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The New Role of Compliance Managers in the automation era

Posted by: Chris Duden | June 7, 2018

Home/ Blog / The New Role of Compliance Managers in the automation era

Automation will end up changing the way we work. The change isn’t far off in the distance or theoretical in any manner – it is already happening. Automation is slowly entering more and more industries and it is now here for compliance. Compliance management systems are automating some of the most frustrating parts of compliance.

However, compliance automation is not working the same way as automation in other industries. When we talk about compliance automation systems, we aren’t talking about replacing compliance officers and managers – we are talking about augmenting them. This is a very important factor which should not be ignored. The job role of compliance managers and officers is changing due to automation and we need to start preparing for it. To understand how the role is changing, let’s look at how automation is adding value for compliance functions

The New Role of Compliance Managers in the automation era

The work that will be automated

Companies have compliance departments and hire compliance officers and managers to ensure compliance. The trouble is that managing compliance has a lot of administration related work. This is work needed simply to maintain compliance related documentation. Documentation, when it comes to compliance does not simply mean keeping a record of things so they can be perused later as it does in many other departments. Documentation is a core component of compliance.

The problem is that keeping track of all the documentation gets very complicated very fast. There are multiple documents, spreadsheets, databases, and email threads which contain vital information. For most companies there is no singular system which handles all of these things, which means there is a huge schism in the data available. All the required information and data is present in these documents and spreadsheets, the problem, however, is that managing and retrieving this data when needed is a very cumbersome task.

This results in many hours being spent on simply keeping all this information in an organized manner. The people working in compliance departments right now know the challenges related to staying compliant. They don’t just have to ensure that the company is compliant, they also have to make sure that everything in compliance is done systematically. This is the part of compliance which automation solves, and this is what compliance management systems are targeting.

A better role, not a diminished one

There are many people who think that the rise of compliance management systems and automation will result in compliance officers and managers being replaced with machines. The reality is that the opposite is true. Instead of compliance officers and managers being replaced by computers, compliance officers and managers will now be given a much better job role than they previously had.

Look at the job descriptions of compliance officers and managers and you will see that most of them focus on creating strategies and working on compliance initiatives. The problem is that there is so much administration and complexity involved in simply maintaining all the documents and information related to compliance that it ends up taking a considerable amount of a compliance employee’s work hours.

This means that instead of working on actual compliance, these employees spend a lot of time on simply maintaining the manual system of storing compliance information. This is not a job role anyone wants. People who work in compliance are too qualified and experienced to just be managing documentation and information – they are capable of much more. Yet, since keeping track of all information and keeping everything updated is necessary, they do this administrative and some-what clerical work anyway.

Once compliance management systems are implemented, the job role of a compliance employee changes. They are no longer worried simply about keeping track of information and creating reports. Now they have the time to focus on actual compliance. Organizations that adapt compliance management system therefore start seeing much better levels of compliance, and thus the number of compliance related violations is significantly reduced.

Less stress, more job satisfaction

The change in the job role of compliance managers and officers does wonders for the organization’s compliance, but that isn’t the only benefit it brings. It also ends up creating a much better job role for compliance managers and officers, which results in more job satisfaction. Instead of these highly skilled and qualified people sitting and dealing with frustrating administrative issues, they get to employ their professional industry skills towards better compliance management. They are able to take on projects with larger scopes than before, and create meaningful changes in the organization.

There is no mystery in why people are more satisfied with their jobs if a compliance management system is deployed – employees are always more satisfied when they have the right tools for the job at hand. No one wants their job to consist of frustrating manual record keeping, and eliminating the most frustrating part of their job makes them happier. It’s as simple as that.

The new role of compliance managers will focus a lot more on initiatives and compliance strategies. Instead of focusing on maintaining compliance they will be able to focus on growing compliance. Expect bigger projects being undertaken with the help of better tools. Looking at the way the industry is moving, it is easy to see that compliance management will play a much more active role in the future than it does now. The fast speed at which the finance industry is moving means that compliance will only keep increasing in importance. The rise of new financial tools and technologies such as ICOs, cryptocurrencies, and the blockchain means that compliance will have to act at a faster pace to keep up with all the changes. We are in the transition period now and if organizations want their compliance departments to be ready for the future, it is important to give them the right tools now.

About the company

360factors, Inc. (Austin, TX) helps companies improve business performance by reducing risk and ensuring compliance. Predict360, its flagship software product, vertically integrates regulations and requirements, policies and procedures management, risks and controls, audit management and inspections, and on-line training and qualifications, in a single cloud-based platform based on artificial intelligence.

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