Chief Compliance Officer: What CCOs Do (and Why Your Company Should Have One)

Every business must ensure that compliance with the statutory laws, policies, and procedures are in order. And monitoring compliances is a strenuous job. Thus, a Chief Compliance Officer (COO) is appointed to oversee the compliances and establish standards and policies in this regard.

A COO must ensure that the compliance programs in the company are effectively implemented and are capable of identifying and preventing possible non-compliance matters. Also, the COO must report to the Board about compliance issues, material violations, and corrective measures required. We will discuss more related to the Chief Compliance Officer and the role of Chief Compliance Officer.

What does a CCO do?

The role of the Chief Compliance Officer is generally the head of the compliance/ legal department, having the duty of maintaining the procedural framework that fulfills the applicable compliances. A COO must have the skill set required to monitor the regulatory breaches that might occur. 

CCO job description includes the following roles and responsibilities:

  • Establish an objective view of company policies.
  • Making the employees aware of the present and emerging regulatory compliance.
  • Developing compliance work plans based on the operational structure of the company.
  • Guiding the compliance teams.
  • Revising the compliance plan.
  • Providing guidance and training to the employees.
  • Monitoring the implementation of the compliance plan.
  • Interacting with regulators for compliance matters.
  • Preparing policies that can help the managers and employees to report matters of fraud and other irregularities.
  • Monitoring audits, reviews, and examinations.
  • Preparing compliance reports to be presented to the Board.
  • Monitoring external review processes.
  • Examining compliance matters.
  • Undertaking periodic reviews of departments.
  • Put in place appropriate disciplinary measures to avoid future recurrence of non-compliance.
  • Identify possible improvement areas.

From the above discussion, it can be concluded that the Chief Compliance Officer job description is not limited to fulfillment of the compliances. Rather it covers all the areas around compliances, from spreading awareness among the staff to the preparation of the report. 

Why does a Company need a Chief Compliance Officer?

The role of Chief Compliance Officer, as discussed above, covers a wide range of responsibilities that, if neglected, can cause significant complications for the company.

A chief compliance officer can assist a company on a large scale in the following ways: 

  • Providing dynamic solutions: A compliance officer can create strategies beforehand for issues that might arise in the future, where they can become a major problem. This can also be done by tracking the market trends, changing regulatory policies, providing proper training to the staff, etc.
  • Reduction in liability: Compliances, if not fulfilled properly, can cause damage to the resources and reputation of the company. A COO can reduce the risk, avoid legal consequences, and maintain the company's positive reputation. 

  • Establishment of compliance culture: The COO can educate the entire company about the importance of compliances, forming an ethical work environment with the highest level of awareness and implementation of compliances.

Typically, large companies appoint Chief Compliance Officers, as they are burdened with more compliance that can even extend to international laws. A COO can prevent financial loss and other consequences related to compliance. 

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