Thinking

Here you’ll find our opinions, viewpoints and rants. But don’t forget to add your comments – good or bad – on anything you like or loathe. We value your feedback.

Balance Sheet Hygiene – The New Audit Hurdle
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Anyone would tell you maintaining good hygiene, no matter the place, always makes sense. Never has hygiene been a more current topic than it has been the last few months.

Good hygienic practices should be extended to your Balance Sheet. This is becoming the new frontier in audit commentary.… Read More

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What Does Digitization Mean for Risk Management and Control Post COVID?
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We have been talking non-stop about the impact of COVID on our businesses and financials since March. But where we were focused on what COVID was doing to our businesses on a day-to-day basis, we are now examining it’s longer term impact and the need to digitize risk management and control post-COVID.… Read More

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The Great Remote Working Conundrum: Be Careful What You Wish For
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The curve in the above diagram is one you are probably familiar with. It represents the common human psychological reaction to change, used to illustrate everything from grief to success to self belief. What is important to note about all of these curves is that there are always two extremes followed by a happy medium.… Read More

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Has Covid Heightened User Access Risk (UAR)?
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COVID has forced organizations to change the way they work, from social distancing, remote working, furloughs, responsibility changes to disrupted approval processes and more. Even before COVID, our research confirmed that up to 20% of user accounts for financial applications in major enterprises were outdated and invalid, creating a very real threat of unauthorized access and resultant fraud!… Read More

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Is GBS Ready to Weather the Post COVID Storm?
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For over three months now, COVID-19 has been our one and only focus. It’s impact on our businesses, people, cash flow and future plans have dictated our everyday lives since early March. Yet, there is a bigger picture still; a substantial recession is predicted.… Read More

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How Starbucks “Cleaned House” in Financial Controls
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Managing financial controls effectively is no walk in the park. Global organizations struggle to ensure that financial controls are defined, monitored and managed effectively across end-to-end processes, functions, regions and operating units.

Due to the obvious impact of audit opinion on financial control effectiveness, especially under regulatory umbrellas such as Sarbanes-Oxley, many organizations are in a vicious cycle of reactive fire-fighting rather than focusing their efforts on managing the process proactively.… Read More

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How to Ensure that Operational Culture Does Not “Eat Your IT Strategy” For Breakfast
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When we talk about digital transformation, we all have different ideas of how to achieve what can be considered the impossible. And whilst nowadays better, faster and accurate data is helped by the new technology architectures, what sets apart those who achieve transformation success, comes down to good strategy, leadership and execution.… Read More

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The GBS “P&L Boost” and the Route to Fitness
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Let’s talk about cash. “Cash is King” right now and top of mind for all CFOs and Controllers. In the current environment, P&Ls are fragile things too!

On May 21st we hosted a webcast with Gary Steadman, Head of Business Services at ABP (Associated British Ports).… Read More

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Crisis Response Heightens “Human Factors” Risk Awareness
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If you haven’t noticed yet, the current crisis has created a wealth of opportunity for fraudsters and other ne’er-do-wells.

Every finance, shared services and GBS executive I have talked to since the start of the crisis has reported a much higher rate of fraud attempts and over the past several weeks, reports of cyberattacks have increased at a rate of three to five times compared to pre-Covid.… Read More

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McKinsey Research Sends Global Business Services to the Front Lines
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Despite the fact that Global Business Services and Shared Services were originally constructed to drive cost savings through centralization and standardization, there is growing evidence that the case for action is no longer purely cost reduction.

Our own research with GBS and Shared Services leaders shows the tension between the business outcomes DEMANDED by executive management and the aspirations of the GBS leadership themselves.… Read More

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