When I first started working in compliance, I could feel the eye rolls when I walked into meetings and the sheer disdain for the compliance department from other employees. Why? Because nobody likes to deal with compliance, plain and simple. Compliance means doing things “by the book”, and that means 1. More money, 2. More time and 3. No. A lot of no. Co-workers were apprehensive to approach me because inevitably, I was going to tell them to do things differently. Talk about being the company Debbie Downer. However, there are a couple of things that I wish I could have shared with those previous coworkers about what we, as compliance officers, are tasked with, and our own feelings on the subject. Here are the top 3 things I wish my fellow employees would know about compliance.
- We hate telling you “no”
- That great idea you have for an advertising campaign? It really IS great. But it could use some tweaks to make sure we don’t run afoul of any advertising regulations from the FTC and the CFPB. I know you’ve worked on this campaign for weeks, and I know that it’s your baby and you want it to run, run free across the internet. I support you, I really do! It just can’t work exactly as you had originally planned.
- We want to work with you, not against you
- We can be creative too! We’re not just bookworms and sticklers for the rules, we want to contribute and be part of a solution. Most importantly, we want to work alongside you, not just stand in your way. We don’t want to send you back to the drawing board alone, we want you to know that you can trust us, that you can collaborate with us, and most importantly, know that we’re here to help you.
- We want the company to make money
- Inevitably, there’s a void between the business management team and the compliance team. Why? Because business development and compliance always seem to be at odds. There will be conflict, mostly about money. How can we run our business successfully AND not break any rules?!?! One wants to run for the fences and get as close to that line as possible, and the other wants to stay right where home base is located. Let your compliance officer help you come up with policies and procedures that optimize your business performance while coloring between the lines. This is what we’ve been trained to do. Plus, don’t forget that this is our livelihood too, we only survive as long as the company survives, just like you.
Most importantly, your compliance officer wants you to know that we’re available, we value your input, and there’s nothing better than true interdepartmental collaboration. Give us a shot, we won’t let you down!
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