Internal Audit Services
Risks that pose disabling and disruptive challenges to many large and mid-sized businesses often are rooted in a failure of operations, systems, finance or compliance – or a combination of all four. Assessing organization-wide controls to ensure integrity and accountability across people, processes and technologies demands an intelligent, integrated and business oriented approach to internal auditing. In a recent survey of senior management and audit committee members, nearly ⅔ cited a lack of business acumen as a leading “gap” within the internal auditing profession. We have addressed this gap by taking a business oriented approach to internal auditing and addressing the needs of all stakeholders through several service offerings.
Making the Transition to COSO’s Updated Integrated Framework
Prior to founding The Audit Exchange, John McLaughlin served as a frequent contributor to The Financial Management Network while leading the Risk Advisory practice of BDO. In this segment, John discusses the updated 2013 COSO Internal Control Framework and its application to Sarbanes-Oxley compliance including internal controls over financial reporting, as well as the effective use of internal controls over operations and regulatory compliance.
Controls Assessment & Expert Reports – nearly every business is mindful of the cost of internal control, yet many may not fully consider the risks that result from control failures including leakage, inefficiency, and erosion of customer confidence. Whether the control failures occur in customer billing, order fulfillment, inventory handling, or certain regulatory compliance processes, we assist companies in identifying and fixing control gaps. In addition, we have served as an expert in matters pending in the United States District Court related to internal auditing and internal control.
Process Optimization – just about everyone wants everything better, faster, and cheaper. Yet, many managers can be stymied by the inability to institute process improvements through the enhanced use of technology, streamlined business processes and controls, and changing workforce behavior. We understand the delicate balance required to ensure optimal processes, and assist companies in reducing transaction processing cost, enhancing or reducing control activities, and eliminating manual accounting activities. Our efforts often result in a return of five, six, even ten times the cost of the internal audit.
Systems and Process Alignment – placing the blame on someone else is almost human nature. In too many organizations, Operations or Finance blames IT for “ineffective systems.” Yet, in those same organizations, IT is likely to blame Finance or Operations for not “using the system.” We see this dynamic often, and assist companies in maximizing business processes to take full advantage of the underlying system’s reporting, transaction processing, and control capabilities.
Internal Audit Training & Transformation – In recent surveys conducted by the Institute of Internal Auditors, the internal audit profession continues to improve itself as a whole. However, a fairly wide gap in expectations continues to exist between management and the internal audit function as a whole. Delivering successful internal audits that balance the needs of management, internal audit, and the Board can be a tricky thing. We have learned the tricks of the trade, and share our experience in a multi-phased coaching program that is designed to enhance internal audit’s communication, focus, and business acumen so that they can successfully interact with management and the Board. We also advise executive management and the Board when contemplating new directions of their internal auditing functions.