2023 – the year that you resolve to get stronger: buy some weights, visit the gym, work out more consistently, lift heavier. We often create resolutions for ourselves to improve upon our weaknesses, so why not do the same for our companies?
How could your company strengthen up in 2023?
An individual who’s really serious about getting stronger may hire a trainer. Someone who acts like a coach to you – an external viewpoint on where you are and how you can improve. The equivalent of this for a company looking to improve is an internal audit function. How can internal audit be the trainer you need to strengthen your organization?
Provide an Objective View
One of the key characteristics of an internal audit function is that it is independent and objective. In other words, an internal auditor provides an unbiased view. Like a coach or trainer, an internal auditor offers an honest and uninfluenced viewpoint to the organization, which is necessary as part of the journey towards continuous improvement.
Help Design a Plan
Once trainers understand where you are, they work with you to develop a plan on how to get you where you want to be. This includes two things: (1) providing guidance on how you could adjust what you are currently doing and (2) identifying additional steps that should be put into your routine to achieve your goals. Internal auditors follow a similar approach. Once there is an understanding of risks, processes and related regulatory or policy requirements, an internal audit function will provide insight into your current control set (are controls designed appropriately?) and provide recommendations on additional actions necessary to address any unmitigated risks.
Hold You Accountable
If you show up to your training session and haven’t been putting in the work in between, it will show immediately. Trainers test the execution of your plan by measuring for improvement – whether it be more reps, increased weight, a body measurement or a number on a scale, they will be testing to monitor performance and improvement. An internal audit function provides similar assurance to companies by performing testing over various areas, including testing to ensure:
Controls are operating effectively (are we executing the controls that we said we would to mitigate risk?);
Compliance with regulatory requirements, and;
Compliance with company policies and procedures.
Identify Opportunities to Get Lean
When trainers take a wholistic view into your lifestyle, they identify ways to increase muscle while decreasing fat. After all, you want to show off the muscles you’ve worked so hard for! A benefit of an internal audit is that it can help get your processes lean, too. As part of its work, an internal audit function can often identify and reduce redundant tasks, bringing efficiencies to your processes.
There is no time like the present to begin strengthening your organization’s control environment. Like your personal goals, don’t feel that you have to do it alone. Consider how an internal audit function may be the trainer you need to coach your organization to a stronger version in 2023.
About Schneider Downs Risk Advisory
Our team of experienced risk advisory professionals focus on collaborating with your organization to identify and effectively mitigate risks. Our goal is to understand not only the risks related to potential loss to the organization, but to drive solutions that add value to your organization and advise on opportunities to ensure minimal disruption to your business.
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The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at [email protected].
Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.