US News and World Report recently ran an article on five “hot jobs” for MBA graduates. Happily, the career of compliance officer made the list.
Now, for anyone in compliance you have to feel good about that. It’s nice to be popular and a part of a “hot” career, even if it’s still hard to get the family excited about what you do all day. Try it in my house. Mom works for a university and takes everyone to basketball and football games. I go to conferences and bring them back pens that light up. Woo hoo!
But more important than the popularity is the fact that compliance is listed among jobs that are suited for MBAs. That is further evidence that compliance is increasingly perceived not as some variation of the practice of law but as part of running a business. More, it demonstrates that the compliance is a role for business managers, not just lawyers.
That’s a significant change. It demonstrates an increasing recognition that compliance isn’t just about ensuring externally-imposed rules are followed. It’s about running a business successfully, a skill that takes managers.
Also notable is the fact that this news report follows the compliance evaluation criteria recently issued by the Fraud Section at the US Department of Justice. As I noted in a post on this blog back in February, the DOJ is taking a similar view of compliance. A review of the evaluation document shows a strong emphasis on business processes, not complex legal interpretations. The word “process”, in fact, appears over and over again in the document.
What this all means is that compliance is now more woven than ever into the fabric of business. It’s not an add on, or something forced, but a profession that, even if it is not always embraced, is ever-more central to the way business operates.
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