A Day in the Life of a Compliance Officer



As in many professions that have the capability to be reactive, working in compliance does not typically afford one a standard 9 to 5. The usual routine may begin with the checking of emails and calendar, but the contents of certainly one’s inbox is liable to direct the activity of the day.

Reading the news and addressing the latest headlines from reputable regulatory blogs and related news outlets you follow, is equally as important so that you can stay ahead of the constantly changing events. Anything that could directly or indirectly affect your organisation is grounds for consideration. The main issue here being regulatory developments, which you must stay abreast of. So, resources like speeches and corporate documents from the regulator could be added to your reading material to help you keep track of what they are saying, in order that you can be prepared for any action your company may need to take moving forward.

Advising on changes to tax, the latest financial and AML regulations, launching an investigation into trader conduct or on-boarding a new client could all fill up a day in the life of a Compliance Officer. It is a job that carries with it a fair amount of pressure at times as those in compliance jobs must be able to interpret documents and situations efficiently as it is their judgement on the way rules and regulatory requirements are implemented that will drive important business decisions.

Depending on the size of the firm, the Compliance Officer may have the opportunity for more regular dialogue with those at Director level to discuss compliance issues. Either way, it is important for Compliance Officers to have a broad understanding of the business across all levels.

A great deal of your time will be spent monitoring and maintaining the controls you’ve put in place to mitigate compliance risk. So, expect part of your day to be data focused as you go through the information collated to identify any trends or new risks to the business. Should anything pertinent arise, you would then take it to the Board along with your recommendations for any policy or procedure amendments or training for the firm’s employees. You will then organise those training and development sessions accordingly.

Paperwork is par for the course too, from reviewing client files and press articles to preparing and revising procedures manuals, and screening information pertaining to existing clients.

Compliance Officer jobs are anything but dull. The beauty of working in compliance comes from the variety of the role and numerous opportunities to strengthen skills afforded by the challenges Compliance Officers face on a daily basis. Further to that is the role compliance professionals play within the business at large as they impart their knowledge to colleagues and supervisors across the enterprise, sharing what they have learnt through their constant self-education.


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