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By Nsim team
Do you have high ethical standards? Are you looking for a career in finance that can lead to a position in executive management? How about a career wherein you can apply your reading comprehension skills and business acumen?
If so, becoming a compliance officer may be a good option for you! Here are some quick highlights of working in this field:
• Excellent opportunities for career advancement
• Great level of pay
• An opportunity to apply your strong reading skills, business acumen, and project management skills
Who is a Compliance Officer?
As a compliance officer, you would be responsible for ensuring that the operations of your organization (typical in the Finance department) comply with outside regulations, as well as internal rules, policies and regulations.
You would be responsible for identifying any violations, and making actionable recommendations to senior management when you do.
Although your duties would vary from job to job, you could generally expect to perform the following duties:
• Explain compliance policies to employees and contractors
• Prevent unethical or illegal conduct by monitoring employee compliance with the organization’s policies and procedures
• Prepare reports and recommendations for senior management regarding compliance issues
• Assist with the resolution of any compliance related problems
• Confer with the organization’s corporate attorney when dealing with difficult compliance issues
• Investigate the activities surrounding suspected violations of regulations, privacy procedures or other rules
• Create plans to strengthen any weaknesses within the compliance program
• Keep abreast of regulatory developments
Education Needed to Become a Compliance Officer
Typically, you will require a bachelor’s degree in accounting, finance, or a related field to become a compliance officer. Having a graduate degree in one of these fields may also be required, depending on the employer. Some employers may also require that you have compliance-specific certification in order to be hired (more on certification below).
Earning a graduate degree in a relevant financial, legal, or administrative field may not required by your employer, but having one can be very helpful for advancing into higher-level jobs!
Skills Needed to Become a Compliance Officer
In order to become a compliance officer, and perform the duties of the job with competence, you need to have the following skills and traits:
• Application of high ethical standards
• Proactive and goal-orientated
• Strong reading comprehension skills
• Regulatory and legislative policy & procedures for the financial sector
• Risk and credit management in the Financial Sector
• Able to recommend compliance solutions that are also business-friendly
• A strong grasp of relevant legal codes
• An aptitude for explaining policies and procedures to other employees
• Familiarity with project management techniques
• Familiarity with personnel management techniques
• Attention to detail
• A strong grasps of economics, accounting and mathematics
Who Employs Compliance Officers?
As a compliance officer, you could be employed (likely on a full-time basis) by organizations in almost any conceivable sector of almost any type of organization within the financial sector*.
The following is an overview of the types of employers you could have as a compliance officer.
• Banks and financial institutions, including investment banks
• Financial and investment brokerages
• Regulatory organizations (such as governmental securities commissions)
• Trust companies
• Financial sector professional associations