Job Search

BSA Officer vs. Compliance Officer: What Are the Differences?

Learn about the two careers and review some of the similarities and differences between them.

A career in business can be exciting, challenging and rewarding. If you’re interested in working in this field, you may be wondering what the difference is between a BSA officer and a compliance officer. Both of these positions are important in ensuring that businesses operate legally and ethically, but they have different focus areas. In this article, we discuss the responsibilities of BSA officers and compliance officers, and we explain the key differences between these two job titles.

What is a BSA Officer?

Banking Secrecy Act (BSA) Officers are responsible for ensuring that their financial institution is in compliance with all federal regulations related to the BSA. This includes developing and implementing policies and procedures related to the BSA, conducting training for employees on BSA compliance, and conducting audits to ensure that the policies and procedures are being followed. BSA Officers also work with law enforcement on investigations related to money laundering and other financial crimes.

What is a Compliance Officer?

A Compliance Officer is a professional who helps an organization meet regulatory requirements. They develop and implement policies and procedures to ensure that the organization is adhering to all relevant laws and regulations. Compliance Officers also conduct audits to ensure that these policies and procedures are being followed. They work with all levels of an organization, from the front-line staff to the executive team, to ensure compliance. In some cases, they may also be responsible for investigating potential violations and taking disciplinary action.

BSA Officer vs. Compliance Officer

Here are the main differences between a BSA officer and a compliance officer.

Job Duties

Both compliance officers and BSA officers have similar job duties, although the specific tasks they perform depend on the industry in which their company operates. For example, a compliance officer may conduct internal audits to ensure that the company follows all regulations regarding customer data protection and credit card processing. A BSA officer may investigate customers’ complaints about unauthorized purchases on their credit cards or other issues related to the company’s business practices.

Compliance officers often work within an organization to help it meet all government standards. They may provide training to employees on important regulations and assist with creating new policies to comply with local laws. In contrast, a BSA officer typically works externally, helping customers resolve issues with the company rather than working directly with customers to resolve problems.

Job Requirements

BSA officers and compliance officers typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in business administration, accounting, finance or another related field. Many employers prefer candidates to have a master’s degree as well, but it is not required for entry-level positions. Additionally, many BSA officers and compliance officers pursue certifications through the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) or the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). These organizations offer training programs that teach professionals how to detect and prevent financial crimes.

Work Environment

Both BSAs and compliance officers work in office environments, but they may also travel to different locations. Compliance officers often visit businesses or other facilities to ensure that the employees are following regulations. They may also meet with clients to discuss their needs and requirements.

BSAs typically spend most of their time working in an office environment. However, they may occasionally travel to different locations to conduct inspections.


Both BSA officers and compliance officers need to have excellent research skills. This is because a large part of their job involves looking into whether people or businesses are complying with regulations. They also both need to be able to pay close attention to detail in order to catch any discrepancies.

BSA officers tend to focus more on financial transactions, so they need to have strong math skills to be able to track and analyze data. They also need to be able to use software programs designed to help detect patterns of suspicious activity. Compliance officers may also need to be able to use similar software programs, but their focus is typically on other areas of compliance, such as safety or environmental regulations.

Because BSA officers are focused on financial crimes, they need to have a good understanding of banking regulations. Compliance officers may also need to have an understanding of the regulations related to their specific area of focus, but they may not need to be as knowledgeable about them as BSA officers.

Both BSA officers and compliance officers need to be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally. This is because they often need to explain their findings to people who are not familiar with the regulations. They also both need to be able to work well independently and as part of a team.


A BSA officer can earn an average salary of $80,756 per year, while a compliance officer can earn an average salary of $79,744 per year. Both of these salaries may vary depending on the size of the company at which you work, your location and your level of experience.


Lab Coordinator vs. Lab Manager: What Are the Differences?

Back to Job Search

Business Analyst vs. Investment Banker: What Are the Differences?