Can I use compost as mulch?
If you want to use compost as mulch later on, I recommend composting leaves separately, in their own pile, as they make a good mulch when partially rotted. Compost in its finest finished state is more soil-like than mulch-like texturally speaking, so not good mulch (but a great soil amendment).
Leaves can be shredded to speed up the process; this can be done if they are raked into small piles where the heap is to be made and run over with the mower, which works better when they are dry. Then moisten the pile and perhaps sprinkle in some soil or old compost. The leaves can also be left whole, in reusable bags or in a pile, all winter and shredded come spring. Leaf mold, as the rotted stuff is called, is both a great mulch and soil amendment.