The Difference: Compliance Officer Versus Auditor

Darren Jacobs
December 20, 2018

The core differences between a compliance officer and an auditor within enterprise businesses are not crystal clear to most employees. Of course, there are some crossover similarities, and both have common attributes with one another, so it's no wonder why there is confusion for CEO's, CIO's.

Today, we want to explain these core differences between a compliance officer and auditor within your business. What exactly are their core objectives and roles?

Compliance officers can be audited by an auditor to make sure they are doing the right thing concerning best practices and fulfilling their roles under the rules of law. While the auditor doesn't get audited by the compliance officer, this is because the compliance officer's position is specific to operational and regulatory risk. Make sense?

Final Clarity Between Compliance Officer & Auditors

The Compliance Officer

Your compliance officer need be up to date with the changing legislation imposed by regulatory bodies. This is mandatory to set operational policy and procedures for external and internal parties that related to the enterprise. This exists to comply and avoid any potential risks around this.

Compliance officers enforce regulatorily and then sets a stand side framework policy and procedure to be followed now and moving forward. They utilise GRC tools such as ReadiNow to accomplish this.

The Auditor

The auditor understands to a high degree the policies and procedures necessary and ensures all parties they are communicated to all relevant parties. They witness how tasks have been completed and make sure they fall under these guidelines. Once the assessment of both policies and procedures is completed, the auditor will provide assurance with all methods are met within current plans. Again, one legal system is adjusted by law; the auditor gets re-audits.

They complete a deep-dive into the current procedures just as the compliance officer does but looks back to assure that all business actions have been carried out according to frameworks, policies and procedures. Unlike the compliance officer that focuses on operational risks, Auditors oversee every risk to the entire business.

Working together is better than working in silos

Every single organisation within a government needs to have a cooperative team to get work done and also increase efficiency. Compliance officers should ideally be working with the entire organisation to inform and educate operational compliance. Every team member needs to be aware of their responsibilities about compliance at all times through clear risk frameworks and frequent communication.

The auditor should remain independent in order to assess the frameworks and methodologies in place to provide an unbiased point of view. Yes, the compliance officer and auditor will work cooperatively too. Just not on a daily occurrence.

Of course, the roles have a built-in crossover, and it's vital for both professionals to work together as with all successful businesses. However, we can see that there are core differences and each are of high importance to the organisation.

If you would like to find out more about compliance and how ReadiNow can help. Simply ask one of our friendly pioneers that can assist you at

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