Adapting to Change: New Responsibilities of Compliance Managers

March 21, 2024
Galina Korshunova

By Galina Korshunova

Gone are the days when compliance and regulatory affairs were mainly tied to financial regulations and legal mandates. Today, compliance managers’ responsibilities span everything from cybersecurity to environmental regulations and social governance. This role expansion demands a multidisciplinary approach, integrating technology, law, ethics, and business strategy to create a comprehensive compliance framework that addresses a wide array of risks and regulations.

Incorporating New Responsibilities

From Gatekeeper to Strategist

Phrases like “Contribute to the development of business strategies considering the regulatory environment” are appearing more and more frequently in today’s job descriptions advertised for compliance and regulatory affairs managers. The transformation of the role from its initial focus on enforcement to becoming a strategic advisor is one of the most significant shifts in the field. Compliance managers now play a crucial role in guiding organizational strategy and embedding risk management into the fabric of business decisions. They need to interpret regulations in the context of their business’s strategic goals, influencing decision-making processes at the highest levels. This involves:

Strategic Risk Management: Developing risk assessment models that not only identify potential compliance risks but also prioritize them based on their impact on the business’s strategic goals.

Regulatory Forecasting: Anticipating future regulatory trends and preparing the organization to adapt to these changes seamlessly.

Cross-Departmental Collaboration: Working closely with other departments (e.g., IT, HR, Marketing) to ensure that compliance considerations are integrated into all facets of the business operations.

Embracing Technology and Data Analytics

The use of technology and data analytics has become indispensable in modern compliance management. Automation tools streamline compliance processes, while data analytics offer insights into potential compliance risks before they escalate. The ability to analyze vast amounts of data for compliance monitoring allows for a proactive rather than reactive approach to compliance, transforming how organizations anticipate and navigate regulatory changes.

The burgeoning role of technology in compliance cannot be overstated. Compliance managers, today, must be conversant with:

Regulatory Technology (RegTech): Implementing solutions that automate compliance tasks, such as monitoring transactions for signs of money laundering or ensuring data privacy practices comply with regulations like GDPR.

Data Governance: Establishing protocols for data management that comply with regulatory requirements while enabling data accessibility for analytics purposes.

Predictive Analytics: Utilizing AI and machine learning to predict potential compliance breaches before they occur, allowing for preemptive action.

Global Compliance and Cultural Sensitivity

Operating in a global market introduces complex compliance challenges, from understanding diverse regulatory environments to grasping cultural differences in business practices. Compliance managers need to cultivate a global perspective, ensuring that their organizations can adapt and comply with international laws and norms, where applicable. As businesses expand globally, compliance managers are tasked with a complex set of responsibilities that require both legal knowledge and cultural acumen:

Multi-jurisdictional Compliance: Navigating the intricacies of complying with laws and regulations across different countries, which can vary significantly in terms of both substance and enforcement practices.

Cultural Competence: Understanding and respecting the diverse cultural norms and business practices in different regions, which can affect everything from contract negotiations to marketing strategies.

Regology’s regulatory intelligence platform

Addressing Emerging Challenges

Keeping Up with Rapid Regulatory Changes

Staying abreast of rapid and often unpredictable regulatory changes remains a daunting task for compliance managers. It requires agile compliance strategies that can adapt to new regulations swiftly and efficiently. Continuous learning and the use of regulatory technology solutions are essential for keeping pace with the dynamic regulatory environment. The speed of regulatory change is a constant challenge, requiring:

Continuous monitoring of new developments: Keeping abreast of new regulations and amendments, often across multiple jurisdictions, and understanding their implications for the business.

Maintaining agile compliance frameworks: Developing flexible compliance frameworks that can quickly adapt to new regulations without disrupting business operations.

Ensuring Organizational Buy-in

Securing organizational commitment to compliance initiatives is crucial to their realization. Compliance managers must embed a culture of compliance within the organization, fostering an environment where compliance is viewed as integral to business success. This involves strategic communication, education, and demonstrating the value of compliance in mitigating risks and enhancing business operations. Achieving widespread organizational commitment to compliance involves:

Engagement and Education: Conducting regular training sessions and workshops to ensure that employees at all levels understand the importance of compliance, and how it affects their specific roles.

Compliance as a Value: Promoting compliance not just as a legal requirement but as a core value of the organization, integral to its brand and reputation.

Risk Management in a Digital World

As digital operations become increasingly central to business strategies, managing cyber risks and ensuring data privacy are paramount. Compliance managers face the complex task of handling cybersecurity compliance, safeguarding against data breaches, ransomware, and other cyber threats. This challenge emphasizes the need for compliance managers to be well-versed in technology and cybersecurity practices. This involves:

Cybersecurity: Implementing robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive information and ensure compliance with data protection regulations.

Third-Party Risk Management: Assessing and managing the risks posed by third-party vendors and partners, particularly those that handle sensitive data or are integral to the organization's compliance processes.

Data Privacy: Harnessing the complexities of data privacy laws, which can vary widely by jurisdiction and often require sophisticated data governance strategies to ensure compliance.

The Future of Compliance Management

Looking ahead, the role of compliance managers will continue evolving, considering their growing list of responsibilities and the increasing importance of technology, sustainability, and social responsibility. To succeed in this paradigm shift, compliance professionals must embrace innovation, cultivate a diverse skill set, and remain adaptable to new challenges and opportunities. 

Today’s AI-powered regulatory intelligence solutions can help get a head start in tackling multidisciplinary and multi-jurisdictional compliance strategies. By adding unprecedented efficiency in handling the volume and frequency of change, Regology’s regulatory intelligence platform takes it a step further and enables alert customization to ensure they are relevant to your organizational needs, as well as organizing and filtering information by topics, business segments, and jurisdictions. It is industry-agnostic, supports a variety of third-party integrations, and acts as a team collaboration hub. 

Learn more about the latest tools that help hundreds of compliance managers today to succeed in their jobs by visiting our solutions page!

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