5 Ways to Keep Your Internal Controls Healthy During COVID-19

by Marcia Ayala 04/19/2020

Transitioning to the “new normal” of remote operations can present many challenges to the effective operation of your organization’s internal controls. In our latest blog brought to you by our partners and colleagues within Addison Group, discover some helpful tips to identify obstacles early, adjust processes, and ensure effective communications with key stakeholders to successfully navigate the reporting and compliance challenges presented by this new environment.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR INTERNAL CONTROLS HEALTHY DURING COVID-19

By Georgia Hutton | Bridgepoint Consulting

As companies adjust to the “new normal” of remote operations during the COVID 19 pandemic maintaining focus on the effective operation of internal controls is critical. The shift to remote operations will likely require adjustments to internal control processes and timely identification of those adjustments will be key to maintaining an effective internal control environment.

WHEN EVALUATING REMOTE OPERATION OF YOUR CONTROL PROCESSES HERE ARE FIVE THINGS TO CONSIDER:

  1. EVALUATE CURRENT CLOSE CALENDAR AND CONSIDER THE IMPACT ON THE TIMELINESS OF CONTROL OPERATIONConsider risk ranking close and control activities to prioritize essential activities and pushing back or eliminating items that are not key  Be sure to contact third-party partners as early as possible to determine when (and in some cases whether) data will be available and adjust calendar accordingly.  Assess whether your company will utilize SEC report filing extension and how that impacts the close calendar and execution of controls.
  2. IDENTIFY CONTROLS WITH MANUAL APPROVALSIdentify controls that document review/approval through hard copy sign-offs. Adjust the approval process for those controls to capture digital signature approvals or approval via email. Using a review template to document digital reviews/approvals can help ensure the capture of necessary review steps and consistent application. Remember that to properly evidence data that is being approved, referenced documentation should be attached to the approval email.

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