As the losses mount up and companies struggle to survive, company executives are looking to cut discretionary spending, and one place some companies turn to is the internal audit department. Internal auditors are not just checking behind the corporate accountants to ensure proper control over and reporting of the financial information, but internal auditors are also key trusted advisors who assist the company on many fronts, both operationally and financially. With expertise in accounting, internal control, and risk management, many internal audit personnel is well equipped to assist companies through tough times by identifying creative ways to manage risks and take advantage of opportunities.
In the current COVID-19 economy, there are many risks facing companies that place internal auditors in a prime position to take a leadership role. Financial Reporting Risks In addition to its normal role in financial reporting testing and controls, the internal audit department can help to address additional financial reporting risks that may have arisen due to the new COVID economy. The bottom line is that the internal auditors can play a key role in helping to identify and mitigate key risks related to data security of company and customer information.
A down economy is not the time to cut funding to the internal audit department. Internal auditors are often the unsung heroes in an organization, and leveraging the risk management expertise of these individuals during tough times can help a company not only to survive in the downturns but to thrive in the upturns.
Credit : Robert T. Burrus, Jr. for wilmingtonbiz.com (September, 2020)