Internal controls is a highly regarded, important function that sits at the heart of fiscal prudence, diligence, regulations and auditing.
Internal controls managers and analysts and the function of internal controls have to be present in some format in every company, both inside and outside of finance, that deals with money, donations, audit trails, litigation or investments. This ranges from industry to financial services and the charity sector.
As such, the figures who take responsibility for internal controls, and, by proxy, both internal and external audits, have to be detail-obsessive, experienced, senior financial operators.
Evaluation is a key component of the role, and internal controls managers and analysts can be expected to work across – the analysis of internal controls systems within an organisation; the recommending of system updates; to risk assessment, anti-fraud operations, staff training and compliance.
Internal controls sit at a juncture between internal operations, legal and audit prudence and/or disruption.
They are a vital layer of protection to any enterprise, and provide all staff members with the requisite direction and leadership to follow fiscal rules, apply audit requirements and follow internal systems to the letter. They also mitigate risk by being the lead on conducting internal audits, operational diligence, and providing guidance or ensuring appropriate training and/or systems change if there are irregularities.
Internal audits are the main weapon in an internal controls manager’s and analyst’s arsenal. This means they are responsible for making sure each department, and each employee, is operating according to best practice, and following the rules and regulations of their particular industry, sector or office. This also requires internal controls managers to be adept at compiling service reports and communicating the results to senior leadership. These results then aid performance reviews, control improvements, and service updates, while also providing a clear record of internal assessment for external auditors.
Reactive, and communicative compliance is key in today’s internal control market. Professionals who take on the mantle of internal controls manager and analyst have to be acutely aware of processes, revisions and implementations of financial compliance structures throughout their enterprise. This is especially important as the digital footprint of financial services (and individuals) expands, and more and more avenues of potential compliance issues arise. Dependent on the course of action and reason for compliance remediation, internal controls may also be responsible for organising further departmental training.
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