Starting Strong in Compliance – Your Guide to Success in a New Role

Posted on October 24, 2023

by Trey Anderson, J.D., Senior Consultant, Capco Academy


Congratulations on landing your new gig in compliance! Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, stepping into a compliance role can be both exciting and challenging. Many of us didn’t dream of being a compliance officer when we were a kid- We grew up, graduated, and just kind of fall into the role. Once there, we learn a few things and fear leaving our comfort zone. But you don’t have to. There is a world of opportunity out there today for a smart, capable person with some knowledge in compliance. So whether you find yourself in a new role or are considering looking for a new job, let’s talk about what you need to keep in mind to succeed as a compliance officer.


1. Get to Know Your Organization Inside and Out

Before you dive into the nitty-gritty of your new role, take some time to understand the ins and outs of your new workplace. Learn about the company's mission, values, and culture. Get a feel for its products, services, and how it operates. This will give you a broader perspective that'll come in handy as you navigate your compliance responsibilities.

Culture, especially, is important in compliance. One of your primary roles in compliance is fostering an ethical culture. Lead by example and encourage ethical behavior throughout your organization. Establish there are clear channels for reporting ethical concerns.

2. Regulations, Regulations, Regulations!

Compliance and regulations go hand in hand. Whether your institution is regulated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or National Credit Union Association, start by identifying which regulations are relevant to your organization. This might involve federal, state, or even international rules, depending on your industry. Make it your mission to read, understand, and stay up-to-date with these regulations. They're your compass in the world of compliance.

3. Unpack Your Job Description

Knowing what's expected of you is key to excelling in your new role. Take time to understand your specific responsibilities and objectives. If anything isn't crystal clear, don't hesitate to reach out to your manager or colleagues for guidance.

4. Forge Relationships

In compliance, you can't go it alone. If the opportunity permits, provide training and education to fellow employees across the organization. We all have unique skills and experience to share, and there is no better way to introduce yourself within an organization than sharing yours with others. Building positive relationships with your colleagues, especially those in legal, risk management, and internal audit, is crucial. Effective communication and collaboration can make navigating compliance challenges much smoother.

 5. Tap into Your Predecessor's Wisdom

If you're taking over from someone else, make it a point to learn from their experiences. They can offer valuable insights into the nuances of your role and the organization's compliance history.

6. Policy and Procedure Makeover

Compliance often involves creating or updating policies and procedures to ensure everyone knows the rules of the game. Collaborate with your colleagues to make these documents clear, comprehensive, and easy to follow.

7. Stay Informed and Keep Learning

The compliance landscape is constantly evolving. Stay ahead of the curve by subscribing to industry newsletters, attending webinars, and participating in training programs. Consider joining professional networks to exchange ideas with peers.

8. Risk Assessments Matter

Regularly conduct risk assessments to pinpoint potential compliance pitfalls. Prioritize these risks based on their potential impact and likelihood. Developing strategies to mitigate these risks will help safeguard your organization.

9. Embrace Technology 

Leverage technology to streamline your compliance efforts. Compliance management software can be a game-changer, helping with tracking, reporting, and automating routine tasks, leaving you more time to focus on strategic aspects.

10. Continuously Improve    

Compliance is a journey, not a destination. Continuously assess and refine your compliance program to adapt to changing regulations and emerging risks.

Starting a new role in compliance is a fantastic opportunity to make a positive impact and contribute to a culture of compliance within your organization. Approach it with enthusiasm, curiosity, and a dedication to doing what's right. Remember, compliance is a shared responsibility, and your role is essential in helping your organization thrive while staying on the right side of the law. With these principles in mind, you're well on your way to a successful journey in compliance.


Capco Can Help

Not sure where to start? We've got you covered. Bounce all of your compliance questions off our team of compliance experts through our live chat and ticketing system. Our online compliance learning platform has over 120+ courses of comprehensive live and recorded webinars to keep you up to date with the latest developments in the financial industry. Our renowned compliance manual, the Big Orange Book, covers regulations A-Z and is an excellent reference guide. 

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