What is Compliance?
Compliance is the regulation of all company activities to ensure that they are in line (in 'compliance') with all internal and external policies, laws and standards. In order to ensure the organization stays in compliance, the Compliance Group trains and oversees all employees to meet regulatory standards and guard against potential risk related to non-compliance (typically involves fines, reputational harm, etc.). Compliance policies and standards could be related to federal or state law, software and programming specifications, moral/ethical values or internal company culture. The Compliance Group drafts, distributes and enforces policies to mitigate any potential risks that they identify, while working to identify risk areas and implement controls to protect the organization from those risks.
A typical compliance function is composed of several common sub-functions, or teams, that work together to evaluate risk (regulatory and non-regulatory), conduct internal audits of company practices to identify and reduce potential risk, produce compliance-related reports, create corporate governance policies, and develop standardized methods to handle instances of non-compliance. Browse our Compliance organization chart page to learn about the roles and responsibilities of each major function. Then, download our org chart template (PDF, Visio, PPT) to plan and support compliance operations improvement efforts.
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Check out our compliance best practices page to view selected descriptions of work methods that have been proven to produce better results (as compared to other, similar methods). Want more? Download our compliance best practices guide, which provides a healthy selection of valuable best practices that can be incorporated to improve compliance operations. There might not be only one "best" way to perform every task. However, there is always a "better" way.