Being a Compliance Officer: 22+ Pros and Cons

A compliance officer is an employee whose responsibility is to ensure that a company complies with its outside regulatory and legal requirements as well as internal policies and bylaws.

He has a duty to their employer to work with management and staff to identify and manage regulatory risk. He is an employee charged with the responsibility of ensuring that a company follows external regulations and its own internal guidelines. 

Advantages of being a compliance officerDisadvantages of being a compliance officer
Handles policies and proceduresOther not value work
Monitors complianceAnnoy people
Investigates possible violationsMandatory qualifications
Holistic viewLots of paperwork
Consistent accountabilityHard to start own business
Improve Workplace CultureLack of social interaction
Path from junior to the boardWorking in compliance can be boring
Understanding people and behaviors

Advantages of being a compliance officer

Handles policies and procedures

Usually, a Compliance Officer creates needed policies and procedures to ensure the business complies at the government level.

The Compliance Officer then communicates these policies and procedures to employees, provides training to educate staff, and attests to employee compliance. 

The compliance officer, Due to ever-changing risks, maintains and revises policies and procedures as needed communicating and training every step of the way.

Monitors compliance

A Corporate Compliance Officer measures and evaluates compliance throughout the company, from top to bottom, who is complying and who is not.

They work with other departments to coordinate compliance activities, keep abreast of compliance status, and identify trends.

Investigates possible violations

Though the goal is to prevent unethical, illegal, or improper behavior, violations do sometimes occur. Compliance Officer has to probe any incident or alleged violations that may deviate from legal or regulatory requirements, as a part of his job.

Holistic view

The professional has to provide a wide-angle, bird’s-eye view of the company and compliance issues, seeing broad trends and identifying new risks before they can become serious issues.

As compliance is the primary focus of this position, a Compliance Officer can look at it from different angles, think strategically, and make better decisions than if he were putting out fires or addressing immediate problems.

Consistent accountability

There needs to be a measure of accountability built in to ensure employees are following the policies and procedures set forth for them for a compliance program to be effective.

A Compliance Officer maintains the consistency between divisions, locations, or job roles. Anyone from the top down will be held to the same standards and the Compliance Officer makes it happen.

Improve Workplace Culture

An ethical compliance policy helps to create a workplace culture where all employees are treated with respect.

All employees are given equal access to advancement opportunities and the workplace becomes a positive and nurturing environment. Ethics policies can leave employees feeling good about the place in which they work and the manner in which they carry out their activities.

A strong ethical standard in the workplace helps to create strong working relationships between the staff and management. It reduces employee turnover, improves morale and has a positive effect on productivity.

Path from junior to the board

Graduate trainee programs now include compliance in their schedule and entry level roles are available as an analyst in the vast majority of compliance monitoring departments.

Team leader, manager, senior/function manager, executive and director roles are also available in most firms. Senior compliance professionals in heavily regulated firms require authorization from the regulator.

Understanding people and behaviors

Though knowing the technicalities of regulation is important, one cannot be an effective compliance officer if he cannot interpret the spirit of regulation and inform the business of its legal responsibilities and the implications of non-compliance.

To disseminate this message, one needs to understand how people act and think. Listening skills are also vital; to understand why people behave the way they do in the workplace. 

Disadvantages of being a compliance officer

Other not value work

Many other departments will not value work as much. Compliance Officers will often have to step in and prevent colleagues from doing their work in the way they want it to do.

It leads to becoming the most unwelcomed colleague in the company he works for and will often have to deal with snarky comments.

Annoy people

A compliance officer is one who has to annoy people all day long. Though other colleagues will try to do what’s best for the company, the Compliance Officer will be the one who has to cancel their plans if he sees anything that will not comply with local laws and regulations.

Compliance Officer will have a bad conscience and other colleagues will get really irritated in the long run.

Cannot get rich

Compliance Officers can make decent, but will still not make as much as people who have similar qualifications and work as financial analysts or investment bankers.

As they do not generate income but they rather save companies from penalties.

Owners or boards tend to lessen the cost and compliance staff is first to bear it. Often a part of compliance is outsourced at lower cost, further reducing spectrum.

Mandatory qualifications

A mandatory qualification is required for working in compliance. One will have to spend many years on college education and will have to bear the expense of it.

One may have to take on student loan debt which you will have to repay later in your life. Government and their statutory bodies keep studying the situation and keep evolving new norms to comply.

A compliance officer has to undergo the training and get these newer certifications.

Lots of paperwork

A compliance officer is usually also having to do lots of paperwork. A large chunk of the workday will just consist of documenting meetings and calls Compliance Officers to make with other employees.

One has to draft agendas of meetings, minutes of meetings. They also have to prepare undertakings for all or a specific set of employees.

Hard to start own business

It is tough to start your own business in the compliance industry. Some big companies are controlling this field and without a strong brand, it will almost be impossible to enter this market.

Any company will not risk handing over compliance to a new inexperienced compliance firm.

Lack of social interaction

The Compliance Officer suffers from a lack of social interaction. Though they do participate in meetings and also make video calls from time to time.

But as colleagues will not be that eager to talk to a Compliance Officer since they always have to fear being criticized, the Compliance Officer often feels lonely at work.

Working in compliance can be boring

The Compliance Officer gets bored with what they are doing rather soon. In real working in compliance is not that exciting since one mainly have to deal with boring legal stuff 

compliance officer pros cons

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