With loads of domestic and global regulations that companies need to follow, they need stringent compliance measures in place to manage and mitigate risks. Without these measures, companies open themselves up to issues relating to data privacy, money laundering, and many more. One way to ensure they have proper measures to avoid breaches? Companies must hire a compliance officer.
However, highly skilled compliance officers can be difficult to find. In the United States alone, businesses pay their compliance officers a median salary of over $110,400, while chief compliance officers can make more than $341,400 annually. These competitive wages are creating competition between businesses as they fight to onboard top compliance officers.
What crucial roles do compliance officers play that make them highly valued? What more reasons why a company would need them? Let’s find out.
They are the compliance-matter experts
Compliance officers are knowledgeable about federal, state, and global regulations and guidelines. They read closely and understand legal details and keep themselves abreast of any new regulatory changes. They also have to be keen on accounting guidelines, and financial reporting as their most important duties encompass state and federal regulations on finance and data.
They face government regulators
Since many businesses act on the global stage, the duties of a compliance officer not only deals with domestic but also extends to foreign regulations. As much as they can, they have to touch base constantly with regulators so that they can minimize the impact of regulatory changes on their companies. They need to write reports on compliance audits, regulatory standards, and operations of their companies and submit them to regulators from time to time.
They plan and enact in-house compliance programs
Compliance officers are often included in management meetings with senior leaders because they help them drive business strategies into compliance. They assess operational and financial risks and devise plans to manage issues that may arise during implementations. They create reports to share with leaders, and they make recommendations that will avoid potential violations.
They manage programs to ensure internal compliance
While assuring the company’s compliance with external regulators, they also make sure that employees meet internal compliance policies. They communicate expectations to all employees and provide in-house training as to how crucial compliance is to the company’s day-to-day operations. Compliance officers also open up reporting platforms for employees to raise concerns about possible breaches. They red-flag compliance issues to the correct departments and channels and coordinate with them to guarantee that such issues will not occur next time.
Imagine managing all the above responsibilities without a compliance officer? The company will be prone to violating government regulations, resulting in hefty fines, reputational damage, and worse, business closure. Hence, being always in compliance should be in a company’s priority list, more so, placing a person who will be the guardian of compliance.
While the need to hire a compliance officer is critical, onboarding should not be done in haste since their competence is equally crucial, too. Most companies look for the following requirements when they assess candidates:
- Bachelor’s degree in a finance-related field like accounting or business
- Master’s degree or Certified Public Accountant credential
- Three to five years of regulatory compliance experience
- Analytical and organizational skills
- Project management ability
Yes, finance and business knowledge are important, but the soft skills a compliance officer should have must also be considered during the hiring process:
- Effective leadership
- Expert communication
- Public speaking
- Ethical decision-making
At Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we understand how challenging it is to find highly-skilled, experienced compliance officers, so we are here to help. Start filling up your much-needed compliance team with the right people for the job by contacting us today.