21 Dec 2020 Ankit Chadha

Financial And Risk Advisory Services: Internal Audit In Times Of COVID-19

Risk Advisory Services | TRC Corporate Consulting

‘Predicting the unpredictable and coping with risks and uncertainties’ has always been a key mantra, which holds true today with the advent of COVID-19. Many related threats are affected by COVID-19, for example: cyber and fraud risks, credibility risks, supply chain risks, health & safety, to name a few.

Under normal conditions, risk advisory services and internal auditors may be planning for an annual ERM exercise and a 3-year audit plan at this time. Still, these extraordinary times call for a different set of goals and an opportunity to use these skills in new ways.

Focus Areas Amidst Covid-19 

Now is the time to look further than the annual routine and step up to help the company by utilizing a unique collection of skills and expertise that can make a meaningful impact in a variety of focus areas over the coming months, including:

1. Contributing Towards The Continuity Of Business 

Many businesses cannot deal with the problems that we are currently facing, partly because of the scant attention they have paid to Business Continuity in the past. Now is not the time for remorse but for productive cooperation in designing agile responses and seeking realistic solutions.

There is also a lot that can be done to make up for the reaction and recovery processes. Risk and financial advisory services have emphasized the importance of investing in business continuity plans. Now, it has become more important than ever to heed their advice.

Suggestions from risk advisory consultants:

· Contribute to the formulation and implementation of a crisis management plan.

· Contribute to the Business Continuity plans and recovery plan if needed.

2. Providing Insights Into The Changed Risk And Opportunity Environment 

Risk advisory services and risk advisory consultants are ideally positioned to provide fresh perspectives to the top management on the effect of your company’s risk and opportunity environment and to enhance the organized reflections on the actions taken and expected.

These threats should now be on the organization’s radar to take these into account when making decisions. Please don’t wait for your annual ERM update to fix these issues and consult with risk assurance services.

3. Accepting Agility 

Discuss with the management how best to add value in these critical times. It’s probably not the best time to stick to your audit plan or other routines if it doesn’t add value to your company at this stage. It could be more effective if the internal auditors or your risk advisory services temporarily concentrate more on their advisory role (for example, on business continuity and crisis management) and continue to perform insurance activities once the situation has stabilized.

4. Fostering a risk-ready culture 

The human component of this crisis is central and should also be specifically discussed when implementing difficult risk reduction and BC steps. Risk advisory services and risk advisory consultants play an active role in ensuring that risk management and business continuity steps are:

  • Precisely defined and understood,
  • Transparent in the organization,
  • Involves the complete organization,
  • Fully employed by top management,
  • Executable,
  • Thoroughly discussed,
  • Implemented effectively,
  • Continually monitored,
  • Regularly updated.

The faster you get started, the more successful the result for your company and its employees, from top management to the newest recruit. We believe that you have the experience and skillset to add real value at this crucial time, and we wish you well as you work to do so in the coming weeks and months. If not, you have the option to hire risk assurance services or outsource your internal audit functions to the risk and financial advisory process.

It is important to ensure business continuity as much as possible during these unpredictable times. To assist you, we have brought together aspects that you can understand, including the role of risk advisory services, managing your staff and people to work at home, and managing the financial effects.

Robust Internal Audit Made Possible By Risk Advisory Services 

Understand the impact of COVID-19 on your industry and business. Risk and financial advisory services or risk assurance services will help you communicate easily with other main departments so that you can work together to identify current and emerging COVID-19 threats in key areas such as:

  • Crisis management and response should resolve increased cybersecurity risks, increased network access needs, and increased use of VPNs or mobile devices as more workers operate remotely.
  • Disruption of the workforce can extend beyond health threats and impact efficiency, teamwork, and compliance with company policies, as workers who now work from home may face new stress.
  • Operations and supply chains can face disruption, potential declines in quality or availability, and new threats to third parties.
  • Finance and liquidity problems can arise due to revenue shortfalls, debt servicing requirements, and increasing consumer credit risk. This may include the modification of SOX processes and controls.
  • Tax and trade deal with immigration problems, the consequences of moving companies or vendors to various jurisdictions, and the possible need to adjust the organizational structure.

Times are challenging, but internal audits and risk advisory services’ potential contribution is enormous in providing a reliable risk perspective across these weeks and months when vital risks are rising and evolving rapidly.

In designing your response to this crisis—knowing the fluid world needs you to constantly reset priorities—keep your sights on the medium and long-term future. A new business-as-usual world will emerge at some point.

More so than ever, the internal audit or risk assurance services can now offer vital guidance while also planning for that future. It will emerge as a stronger team, bringing far greater value to the department and sector.

Choose TRC As Your Risk And Financial Advisory 

TRC Corporate Consulting’s risk advisory services professionals have experience providing risk and financial advisory services to leading organizations across many industries. At TRC, we practice a collaborative approach and develop insightful frameworks to help you ensure business continuity and avert any financial or business risks. Additionally, our expert risk advisory consultants are qualified internal auditors who can help with subject-matter expertise for critical business functions such as operational risk management, financial risk management, taxation, and much more. TRC Corporate Consulting’s risk advisory services help you align your internal audit function’s with strategic objectives to improve the business processes. Let our risk advisory consultants handle the complications while you focus on your business growth. For queries on our risk and financial advisory services, contact us now!