Pioneer Associates: Internal Audit and Special Audit Services
About the Talk
May 27, 2016 12:00 PM
We offer a comprehensive range of internal and special audit services designed to help businesses enhance the controls and improve the efficiency of their companies. We are committed to providing quality assurance services to help ensure that our clients’ financial statements meet relevant regulatory and business requirements, and to help satisfy stakeholder expectations for assurance.
Our audits are led by partners and managers who remain heavily involved in the engagement and who are supported by staff with appropriate levels of skill and knowledge of our clients’ businesses. Throughout the audit process, we communicate regularly with our clients to ensure that we keep abreast of developments in their businesses.
Our internal and special audit services include the following:
Special Audits and Financial Investigations Shareholders, the board of directors and/or management sometimes request a special audit or investigation of the financial affairs or specific areas of the company. This typically happens if they have reason to believe any of the following:
The accounting and other records of the company do not properly reflect certain transactions of the company;
Significant errors or inaccuracies have been noted in the accounts;
The integrity of the person responsible for the accounts is in question; or
Internal control lapses have been noted and management is unable to ascertain the impact of such lapses on the accounts.
Internal Audit Internal audit today is an essential function in all listed and non-listed companies who believe in corporate governance and enterprise risk management. The role and importance of the internal audit function have evolved over time.
In the past, internal auditors were primarily engaged to check compliance with corporate policies and procedures. In most organisations today, internal auditors’ roles extend beyond their historical purpose to include all or some of the following:
Provide recommendations to the board, particularly the Audit Committee, on issues of corporate governance and assisting in the identification and evaluation of the organisation’s risks;
Provide recommendations to the management of companies in areas where internal controls need improvement and efficiencies need enhancement;
Where possible, working with external auditors to reduce their work by covering some of the areas of work that they may rely on;
Assistance with SOX-related work (Please refer to “SOX 404 Compliance Services”);
Where appropriate, assistance with training on matters such as the importance of internal controls, corporate governance, and risk management, and the importance of their participation in such matters.
We recognise that some organisations prefer to outsource their internal audit function and that some others do not find it cost-effective to have a fully-staffed internal audit department in Singapore or Asia. As such, we are equipped to provide a full range of internal audit services in Singapore as well as in the Asia Pacific Region.
Some companies outsource their entire internal audit function. We work with our clients’ Audit Committee and management to determine the scope of our work before we agree on an internal audit plan, which we will implement over a period of typically three years.
Some companies have a core internal audit team that needs to be supplemented by an external team of internal auditors as they conduct their audits in Singapore and throughout the region. We provide the requisite internal audit resources.
Some overseas companies with subsidiaries in the region only conduct internal audits on certain of their subsidiaries once every several years. We are engaged on an ad hoc basis to assist with such internal audit work. We typically work with the head of internal audit in the corporate office, who will determine the audit program and scope.
SOX 404 Compliance Services Section 4 (SOX 404) of the Sarbanes Oxley Act has significantly increased the mandated focus on internal controls and risk management. Many foreign subsidiaries and overseas branches of public US companies need to comply with the requirements of SOX 404, which can be demanding and challenging for those that lack the full resources to do so.
We offer assistance to companies and branches that lack sufficient internal resources to meet the tight time frame for compliance. We are able to assist with the implementation of all or some of the stages of SOX 404 requirements.
Throughout the engagement, we will work closely with both local management and the US-based team leader of the SOX 404 implementation program to facilitate efficient implementation.
We can assist with any or all of the following stages of work:
Identifying key local entity level controls;
Identifying key business processes and key process controls with process owners;
Reviewing and documenting the control framework of the key processes identified;
Conducting risk assessment of the control framework within each key process and recommending the implementation of specific controls to enhance the control framework;
Designing test procedures and performing tests to confirm the effectiveness of the key controls identified. Where appropriate, we recommend remedial action and assist with subsequent tests; and
Assisting with regular updates of documentation and tests to confirm continued SOX compliance.
We also assist with J SOX work.
Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”) ERM is a key element of corporate governance and it is essential in enabling the board to fulfil its corporate governance role. Identification of each enterprise’s risk is typically conducted by management under the guidance of the board. The board is responsible for monitoring the risks identified and ensuring that the risks are within acceptable levels given the objectives of the enterprise and the business and economic environment that the business is in. Companies in the conduct of their businesses are at different levels of ERM. Many companies however have not formally streamlined nor documented their ERM process.
In many companies, the Board members and certain key management employees are involved in ERM. Many companies do not engage other management and staff in the risk evaluation and risk management implementation process even though input from management and staff are essential for the success and effectiveness of ERM
We can assist companies in any combination of the following:
Conduct ERM workshops for the board, management and staff to help them understand the importance of ERM and their role in the successful implementation of ERM in their respective organisations;
Assist management in formalising their ERM framework and the processes for identification, evaluation and assessment of the enterprise’s risk;
Assist management in the documentation of the ERM framework and processes.
Assist the board and management in designing tools and the process for monitoring the relevant risks of the organisation.
Where we are the internal auditors, we will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s ERM process.
Restructuring & Business Recovery Our restructuring and business services aim to meet the needs of financially troubled or underperforming companies. We provide a broad range of recovery solutions for companies which include helping companies to streamline their operations, to terminating unprofitable businesses that cannot be sold.
More specifically, our services include:
Helping ailing businesses to identify problem areas; and
Implementing recovery solutions, which may include financial restructuring, reorganization, fundraising, and establishing appropriate corporate governance measures.