What is a Compliance Officer?
A compliance officer is an employee of a company who is responsible for ensuring that the company operates within the confines of all relevant legal requirements as well as any additional standards that the company has set for itself.
As regulators have become more stringent and companies face significant fines for non-compliance, it is more important than ever to have a compliance officer in place. In many cases the compliance officer is also the company’s general counsel, but the role may also be filled by a separate employee.
The Role of the Compliance Officer
Because the compliance officer holds a sensitive position, it is important that s/he reports directly to the Board of Directors as well as to senior management. This ensures that the officer has the necessary independence to fulfill the role’s requirements while also making sure that management remains updated with the information they need to run the company.
The main roles and responsibilities of a compliance officer include the following:
- Monitoring – the officer is responsible for monitoring the company’s day-to-day processes and operations to ensure that all legal regulations and standards are being adhered to. Most compliance officers will use a compliance management platform in order to do this.
- Risk Assessing – the compliance officer stays informed and updated on any changes to laws and regulations and conducts regular assessments to ensure that all company policies and activities remain in full compliance. S/he identifies potentially risky activities so that action can be taken to remediate any potential breaches.
- Training – it is up to the compliance officer to provide regular training sessions to all relevant personnel so that they are aware of the laws that they are expected to follow.
- Disciplining – when a breach does occur, the compliance officer takes disciplinary action against the perpetrators and is responsible for making sure that the effects of the breach are minimized and that it does not happen again.
- Liaising – the compliance officer serves as a link between senior management and lower level employees. Information flows through the compliance officer who ensures that all employees are informed of the processes that must be followed and involves managers when necessary (i.e. in case of a breach).
Compliance Officer Requirements and Skill Set
Most compliance officers have a law degree or other legal background as it is important for them to have a clear and thorough understanding of the laws relevant to the company.
Other key skills and characteristics that a compliance officer should have include:
- Strong analytical abilities
- Great communication skills
- Moral integrity
- Ability to think strategically
- Deep knowledge of the company, industry, and relevant market
- Prior management experience
How LeapXpert Can Help
The more technological tools a compliance officer has in his/her pocket the more efficiently s/he can do the job. LeapXpert’s communication platform can help compliance officers make sure that their company is adhering to all communication-related rules and regulations, regardless of how many different modes of communication are used.