Is it time to rethink your internal audit and Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance approach?

The 2020 pandemic accelerated the revolution in our business environment. The innovations in technology and social media are driving dramatic change in business models and customer behavior. Disruptive technology is advancing digital ways bad actors can steal, control, or use company assets. And privacy of our information and actions are increasingly difficult to protect. In changing times like these, it is easy to lose alignment with emerging risks and allow ourselves to have a false sense of security with our existing controls.

In an effort to maintain a strong corporate governance program, company boards and senior management teams must understand the nature of emerging risks and align them with effective controls. Controls must be dynamic to keep up with the speed of advancement in technology and business innovation as well as changes in the economy, regulation, industry trends, political climate, company business objectives, and risk priorities.

Briggs & Veselka Internal Audit Services offer a suite of solutions that provide practical answers for managing risks and aligning controls. We serve clients with a balance of technical experience and industry knowledge and expertise.

Internal Audit Services

Internal Audit Co-SourcingInternal Audit OutsourcingSarbanes-Oxley ComplianceFraud Risk AssessmentsEnterprise Risk Management ProgramsQuality Assurance ReviewsESGAutomation and Dashboard DevelopmentRansomware Internal Audits

Internal Audit Co-Sourcing

An internal audit department requires a variety of resources to effectively manage staff initiatives. Teaming with a professional services firm serves as a practical approach to supplementing core staff with technical specialists, industry experts, and internal audit generalists as needed rather than having these resources on the company payroll full-time.

Briggs & Veselka has resources available to assist with getting your audit plan complete in an effective and efficient manner or fill specialized industry or technical needs. Our resources can be used to supplement a shortage of traditional internal audit staff or fill specialized industry or technical needs.

Because Briggs & Veselka is part of the global advisory and accounting network HLB, we are positioned to supplement your global internal audit staffing needs in countries around the world.

Internal Audit Outsourcing

A company has the option to outsource the entire internal audit function to a professional services firm. And depending on the scope of planned internal audits, your organization’s staff qualification and experience requirements might change frequently. A full outsource arrangement allows companies to customize internal audit teams with the right mix of experience, industry expertise, and geographic location for the planned audits more efficiently than maintaining a full-time department of resources.

Briggs & Veselka is equipped with seasoned internal audit leaders and has internal audit professionals at all levels, qualifications, experiences, and geographic locations around the world. We are especially experienced in providing full outsource of internal audit in the banking, energy, and services industries. Our community banking internal audit outsource team serves over 50 banks with loan review, bank compliance, and traditional banking internal audits.

Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance

It has been about 20 years since Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) became law. SOX has evolved to become a risk-based, increasingly efficient process to allow assertions on company risk management programs and system of internal controls.

Briggs & Veselka has experienced SOX professionals available to complement your company’s existing SOX resources or outsource the entire compliance program. We are experienced with assisting clients design a SOX program in their first year of compliance, and supplementing resources for a company with a mature process. Briggs & Veselka has the technical expertise to help our clients evolve their companies from a manual, labor-intensive SOX process to explore and execute increased use of automation. 

Fraud Risk Assessments

The 2020 pandemic has changed business processes, organizational structure, workforce location, and activities exposing companies to vulnerabilities to fraud. Briggs & Veselka has experience in evaluating a company’s fraud risks and assessing the design and effectiveness of their system of internal controls. We are aware of the speed of increased sophistication that bad actors are using to gain access to company assets and information. 

Enterprise Risk Management Programs

Post-2020, it is essential for companies to refresh their company mission, values, and business objectives. Equally important is for companies to align the refreshed business objectives with the risk priorities that may serve as obstacles.

The identification of gaps between business objectives and risk priorities is key to developing a dynamic action plan for management to use as a roadmap to remain relevant in the fast pace of change in the business society. Briggs & Veselka understands the importance of enterprise risk management (ERM) programs and has a team with experience performing these engagements using a proprietary approach and templates.

Quality Assurance Reviews

The Institute of Internal Audit (IIA) requires Certified Internal Auditors to perform a Quality Assurance Review (QAR) of their departments every five years. Briggs & Veselka has seasoned professionals with experience performing QARs for Fortune 50 companies to local private companies. The Briggs & Veselka approach evaluates internal audit performance against the professional standards and compares activities to best practices in the profession, their industry, and the region.

ESG

Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) is a topic of growing importance and interest around the world. The European Union, United Kingdom, and the United States all have legislation passed to move toward increasing the company focus on ESG through new laws and regulations. Likewise, investors and other stakeholders are demanding to know a company’s response to ESG.

Briggs & Veselka utilizes its partnership with the HLB network to serve clients with a range of ESG solutions. These solutions include helping clients understand ESG, set an ESG strategy, develop an ESG policy and framework, and gauge performance using an ESG scorecard attesting to compliance with various laws, regulations, or suggested guidelines.

Automation and Dashboard Development

The 2020 pandemic served as a wake-up call to internal audit functions around the world. Internal audit departments had to quickly adjust their approach to accommodate working remotely. As companies continue to define (and redefine) their organizational structures, processes, and workforce arrangements, it is essential that internal audit functions position themselves to use analytics effectively to provide assurance of internal controls, detect and prevent fraud, and monitor employee and department performance.

Briggs & Veselka has a specialized team focused on developing meaningful dashboards for internal auditors to use to remain effective and relevant in their role in corporate governance.

Ransomware Internal Audits

Cyber threats are increasing around the world. One of the most popular ways bad actors are using to infiltrate companies is called ransomware: a scenario where they lock out companies from use of their own business systems until an amount of money is paid.

Briggs & Veselka has a service line dedicated to cybersecurity via our subsidiary, Pathway Forensics. We team with these cyber experts to perform targeted internal audits of the company’s exposure and help develop readiness to respond and processes to recover from a ransomware attack.

 

Our Approach

First, we assess your existing internal audit and SOX compliance activities, which can include an assessment of your IT strategies and cybersecurity posture, provided by our subsidiary, Pathway Forensics.

Next, we identify value drivers for internal audit and SOX within your firm, aligning internal audit and SOX activities with the business objectives and risk priorities of the organization's stakeholders.

We then develop the desired internal audit and SOX activities, resulting in a refreshed and effective internal audit program.

Finally, we'll recommend solutions to improve the framework, alignment, and value of IA and SOX programs.

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