Nonprofit finance teams are under constant pressure to deliver timely information, insightful business analysis, and organizational stewardship. In today’s world, finance teams are expected to fulfill these tasks faster and with fewer resources. The tools and techniques employed by internal auditors can be of great assistance in generating organizational efficiencies while improving controls and data delivery.
T&T audit partner Doug Boedeker and senior audit manager John Kubichek recently spoke on this topic at the GWSCPA’s 2017 Nonprofit Symposium in Washington DC. During their session, Doug and John discussed a number of internal audit practices and techniques that can be leveraged by nonprofit finance teams to improve efficiency within their organizations. Here are a few takeaways from their presentation:
- What could an “Internal Audit” look like at your organization? First, it requires taking a fresh outlook and having a willingness to change.
- Conducting a periodic, comprehensive risk assessment is a critical starting point. Financial, nonfinancial, strategic, and reputational risks all should be considered. In order to consider all risks, have operations, finance, HR, and executives all at the table to brainstorm on potential risks. Then summarize and evaluate the risks for significance of impact and likelihood of occurrence. An end result with a graphical presentation of risks is optimal.
- Look at existing financial processes, such as cash receipts and disbursements, and determine how they can be more efficient while maintaining strong internal controls. We recommended looking at the most time intensive process first and identifying any duplicative steps, bottlenecks in the process, and software solutions.
- Based on areas of high risk, develop analytical, real time reviews. For example, credit card charges can be analytically assessed for anomalies prior to the bill being paid.
- Consider the resources you have available. If internal resources are not sufficient, can you outsource or co-source internal audit efforts?
If you need assistance with improving the effectiveness of your organization’s risk management and internal control processes, or are interested in establishing an internal audit function, please contact us to learn more.BROCHURE PDF