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What Is a Compliance Analyst?

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Compliance analysis is the process of assessing an organization to ensure that it's operating within the relevant laws and regulations. Compliance analysts are in charge of this process. They analyze a variety of business aspects, ranging from workplace safety to product and service advertising, and provide recommendations on enhancing regulatory compliance. Compliance analysts can find jobs in various industries, including construction, financial services, health care and manufacturing.

Using the Skills

Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills are crucial to the competence of compliance analysts. They use these skills to evaluate an organization's governance structure, policies, workplace environment and business activities, identify instances of non-compliance and provide corrective action recommendations. For example, compliance analysts working at an investment bank may evaluate the firm’s loaning procedures to ensure that they adhere to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, which prohibits banks from discriminating against borrowers because of age, sex, marital status, color, race or religion. Strong report writing and presentation skills are also useful to compliance analysts, since their job involves writing compliance reports and presenting them to management.

Providing Recommendations

The main objective of compliance analysts is to help organizations meet all relevant legal and regulatory requirements. On a day-to-day basis, they monitor the operations of an organization, looking for activities that may lead to violations. For example, if a pharmaceutical manufacturer sells drugs that have been previously used as production samples, the compliance analyst must inform the firm that the activity violates the Prescription Drug Marketing Act of 1987, which prohibits the sale of any drug sample. In this case, the analyst will request that the firm stop selling the samples immediately.

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Monitoring Change

Laws change from time to time to address issues such as changing public interests and increasing technology levels. As such, compliance analysts have a duty to monitor regulatory changes and advise employers on maintaining compliance. They do this by reviewing bulletins and industry journals and keeping tabs on current events. Compliance analysts also contribute to the development of an effective organizational compliance program and policies and participate in the training of employees to boost their knowledge of relevant federal, state and local laws, and organizational policies.

Getting There

To get started as a compliance analyst, you need to earn at least a bachelor’s degree in business, law or a field relevant to the industry in which you want to work. For example, if you want to secure a job in a manufacturing firm, you might need to hold an industrial engineering degree. You don’t require any license or permit to secure this job. However, to demonstrate competence and improve your employment prospects, you can complete any industry-specific certification, such as the Chartered Compliance Analyst certification program, which is offered by the American Academy of Financial Management. A master’s degree in business administration, coupled with vast work experience, is all you need to break into top positions, such as Director of Compliance Analysis or Chief Compliance Officer.

About the Author

Based in New York City, Alison Green has been writing professionally on career topics for more than a decade. Her work has appeared in “U.S. News Weekly” magazine, “The Career” magazine and “Human Resources Journal.” Green holds a master's degree in finance from New York University.

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