Effective business controls have always been important. Today, a combination of trends and factors are making them even more so. On one side, regulations are becoming more stringent in their requirements for robust processes. On the other, clients are coming to demand and expect ever more transparency. Meanwhile, businesses are becoming more complex as organizations grow, systems become more siloed, and data becomes more fragmented.
The upshot is that manual processes that worked well up to this point will in future become a liability.
As was mentioned in our previous article, the widespread use of Excel as a core tool in the control process is an example of a legacy solution no longer fit for purpose in today’s dynamic environment.
The nature of a ‘control’, of course, is still the same: define what is to be measured, set a timetable and follow it, and document the outcome. On the other hand, the requirements of a control are more stringent than yesterday.
What should companies be doing in response to the above?
The good news is that new-age solutions allow us to manage risks in more targeted ways, with greater efficiency (e.g. real time error detection), and with a greater degree of integration within a business’ decision making process.
In addition to new technology, new ways of working need to be adopted – for example, agile project execution, and cross-disciplinary teams.The ‘agile’ approach requires a mindset shift, but is vital in today’s fast-moving environment where initial assumptions can be invalidated during the planning process if too much time is taken before an initiative is launched.
Every crisis is an opportunity. While the modern age has brought us new challenges, it has also brought with it tools and methodologies to super-charge our effectiveness as groups and individuals. Let’s grab the opportunity with both hands!
To learn more about this topic download the Whitepaper "Effective Controls in the Financial Services Industry" by our Head of Solutions, Andreas Fuchs.