Fraud and Error Prevention 101: Internal Audits

3 Mins read

What is an internal audit?

Audits as a whole can be split into two; external (statutory), and internal. Internal Audit primarily focuses on
company’s internal environment and directly reports to the company’s management with their findings and
recommendations. In this article, we will be looking at how internal audit can benefit you, regardless of the
scale or nature of your business.

Helps you prevent/detect frauds and errors

The prominent role of the internal auditor is to thoroughly assess the company’s internal controls, to prevent
frauds and errors from taking place at the first place, if not to make sure that frauds and errors are being
detected and corrective actions are taken without any delay.
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The internal auditor will first assess the effectiveness of the control system, then investigate the practical
implementation of the same with live tests and then identify the loopholes/deficiencies of the controls
compared against the organization’s objectives and will act as an early warning system for the management
to take necessary actions proactively before external auditors’ year end assessment.

Streamlining company processes and reduce waste

During their audits, internal auditors also identify the processes that are being implemented poorly or
performed ineffectively by the responsible parties. In some cases, though the original processes were
designed effectively, subsequent changes made to such could result in waste of resources, so with frequent
internal audits such elements can be removed, making the processes smoother and more cost-effective.

Better forecasting with better information

As the Internal Auditor iron-out company’s internal control for betterment, indirectly it helps to generate
accurate financial information through a robust control environment that eliminates errors in the first place.
This greatly helps the management to gather accurate data and model their budgets more accurately and
also it supports in obtaining error-free actual data to measure against the budgeted items.

Better compliance management

Whilst the Internal Auditor performs the evaluation of internal controls, he/she also takes applicable laws
and regulations the company should be adhered to because at the end, even if the controls are sound, if they
fails to meet the regulations, it could pose a serious risk of legal liabilities to the organization. So with
frequent internal audits, the company can prevent such legal liabilities from arising or at least the
management can better prepare for any probable risks in-advance.

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Boosts company’s reputation

With modern businesses transitioning to stakeholder-based business models, it is vital for businesses to
maintain healthy relationships with all the stakeholders and that’s where internal audits can greatly help as it
increases the confident stakeholders can place on the company with improved controls, compliance and
corporate governance as a whole.

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