What Does a Compliance Manager Do?

What Does a Compliance Manager Do?

Regulatory compliance has become increasingly important as regulatory agencies have started to heavily regulate every industry, especially the healthcare industry and the financial services industry. That’s why organizations have started to hire a compliance manager to assist them with their compliance issues.

The compliance department works with the legal department to ensure all other departments and company is compliant with the relevant laws, rules, and compliance standards of the industry. Since each industry has different compliance standards and regulations, you’ll find industry-specific compliance experts.

Compliance professionals tend to spend years learning about corporate compliance, legal requirements, and more. Their specialization determines what industry they’re going to be an expert in.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look into the roles, job duties, job responsibilities, skills, and qualifications of the compliance manager. If you're interested in learning via video, then click play. Otherwise, skip ahead.

Let’s jump right in.

What Does a Compliance Manager Do – Typical Roles in Organizations

Compliance managers often work with corporate compliance officers and compliance specialists. The compliance manager usually oversees all the company policies, compliance practices, and corporate compliance programs.

Smaller organizations tend to have a limited compliance team, usually consisting of a compliance manager only. In most cases, they just outsource corporate compliance because it can be expensive to hire a compliance manager in-house.

Larger organizations and enterprises have entire departments dedicated to compliance management. They work closely with the legal, human resources, and finance departments. Other than that, they work closely with the auditing, business administration, and risk assessment teams.

The compliance manager’s role changes according to different industries and organizations. For example, in the financial services industry, the compliance manager’s job is crucial to the success of the company as they will be conducting internal audits, implementing policies, and more.

On the other hand, a compliance manager in the restaurant industry would only be responsible for maintaining good kitchen conditions, fire hazard safety, and real estate compliance.

Working in different industries gives compliance managers varying perspectives. However, it’s always advisable to work in one single industry and develop a reputation in it.

Some of the most common industries compliance managers can specialize in include:

  • Financial Services
  • Healthcare
  • Insurance
  • Medical Device
  • Pharmaceutical
  • Manufacturing

The compliance manager job description usually varies according to each industry and organization. Things like the job title and compensation can vary, depending on how many years of experience you have top.

Many compliance managers tend to work as consultants because it provides them with more experience, range, and opportunities. However, if you have a large organization, it’s best to hire a compliance manager in-house to consistently maintain regulatory compliance.

What Does a Compliance Manager Do – Duties and Tasks

Each compliance manager can have slightly different duties, tasks, and responsibilities that vary according to the industry and company. However, the general gist of their job remains the same.

There are always a clear set of duties for each compliance manager, and on top of that, there are some industry-specific responsibilities. Those industry-specific duties tend to increase if it’s a heavily regulated industry.

The following duties, tasks, and responsibilities are what the typical compliance manager has to manage.

  • Manage and work with compliance analysts, compliance officers, compliance specialists, general counsel, and other stakeholders.
  • Monitor and identify any existing and new compliance issues that require investigation or a follow-up.
  • File any relevant compliance reports with the appropriate regulatory agencies.
  • Discuss ongoing compliance issues with the management and employees to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Inform each party about the various compliance reporting systems, practices, and company policies.
  • Consult with the legal team, corporate attorneys, and other stakeholders to address legal compliance issues.
  • Maintain the necessary documentation of compliance activities, including things like internal audits, investigation outcomes, complaints, and more.
  • Conduct, direct, and oversee any internal investigation or corporate compliance audits related to compliance issues.
  • Ensure that the company follows local, state, and federal government regulations so there are no issues.
  • Ensure ethical integrity in all compliance and company matters.
  • Oversee the workflow of the compliance team.
  • Develop new written and verbal policies and regulations within the company.
  • Conduct regular audits to ensure everything is on track.
  • Evaluate each team member and employee’s knowledge about work-related laws and federal regulations.

The duties, tasks, and responsibilities listed above are what’s expected from every compliance manager. Each task may have an industry-specific element involved. Similarly, there are also some industry-specific duties that may pop up.

What Does a Compliance Manager Do – Skills and Abilities

Compliance managers work with a very specific set of skills and knowledge. Their duties and responsibilities may vary slightly, but their skills and abilities remain the same. The only difference you may notice is if a certain industry requires you to have particular skills and knowledge.

However, on average, the compliance manager is expected to have the following skills and abilities.

  • The compliance manager needs to know everything about conducting compliance checks, audits, and more.
  • Needs to be able to make sense of information technology.
  • You need complete proficiency in all Microsoft Office products, including Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, and SharePoint.
  • Should have a working knowledge of compliance software.
  • It’s important to know how to use various compliance tools and auditing software.
  • Keeping a close and healthy relationship with regulators and regulatory agencies is critical.
  • Excellent organization skills are required for effective management.
  • Top-notch interpersonal and communication skills are crucial to manage compliance teams and report to senior management. Strong people skills ensure compliance managers can keep everyone at the same level of understanding.
  • Effective problem-solving skills are needed to quickly resolve compliance issues.
  • Critical thinking ability is necessary for quick assessment and interpretations of situations.
  • Need to be extremely creative, have integrity, and great decision-making skills.
  • Complete knowledge about business technology is crucial.
  • A complete understanding and knowledge of regulatory law, guidelines, and security policies is crucial.
  • Research and analytical skills are necessary in case you need to know about new laws and regulations.

The abilities and skills listed above are what each compliance manager should possess, regardless of their specialization and industry. However, once you’ve decided on an industry, you should focus on getting industry-specific skills and abilities too.

What Does a Compliance Manager Do – Qualifications

Compliance managers need to have some specific qualifications that are required by every industry and company. Some companies may ask for some industry-specific qualifications too. However, the major qualifications you need include the following.

  • A high school diploma is required, or anything equivalent. A Bachelor’s Degree in business, law, accounting, or a related field is also necessary. A Master’s Degree is expected but isn’t absolutely necessary.
  • At least 5-10 years of experience in compliance management, auditing, and analysis is required.
  • Should have completed some training modules so it shows you’re familiar with compliance practices.
  • Have some compliance certifications under your build, including the CRCM (Certified Regulatory Compliance Manager), CRISC (Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control, and ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) certifications, among others.

The qualifications listed above are what every compliance manager should be aiming for.

How to Become a Compliance Manager

Compliance managers can earn varying amounts because they work in-house and as consultants in some cases. That’s why it’s hard to pin one accurate salary figure.

However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average compliance manager or officer earns around $72,850 per year.

On the other hand, according to Glassdoor, the average compliance manager salary is around $81,353 per year. Furthermore, the average range is between $55,000 and $116,000, with the higher end being offered in places like New York, California, and New Hampshire.

The compliance manager salary mostly depends on the industry, as heavily-regulated industries tend to have higher compliance salaries. However, it also depends on the organization, experience, and overall reputation.

It takes years of experience to reach a level where you can apply to become a compliance manager. Typically, here’s how the career path for a compliance manager goes about.

  1. Earn your bachelor’s degree and any necessary certifications
  2. Start with an internship in compliance management
  3. Start to apply in entry-level positions
  4. Once you’ve gained proficiency, get some related certifications.
  5. After the required experience, qualifications, and certifications, start to apply for compliance manager positions.

Meanwhile, polish your communication, problem-solving, decision-making, and analytical skills. Keep up to date with all compliance news. The best way to do that is to follow some compliance newsletters.

Develop and implement corporate compliance plans, programs, and enact new policies to maximize your experience.

Most importantly, build a working relationship with regulators and regulatory agencies.

Becoming a Great Compliance Manager

While compliance manager job descriptions may change up a bit, their general duties remain the same. If you want to become a great compliance manager, you need to set up a clear career path.

To do that, choose one industry you want to specialize in and focus on getting compliance roles in that industry. It’s advisable to work in specific organizations to further specialize and build a niche for yourself.

Once you do that, focus on getting relevant certifications, and gather as much knowledge about regulatory practices, laws, and programs as you can.

Most importantly, build great relationships with regulatory agencies and other compliance professionals.

However, your number one priority as a compliance manager should always be to avoid conflicts of interest and favor compliance standards and laws in all cases.

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