Processes Under Pressure

COVID-19 has impacted work environments in ways never imagined. Teams, offices – even entire companies – have shifted to working from home. The “new normal” is pressure-testing processes and technology at most every organization.

We so often hear, “that’s the way we’ve always done it,” but this pandemic is forcing us all to challenge whether the way things have been done in the past is optimal, or even necessary. It might be a good time to complete a business process optimization to help identify gaps in your organization’s internal controls and processes. For instance …

Have your processes, people or technology resources been reduced in light of COVID-19?

If yes, how has this impacted your control environment? Many times, we adjust in order to make things work with a “do more with less” mentality, but this can expose organizations to more risk. For example, as the number of people supporting a process decreases, risks related to inappropriate segregation of duties increase. New and adjusted processes should be challenged to ensure there are no major gaps in your internal control environment.

Are current pressures requiring you to challenge how processes can be more efficient?

Now’s the perfect time to challenge your existing processes – even more than you have since this all started! Teams have been getting used to making workplace adjustments and will be open to thinking of new ways to complete tasks. Processes, for instance, can often be over-controlled, making them prime candidates for optimization. Do you have reports that go through several levels of review? Why? Are you using technology to its fullest capacity? Understanding existing processes versus risks will allow for identifying efficiencies that will grant more time for employees to focus on other tasks while still ensuring that risks are still appropriately mitigated.

Schneider Downs Risk Advisory Services team can assist with a Business Process Optimization. We’ll review risks and processes within specific areas of your organization, challenge existing practices and controls, and identify opportunities for efficiencies and risk enhancement to ensure that your organization is as efficient as possible while avoiding significant risk exposure during these unprecedented times.

You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

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.

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