Since the advent of Sarbanes-Oxley, most companies have implemented, refined, consolidated, automated and optimized much of their internal controls framework.
Traditionally internal controls has been the responsibility of a dedicated team reporting into Finance, yet we are now seeing Internal Controls becoming part of the Global Process Owner (GPOs) mandate – making it another notch on the belt of the mature GPOs.
Arlene Nelson, Director Internal Controls and Global Business Process at Huntsman, shared the Huntsman journey, experiences and methodologies they are taking to align Internal Controls with Business Process Ownership.
She discussed the journey they have been taking and continue on, moving away from a compliance focused function to achieving process improvement. One of the key elements to success was that the priorities and pain points within the processes were discussed in a continuous liaison between stakeholders, process owners and IT. This enabled them to identify critical dependencies across functions, meaning that business process design reviews were easier to conduct and this in turn helped to structure governance strategies as well as ensuring their internal controls were aligned to achieve desired goals. There was an established shared understanding of priorities and best practices were shared. Arlene highlighted the standardization process as a challenge, bringing together different perspectives and initiatives within a global company, but that the role that the GPO plays is central to the cohesion of the different stakeholders and elements of the company. This is not a short term process but rather a cycle of continuous learning. Her strategy for those who are also thinking of consolidation and standardization:
- Ensure buy in from senior management and key stakeholders,
- Select a pain point, in a process, or an audit finding,
- She made sure to stress that before anything else, the processes, pain points and the people within the process needed to be defined, before looking to leverage any kind of technology, but that analytics enabled them to continue to reevaluate and rework
The recording of the webcast and full set of slides can be found here
Dan shared a GPO Capability framework for effective steering – if you would like a copy of this, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
He also talked about the work we’ve done with KPIs – leading and lagging indicators, as well as process exceptions, with analytics – we have run some learning lab sessions around these and would be happy to share our findings, again drop an email to email@example.com
Results of the polls: