Internal control over financial reporting (ICFR) series

Source: Deloitte

Uncover ICFR insights and guidance

​In response to increased regulatory focus, our ICFR series explores the benefits of a proactive versus reactive system for internal controls to help your organization improve its ICFR program—and save costs along the way.

Part 1: Risk Assessment

The starting point to evaluate the sufficiency of an ICFR program should be with a financial statement risk assessment. The risk assessment, which includes specific financial reporting objectives and identification of risks to achieving those objectives, answers these fundamental questions:

  • Which controls are necessary to address the company’s risks?
  • How many controls does the company need?
  • What is “just enough” for the company’s ICFR program?

A risk assessment that integrates the right people, processes, tools, and techniques serves to identify the relevant risks of material misstatement (ROMMs). The risk assessment also includes the selection of controls and the evaluation of the design of the control in regard to the ROMM. It’s through the risk assessment process that a company can report with confidence the number and types of controls necessary to have an effective ICFR system.

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Part 2: Management Review Control

Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) is turning 16 this upcoming July. Will it be cause for celebration? Only if some changes are made. Part two of our series, will explore using management review controls (MRCs) to address these current SOX Act hitches:

  • High compliance costs
  • Outdated ICFR programs
  • A continued focus on ICFR by regulators

MRCs are the reviews conducted by management of estimates and other kinds of information for accuracy. At the core, providing management with insights on key success factors, common challenges, and examples of modernizing and renewing ICFR programs is critical. It will create a roadmap for increasing financial reporting reliability while decreasing compliance costs.

Read the report to learn more about MRCs, tools and techniques, and why having the right people in place is critical. It’s time to refocus your internal control lens. MRCs can be the success story for the upcoming year.

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Part 3: Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Market trends are indicating near-universal adoption of robotic process automation (RPA) in the next five years, according to Deloitte’s 2017 RPA survey. Average spending among companies surveyed was $1.5 million for RPA pilots and upwards of $3 million for full-scale programs. This rapid increase in market penetration and spending is contributing to the emergence of a broad ecosystem of RPA vendors and RPA solutions geared toward helping companies capitalize on automation. Part three in our ICFR series explores the effects of RPA on organizations and provides RPA financial risk and control considerations.

Enterprises are now pivoting toward automation of certain business tasks to further disrupt the workforce leverage model. Specifically, RPA may replace or enhance certain tasks previously performed by humans with bots that are cheaper, more efficient, and more reliable.

When exploring the adoption of RPA technologies, it’s important to challenge areas where the governance construct may not adequately support these changes. Companies may consider controls in the following layers in terms of the life cycle from ideation and creation of a bot:

  • Development
  • Implementation
  • Monitoring

Read the report to learn more about RPAs, the key areas of RPA risks and controls, and the full benefits of automation

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