –

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