Given the dynamic environment, the audit committee should take a close look at the company’s risk profile at least annually. Ideally, this review should be supported by an updated risk assessment by management. As the committee evaluates disclosure issues, an understanding of the key risks can provide valuable insights.
The point of the article, of course, was that people must focus their attention in the correct places when considering what would most influence their quality of life. That same exact issue exists within organizations where the board and management must ensure that they build and sustain the long-term health of the company.
WHAT DOES COSO STAND FOR?
In 1992, the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) developed a model for evaluating internal controls. This model has been adopted as the generally accepted framework for internal control and is widely recognized as the definitive standard against which organizations measure the effectiveness of their systems of internal control.
Chief audit executives and audit teams may be comfortable with the fact that their approach to audit committee reporting has followed the same unwavering path for the past decade. But are they shortchanging themselves by not communicating results as clearly and engagingly as possible?
In order to be a high-performing auditor, you must be able to deliver messages in a clear and compelling manner. From kickoff meetings and status reports to internal training sessions, executive committee reports and even ordinary staff meetings, auditors are often required to communicate with tact, diplomacy and conviction.
The internal audit function’s position within a company is unique. It provides its principal stakeholders (audit committee members and management) valuable and objective assurance on governance, risk management and control processes, as well as consulting services to improve operations. With this critical responsibility to fulfill, implicit in executing those duties is internal audit’s continuous improvement to its own practices.
Ongoing professional development is essential for today’s internal auditors, previously outlined in Protiviti’s 2013 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey. The results of the survey provide plenty of food for thought on the importance internal auditors assign to professional development in the light of a rapidly changing environment with new challenges at every turn. At the same time, internal auditors are enjoying a broader range of career paths and becoming innovative thinkers to meet the needs and challenges of a changing environment.
Organizations have learned many lessons over the years from specific financial crises. For example, if a chief executive ignores the warning signs posed by the risk management function, resists contrarian information suggesting the corporate strategy is either not working or losing relevance, or fails to consider critical risks when evaluating whether to enter a new market or consummate a complex acquisition, the shareholders and other constituents can end up paying a high price.
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