Businesses are susceptible to data breach anytime. Internal controls can protect your Information Technology environment by acting as your business protective armor. Think of internal controls like they are the Iron Man’s suit. Tony Stark’s suit allows him to fight enemies comfortably while at the same time guarding him against the dangers inherent in battles. The same applies to internal control systems.
Understanding the Importance of Internal Controls and What They Are?
What is a system of Internal Controls?
An excellent offense provides a good defense. Cliché as this may sound; there is some hidden truth behind it. Just as with Tony Stark’s suit, integration of internal controls strives to safeguard the company from strategic, financial, and reputational risks. Simply put, internal controls ensure the normal continuation of business operations.
Besides serving as protective armor, you also get to stand confident during submission of financial reports. As you well know, businesses must follow up with certain industrial and regulatory standards. Failure to submit well-balanced not only puts your credibility on the line but could also attract trouble from the law.
Why are Objectives the First Step to Creating Internal Controls?
The first step to building a defensive armor is by distinguishing the risks it endeavors to mitigate. Effective internal controls can address all your challenges. But keep in mind that without an understanding of how the company wants to position itself, the difficulty will arise while setting goals and in addressing the fundamental risks.
An excellent way to put this is by using an example of the Iron Man again. When Iron Man fights Thanos, he has to establish a way to conquer his magical powers. But if the fight is between him and Hulk, his armor has to help him battle the green monster’s might. For this reason, you should identify the organization’s objectives before moving to determine the risks.
How Does Risk Management Support Internal Controls?
Once you define the company’s goals and objectives, identifying risks tied to those strategic decisions will be more straightforward. It is the reason a GCR (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) policy comes in handy. It will help your company comply with regulations/standards while at the same time, helping you to track operations of the processes. Thus, with effective corporate risk management, you can create a framework that supports procedures and protects resources as well as assets.
What are the Five Internal Controls?
You should bear in mind that you need resources while creating an integration of internal controls. It is with this reason that the COSO established the five types of internal control to help companies. Below are the five types of internal controls with their definitions.
- Control Environment – It acts as the culture of internal control at the firm. The primary goal of the control environment is to find out if the company has a culture of compliance, discipline, and or procedures plus lax policies.
- Risk Assessment – Use of risk assessment helps businesses to identify whether an activity will bring a high or low level of risk.
- Control Activities-Talk about procedures, mechanisms, and internal policies. This can include anything from two-factor authentication and network segregation to encryption and VPN use. VPNGeeks.com have reviewed the best VPNs to help with this. Control activities ensure that not only do you act but that all decisions are in the records to show how your company analyzes risk.
- Information and Communication – It is all about how the management communicates the culture for individuals to follow.
- Monitoring Activities – These are activities that supervisors use to oversee internal controls and processes in the firm.
How do you Design Internal Controls?
The first step is to create procedures relating to recording, initiation, correcting, processing, delivery, and reporting of cash and electronic transactions. After, you should integrate these processes to your financial statement’s information. Unlike in the past, most modern-day auditing revolves around hardware and software solutions. In this case, you must use digital tools to track your ledger information, and what better way to so than using internal controls.
What Does an Internal Control Audit Require?
Auditors seek proof of the evaluation process. It is for this reason that you need to provide a record showing the linkage between your financial statement audits with the internal control audit. Even though the process may sometimes feel overwhelming, never miss doing so as it is the only way you can prove your company’s compliance.
How Does Automation Ease the Pain of Internal Control Development and Monitoring?
As with anything else, automation saves you money and time in the long run. Automated solutions offer safety to your documents, plus they produce easy to read reports. Thus, allowing the auditors to trace your control environment effectively. Finally, automation is fast. It will enable you to manage requests swiftly, efficiently, and cost-effectively.
It is impossible for your company to keep threat off all the time. Having internal controls will protect your business and secure long-term operation. Ensure to get internal controls so that threats don’t pass past your defense line.