First and foremost, a company’s objective is to strive for economic success. While most companies are aware of the importance of compliance and wish to act accordingly, it has become increasingly difficult to implement all regulations. Due to the complexity and lack of a proper definition of compliance, it is now often perceived as a factor that stands in the way of business growth. Compliance regulations are not only complex, but they may even contradict each other or differ locally.
What are the tasks of a Compliance Officer?
Experienced Compliance Officers can help finding a way through the most extensive regulations by maintaining an overview of relevant national and international rules and regulations.
They implement control systems and rules and values systems within the company to prevent financial losses and reputational damage. For instance, they create codes of conduct and guidelines to ensure ethical and legal correct behaviour from their employees as well as the management. To this end, those implemented measures need to be monitored and improved constantly and the experts inform and train their employees in the prevention and detection of violations.
Different experts for different departments
IT Compliance Officer: They usually have a background in the IT sector and are primarily responsible for monitoring the IT areas in the company. They ensure that employees comply with the security rules. Typical offences to be taken into account are internal offences, as well as spying and interception of data or data theft.
Legal Compliance Officer: Legal Compliance Officers have legal training and ensure that the law is followed in all areas.
Financial Compliance Officer: Financial Compliance Officers have a completed degree or training and work experience in accounting or economics and make sure that accounting and financial management are done correctly and that no financial crimes are committed.
HR Compliance Officer: This job is usually performed by persons with legal training and an HR background. HR Compliance Officers ensure a fair and compliant employment process. To this end, they must check the employment contracts to see whether they comply with labour law and any collective labour agreements. If necessary, HR Compliance Officers must work together with the works council.
How much influence does a Compliance Officers have?
Although Compliance Officers might be responsible for writing the Code of Conduct and other guidelines, their actual influence is often limited, especially when those rules are perceived as an obstacle for the company’s business activities. To that end, if Compliance Officers are not decision makers, what is their real function? In practice, they act as advisors to the executive board or management and explain any legal or other organisational requirements. For instance, Compliance Officers can advise when it comes to client gift and invitations and show to what extend they can accept and when there is a risk of corruption. On the other hand, they also know how management and employees can tactfully decline an invitation or a gift without causing anger on the other side. Another example is to raise awareness: before inviting a client to an event, you should make sure, there is no tendering process underway and that the invitation is not perceived as an attempt to influence any decisions.
So, the overall focus of a Compliance Officers is giving advice. A Compliance Officer doesn’t make decisions, but rather improves the decisions of managers through professional and competent advice. Thus, they are protecting the reputation of the company or its employees from breaches of the rules.
What we do
TCP Solutions is part of the People 2.0 group of companies who is the leading provider of contingent workforce engagement solutions within the U.S. and globally.
TCP operates in Europe and has offices in London, Berlin and Antwerp. We offer the full range of staffing and payroll services including temporary employment, permanent placement and freelance/contracting to agencies, employers and contractors in the flexible workplace market. TCP’s mission is to provide the global market with a high quality, expert service with a human touch – a service provided to its clients on the foundations of honesty, quality and integrity.
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