Compliance Manager Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Compliance Managers, or Compliance Specialists, are responsible for keeping a company’s activities within the guidelines, regulations and ethical expectations of their field. Their duties include monitoring business operations and reporting infractions, reviewing company policies for possible risks and liabilities and researching legal requirements for new initiatives.

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Compliance Manager duties and responsibilities

From day to day, the Compliance Manager will ensure everyone adheres to legal standards and in-house policies. They perform regular audits of business procedures and processes to ensure this compliance. Their key duties and responsibilities can also include:

  • Analyze internal business systems to ensure compliance with industry regulations and ethical standards.
  • Create, modify, update and implement the company’s policies.
  • Develop risk management strategies.
  • Design control systems to address cases of violation of internal business policies.
  • Design ongoing training programs for employees of the business.
  • Liaise with other departmental heads to ensure that all business operations are in line with business policies.
  • Advise the top management on business operations relating to investment, risks and any other policy development.

What does a Compliance Manager do?

Compliance Managers work in an office environment and are often part of an office’s Human Resources team or legal department. They host trainings to educate their colleagues about regulations that apply to their work and develop procedures, policies and best practices for operating within legal and ethical guidelines. Compliance Managers design methods for reporting and dealing with compliance breaches and ethical issues when they occur. They produce reports on any regulatory changes within their industry and advice the leadership team on how new laws might impact current operations or future business prospects.

Compliance Manager skills and qualifications

The person applying for the position of a Compliance Manager should have strong organizational, communication and conflict management skills. In addition to those qualifications, candidates should have the following:

  • Proficiency in word processing, spreadsheet and presentation software
  • Good grasp of industry processes and existing business regulations
  • Excellent analytical skills
  • Ability to solve problems when they arise
  • Excellent interpersonal skills

Compliance Manager salary expectations

The average salary for a Compliance Manager, also referred to as a Compliance Officer, is $73,829 per year. This amount can vary depending on an applicant’s experience level, geographical location or education. Additional perks typically include a 401(k), health insurance and paid time off. 

Compliance Manager education and training requirements

Compliance Managers typically require a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in business management, legal studies, business administration, project management or a similar field of study. Additional certifications in the field of compliance and administration are a bonus. Candidates with a master’s degree in any related field are usually given more consideration for this position.

Compliance Manager experience requirements

Candidates looking to secure employment as Compliance Managers should have at least 3 years of experience in a professional setting, particularly in the realm of compliance. In-depth knowledge of industry standards, rules and regulations is greatly preferred. 

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Frequently asked questions about Compliance Managers

 

What makes a good Compliance Manager?

Good Compliance Managers have an excellent memory and can recall relevant laws and regulations whenever needed. They enjoy reading, doing research and learning how other businesses approach common problems. Successful Compliance Managers are naturally cautious and patient, waiting until they have all of the essential information before acting on a plan.

 

What is the difference between a Compliance Manager and a Risk Assessor?

Compliance Managers are responsible for identifying what a company needs to do to comply with the law, while Risk Assessors identify all possible risk factors that could impact a business’ operations. Compliance Managers set the minimum standards for behavior at a business. Risk Assessors analyze how specific business transactions or ventures could impact a business’s security, financial health or public image. Risk Assessors identify potential physical hazards while Compliance Managers focus on the legal and ethical dangers of breaking industry rules.

 

What are the daily duties of a Compliance Manager?

Compliance Managers spend most of their time performing research and writing up opinions and consultations to guide company behaviors. On a typical day, they might meet with company leadership to discuss how new strategies comply with or violate industry regulations, then work to develop solutions that prevent illegal or unethical business choices. They gather information from regulatory bodies in their industry and make notes on how it impacts different company projects. They discuss disciplinary actions with Human Resources and collaborate with marketing and PR professionals to screen company publications before release.

 

Who does a Compliance Manager report to?

Compliance Managers report to a company’s upper management to keep them informed of overall operational restrictions and illegal or unethical behavior that could be occurring in their workplace. They may directly report to a company’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operations Officer to ensure that compliance procedures are built into a company’s overall strategy. Some businesses have a Compliance Director that acts as an intermediary between Compliance Managers and the CEO. Compliance Managers may meet regularly with specific department heads to discuss each team’s unique compliance responsibilities, audit their standard practices and set expectations for reporting and documenting compliance.

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