Quality and Internal Controls Go Hand-In-Hand

Risk Advisory/Internal Audit

By Donald Owens

Many organizations are stunned when quality issues with their products or services seemingly arise overnight. Most recently, mortgage servicing companies have made headlines for gross improprieties in the handling of foreclosures. The cost to resolve quality issues is, more often than not, staggering to the organization. In addition to the internal cost incurred to identify and rectify the underlying issues, the loss of market share could be irreversible.

In these challenging economic times, the mantra is to cut costs where possible to improve short-term return. The cutting typically occurs in areas deemed to be “overhead” to the organization – e.g., quality control (QC). Though such actions may be unavoidable, an effective internal audit function can assist organizations in averting breakdowns on the quality side of the equation. Revisiting the current foreclosure scandal, comprehensive internal audits could have provided early warning of the issues on the horizon. Management must realize that internal audit and other governance functions not only are valued partners in assessing controls over financial reporting, but can be key allies in identifying quality issues before they consume the organization.

For ways in which the Internal Audit and Risk Advisory Services team at Schneider Downs can help you identify the quality issues in your organization, please contact Don Owens, Director of Internal Audit and Risk Advisory Services.



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