Audit and compliance do not appear to be disparate at first sight. The overlapping responsibilities can even result in many regarding those as one and the same. But that is not so. Despite similarities, there are distinct differences that set the two roles apart.
The Compliance Officer’s role entails being up-to-date with present and future legislation and regulations imposed. It is essential to keep in touch with changes to these legislations as they occur to ensure compliance. The Compliance Officer can study these legislations and regulations to set out a clear policy to be followed to comply.
The Auditor’s role is answering the question, “are we doing what we said we would do?”. They check adherence to set policies and procedures. It is essential to bear in mind that a clean audit does not always guarantee regulatory compliance. The Auditor looks at current, ongoing processes and past procedures, unlike the Compliance Officer.
Also, the Compliance Officer needs to work together with the organization to help achieve regulatory compliance. But the Auditing team must function as independently as possible for an internal team. That is to ensure that assessments are not biased in any way. Also, although the Compliance Officer may be audited to assess the work they are doing, vice versa does not happen. That is because the Compliance Officer is in charge of operational and regulatory risk of the organization. But the Auditor, on the other hand, is in charge of all risk of the organization.
The roles of the Compliance Officer and Auditor may vary in this manner. But their roles also require cooperation between both and with the organization to ensure smooth functioning. To support this smooth functioning of the firm, Audit Management Software can be of immense aid. Contact Harrington Group International to make sure that all tools necessary are available at hand for your firm’s smooth operation.