The impacts of COVID-19 have been far reaching and have left few businesses unscathed. Businesses have changed, possibly forever, and with that so have the protocols for assessing and monitoring risk and the application of internal controls. Across the globe, Internal Audit departments or those charged with monitoring controls have been significantly impacted. Stay at home orders, coupled with furloughs, layoffs, and staff reductions, have made the execution of internal audits or monitoring plans virtually unattainable. Internal Audit or governance leads have to make tough decisions about how they will achieve their goals by either reducing the scope of the audits to be performed or by evaluating options to increase staff capacity to ensure projects are completed once businesses start to return to new normal operations.
Internal Audit executives are also having to evaluate whether the risk assessment, which acted as the foundation for their current year internal audit or monitoring plan is still appropriate. COVID-19 and the global impact and response has literally changed the risk profile for most organizations. Segregation of duties strategies, which once held true, are now at risk, with the reallocation of responsibilities in response to temporary or permanent headcount reductions. Data security parameters have been extended outside the corporate firewalls to insecure home routers. Financially impacted businesses or individuals have new rationalizations for fraudulently manipulating results or trying to misappropriate corporate assets. Required regulatory-related audits are being dangerously delayed. During uncertainty, your clients don’t need to be alone.
Citrin Cooperman’s Technology Risk, Advisory & Cybersecurity (TRAC) Practice’s Internal Audit Team is here to assist. Whether it be assisting with the re-evaluation of risk assessments and Internal Audit or monitoring plans, COVID-19 impact assessments, or staff augmentation, our team of Internal Control and IT security experts are ready to assist.
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