Optimising financial processes

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Something to Consider: Leader or Laggard? Survey Finds Between 11% and 50% of Internal Controls Automated

Something to Consider April 2019 3

Automated Primary Controls

The cost of automating internal controls has come way down, while capabilities have increased, maximising the return on investment.

Results from AQPC’s Internal Controls Survey showed that in those organizations considered “top performers”, half or more of their primary controls are automated. In organizations at the other end of the spectrum, just 11% or fewer primary controls have been automated.

When internal controls processes rely heavily on manual intervention, they become an ineffective burden on management. Conversely, effective automation frees up time and effort for skilled professionals to pursue the primary mission of the business and massively increases the effectiveness of risk management.

We know that automation is becoming more cost effective and is helping drive transformation. However, we must proceed with caution, as we also know ‘automation makes bad worse faster’. Businesses must first focus on ensuring their controls reflect the key risks of the current business, that we simplify, reduce and harmonise first, and then apply automation with surgical precision. We can’t put the cart before the horse!

You can read more from the survey and the benefits of automation here 

If you want to discuss this approach, talk to us and we can share experiences from  around the world on reviewing, assessing and refining risks for the business, relating them to the appropriate polices and controls, applying smart thinking to simplification and elimination, and then automation.

Our ‘Something To Consider’ snippets are framed as small, digestible, ‘dashes of insight’ around the pillars of what we define as “World Class Finance” – Process Optimization, Financial Control and Compliance, and Risk Assurance, all underpinned by technology enablement and integration.