In the world of business, compliance refers to the condition of being in accordance with certain guidelines and specifications. These guidelines and specifications are established by a standards body acting in representation of the government. After its creation, a standard’s adopted by user organizations in order to develop and offer products and services. As long as it is enforcing lawfully established sanctions and rules, compliance may refer to either industry regulations or government legislations. Becoming a compliance analyst is not that easy. However, with the right skills and certifications, you have chances of becoming one of the best.
Because regulations that are always increasing and being modified, compliance is a major business concern. For that reason, companies, entities and other organizations required to become compliant hire compliance analysts. They are highly-demanded professionals with expert and updated knowledge of existing regulations. At the same time, they are qualified to navigate their way through the procedures associated with such regulations. Essentially, compliance analysts help organizations by coordinating their operations in a way that adheres to the guidelines.
What Is a Compliance Analyst?
Also known as compliance officers, compliance analysts intervene organizations to ensure their activities adhere to certain standards. These standards boil down to a set of guidelines and specifications to be enacted during certain procedures.
The exact measures that a compliance analyst must take in order to achieve compliance vary according to each industry. However, it can generally be stated that a compliance analyst plans and coordinates the operational activities of a company or organization. Because achieving this needs strategic planning, a good analyst needs to have strong analytical, investigative and decision-making skills.
Who Needs a Compliance Analyst?
During the last decades, compliance has become a major part of business. In fact, it has become so important that experts recommend it to any company or organization that reaches a certain size. Depending on their industry, some organizations may need to present proof of compliance from the beginning.
Basically, a compliance analyst is needed to perform two jobs. The first is to engage in risk mitigation, a process that includes signage disclosures, customer-specific processes, and identification procedures. The second is to advance internal compliance by enforcing internal policies and standards. Simultaneously, this process ensures that a company operates within its own created culture.
A competent compliance analyst will often recommend the implementation of strategies to ensure compliance. A good example is setting the standards higher than those demanded by the government. An added bonus to developing a well-documented strategy for becoming compliant is avoiding litigation.
How to Implement Compliance in Your Organization
Before launching any business or organization, it’s hugely important to know what the appropriate regulations are in that industry. When it comes to compliance regulations, there are two two basic categories that create them: internal and external. While state governments require internal regulations, organizations focus on enforcing them; especially when it comes to the upper staff. Certain states and federal authorities also require external regulations. They also have the power to enforce them.
As it was mentioned earlier, the specific requirements regarding transactions, labor practices, and safety procedures depend on the industry an organization subscribes to. However, some requirements are more or less universal. The most important are:
• Physical Entrance Policies: Listing individuals that have access to varying physical facilities.
• Virtual Access: Determining who can access networks, servers, programs and other digital information.
• Password Protection: Overall guidelines determining password requirements.
• Security Updates: Regularly providing employees with pertinent security notifications.
• Virus Protection: Describing antivirus policies and detailing how employees should react to virus detection and related issues.
• Emergency Response: Providing instructions for various types of emergencies. These can range from small server contingencies to much more serious natural disasters.
Six Skills and Five Responsibilities of a Compliance Analyst
1. A Bachelor’s Degree: Normally, a bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement to become a compliance analyst. Most employees prefer degrees in accounting, business, and related fields. If considered relevant, most compliance managers first take into consideration degrees in a specific industry. You should also make sure you obtain advanced degrees. Human resources specialists will consider those as advantages.
2. Experience in the Industry: For evident reasons, employers value any experience in the particular industry the organization subscribes to.
3. Excellent Communication: Because they work at high levels of management, compliance analysts should have elevated communication skills. Because managers will often give instructions as memos, manuals, and reports, good writing skills are a huge part of communicating effectively.
4. Problem Solving: Often, compliance analysts will face complex scenarios. Strong problem-solving skills are hugely important in order to overcome difficulties caused by such scenarios.
5. Decision-Making: Complementary to problem-solving, strong decision-making skills are vital in order to introduce changes effectively and opportunely. At the same time, by correcting problems before they get out of hand, they can make a huge difference in the field or risk prevention.
6. A strong grasp of law, finances, economics and management: Due to the nature of compliance requirements, knowledge of the law, finances, economics, and management can be extremely useful to compliance analysts.
1. Attend Compliance Meetings: In order to stay on top of any issues regarding compliance requirements and general management.
2. Remain Up to Date on Regulations: With the objective adjusting procedures to fit current regulations.
3. Investigate Any Issues Brought Up in the Compliance Meetings: In order to understand what steps need to be taken.
4. Provide Solutions for Any Non-Compliance Issues: Effectively solving non-compliance issues in an opportune and practical manner.
5. Assist in All Aspects of Management Related to Compliance: Because management is tightly bound to the effecting of procedures related to compliance requirements, compliance analysts should oversee all management-related decisions, assisting when necessary.
Without a doubt, compliance has become an important part of modern business. Becoming compliant helps an organization avoid various legal problems. Even though it is a hard process, compliance analysts can help make it easier and more effective. Do you know any other valuable skills for analysts? Leave a comment!