Compliance Auditor Job Description
A Compliance Auditor is responsible for ensuring that a company is adhering to any federal and state regulations relevant to its business. They also review and enforce compliance with standards or regulations imposed by professional organizations or even a company’s internal guidelines. They might conduct audits in areas of accounting, finance, information technology or security.
They will generally work closely with upper management or administrative personnel, such as Chief Information Officers or Chief Financial Officers, in reviewing compliance procedures and processes. Many compliance auditors act as consultants, though some may work within a company’s own compliance department. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, federal and state government offices employ the majority of compliance auditors, also known as compliance officers. Demand for Compliance Auditors, per the BLS, will increase 11 percent through 2024, creating 142,400 openings during that period.
Compliance Auditor Duties and Responsibilities
Compliance Auditors oversee a number of tasks to ensure that regulation guidelines are being followed and regulations are being met. In reviewing several job listings for this profession, we found the following are among the core duties and responsibilities of a Compliance Auditor.
Oversee and Conduct Audits
A Compliance Auditor will manage both external and internal audits as necessary. This will include reviewing records, reports, software and any other relevant programs and activities affected by regulations. Following an audit, Compliance Auditors will then make recommended changes to procedures or practices that are not in compliance with stated regulations and help to implement a plan to address such changes.
Being proactive is important for Compliance Auditors. As part of their responsibilities, Compliance Auditors will analyze potential risks within specific areas of a company in order to avoid compliance issues. This might include reviewing risk assessment studies conducted by government agencies and professional organizations to gauge the possible risk potential of the company they are working for.
Maintain Compliance Records
Keeping track of any violations reported against a company and responses and plans regarding these violations are the responsibilities of a Compliance Auditor. Conducting an analysis of existing compliance records and making any necessary updates would also fall under this category. Recording any compliance training by company employees is another aspect of maintaining compliance documents.
Compliance Auditor Skills
Attention to detail and strong communication, analytical and decision-making skills are among the most important traits a Compliance Auditor must have to be successful in this position. The ability to work both individually and in teams is also important. A Compliance Auditor should be particularly vigilant in following up to ensure that developed plans addressing compliance issues and problems have been implemented. In addition to these general skills, a Compliance Auditor could be expected by potential employers to possess the following skills.
Core skills: Based on job listings we looked at, employers want Compliance Auditors with these core skills. If you want to work as a Compliance Auditor, focus on the following.
- Understanding operations and practices within the industry for which you are auditing, such as health care or accounting
- Using relevant software when performing such duties as data analysis or quality assurance
- Reviewing training materials to ensure a company’s knowledge of compliance guidelines
- Understanding levels of potential risks and how to address each risk
Advanced skills: While most employers did not require the following skills, multiple job listings included them as preferred. Add these to your Compliance Auditor toolbox and broaden your career options.
- Possess relevant industry-specific certifications, such as Certified Internal Auditor
- Knowledge of basic software applications, such as Microsoft Word and Excel
Compliance Auditor Resources
The following are among the best industry resources we found that could be helpful as you continue your Compliance Auditor research. Both online and print resources are listed here.
On the Web
Compliance Audit & Management Blog – A blog focusing on advice of Compliance Auditors, consultants and other relevant professionals about how to work in this field. Covers best practices, standards reviews, new regulations and more.
Thinking Like an Auditor Blog – Presented by Wolters Kluwer Audit, Risk & Compliance, this blog contains perspectives and tips from those currently working in the compliance field.
Compliance Week – An online and print resource with newsletters, articles, forums and a monthly magazine for Compliance Auditors working for or with public companies.
Ethics & Compliance Initiative (ECI) – Combines relevant associations such as the Ethics & Compliance Association (ECA) and Ethics & Compliance Certification Institute (ECCI) to give Compliance Auditors a place to network, review best practices and get information about certification.
The Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) – Founded in 1941, the IIA offers live and online training conferences and seminars, certification information and books and online publications regarding all aspects of internal auditing.
Compliance Auditor Books
Building a Career in Compliance and Ethics – A comprehensive look at a career in compliance, from job search methods to ethics. Contains helpful advice from those working in the field.
501 Ideas For Your Compliance and Ethics Program – Written by a seasoned compliance veteran, this book addresses ways to develop and conduct audits and auditing programs.
Compliance Management for Public, Private, or Nonprofit Organizations – A practical and detailed guide to overseeing compliance practices in any type of organization.
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