The specific tasks and responsibilities of an employee in any position may differ from one company to the next, but there are certain positions that have a general scope of duties. One of these is the compliance specialist job position. A compliance specialist is a member of a company’s administrative department and is considered as a mid-level employee reporting to higher management but also supervising entry-level employees. His or her overall function spans those of the internal audit, legal audit, and tax departments, which is why it is also considered as a job in audit.
Tasks and Responsibilities
The task of a compliance specialist is to know all the complex regulatory procedures that concern the industry that his employer is participating in. Since most of these regulatory procedures often have something to do with financial issues, they are also expected to be knowledgeable in the realm of financial services. The compliance specialist, also called compliance officer or compliance manager, is responsible for making sure that the company follows all set regulations of the industry, be it in terms of product design, product packaging, marketing materials, privacy laws, copyright laws, computer security laws, and labour-related laws. This requires an in-depth understanding of the regulations governing the specific industry in question.
A compliance specialist can develop programs and campaigns to help enforce a strong sense of compliance within all members of an organisation. He or she may create training programs to help and train employees on how to comply with predetermined rules and regulations. He or she is also expected to work closely with finance officers and bank officers to ensure that these employees are also meeting the federal and state laws as well as bank policies and procedures that the company has to conform with.
As a natural extension of his primary tasks and responsibilities, the compliance officer is also responsible for reporting the status of compliance within the organization. It is also his responsibility to alert higher managers if there are serious compliance issues at hand.
Aside from identifying and resolving compliance issues, a compliance officer should also watch out for certain aspects of business wherein the company may be facing risk. This is important so as to completely prevent problems from cropping up.
Without a strong regulatory environment, a company runs the risk of getting in trouble with the industry, the financial institutions, as well as with the law. Due to its importance, this particular job post is becoming more highly demanded.
How to Apply for A Compliance Job
If you are interested in applying for a compliance job, make sure that you have all the key characteristics that would make a good compliance officer. Due to the nature of the job, a compliance officer should have basic administrative skills and should be able to work closely with different types of people. He should be able to interact freely with both lower level employees and the upper management. In sum, for a compliance specialist to be successful, he or she should have strong communication, management, and leadership skills. Integrity is also a key characteristic for the job.
Compliance officers these days are also expected to have relevant work experience and should bear the necessary knowledge regarding the regulatory environment for their industry.
As for educational requirements, compliance specialists are required to have a four-year degree in business or any business-related field. Backgrounds in law and administration are also advantageous.
If you are pursuing a compliance job, achieving relevant certificate programs is also necessary. A certificate program for compliance specialists is not a Master’s program, but it also requires one to have a prior four-year college degree.
Where Should Compliance Specialists Work?
Compliance specialists are necessary for most businesses, although there are certain areas of specialization such as environmental compliance, disability law compliance, financial law compliance, and building and city code compliance, among others.
Some compliance specialists also choose internal audit as their main specialization. As a compliance specialist in internal audit, one’s task is to review the operations of the firm while keeping an eye out for any areas of non-compliance.
Tax compliance is also one of the most important specializations in the compliance career as this particular aspect is very important in many large, multinational companies. Firms need to adhere strictly to tax laws, and the compliance officer will have to make sure of that. In some cases, the compliance officer will also be tasked to file tax returns and actually render the tax payments.
Future Compliance Job Prospects
The compliance job industry is looking bright and promising as reports say that a continuous 31% increase in compliance employment will be observed from 2008 to the year 2018.
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