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COVID-19 Considerations for Internal Audit Functions

COVID-19 has rapidly changed the landscape for many companies, including how they are organized and how business is conducted. Now more than ever, an internal audit is needed to ensure that a business’s internal control processes are operating as efficiently as possible. At Black Lion Services, PLLC, we are experienced legal professionals that provide our clients with a wide range of services. An essential service we provide is internal audits which allow clients to conduct business confidently, provides awareness of any problem areas, and a plan for rectification. 

Redirection of Risk Assessment Expertise

It is imperative to assess and prioritize any pre-existing and newly emerging risks. This may mean developing a COVID-19 response team to concentrate on certain key areas and concerns, including:

  • Any changes to the workforce, such as employees who now work from home, may directly impact the company policy and productivity.
  • Supply chain and product quality. Both may be interrupted, and new third-party vendors may be part of the internal processes now.
  • Changes to the organizational structure may affect supply lines and have tax implications.
  • Revenue shortfalls and decreased fund liquidity.

Operation of In-Person Activities

Many parts and functions of the internal audit process may be conducted remotely, requiring ingenuity and a change in operations. Even if the audit team is still performing tasks face-to-face on-site, departments or individuals with which they need to collaborate are now working remotely. These changes may result in an overflow of internal personnel, which can then be redirected to long-term internal audit goals.  

Open Lines of Communication 

A system must be developed and implemented to keep all interested parties in the loop as to the issues raised by COVID-19 and how you plan to address all relevant concerns. Transparency and real-time feedback are the keys to keeping management and stakeholders happy during this time of uncertainty. 

Develop Innovative Ways to Conduct Affairs

At a time when all companies are faced with unprecedented circumstances, it is a good idea to encourage innovative ideas and out-of-the-box ways of thinking, such as:

  • Developing ways for teams to stay connected even if part or all members are working remotely
  • Prioritize risks based on relevance
  • Be proactive in reviewing operations to ensure maximum productivity

Data Privacy

Retaining the confidentiality of private data has always been a priority. With a workforce operating from different areas, it may be more difficult than ever to provide the security needed. It is time to review privacy requirements and commitments to ensure they are still being met. 

Let Us Bring You Peace of Mind   

The pandemic has forced many businesses to make unexpected changes in how they operate quickly. Whenever unplanned adjustments such as these are made, it is imperative to have an internal audit conducted to ensure your company is pursuing the best path to reach its long-term goals. Contact the professionals at Black Lion Services today to schedule a confidential consultation. 

April 21, 2021

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