As many companies finalize their 2009 fiscal year-end reports, and set their budgets, policies and procedures in place for 2010, we would like to focus your attention on a set of suggested guidelines for both internal and external audit committees to review and implement in 2010.  While we can make the assumption that lessons will have been learned from the past year — it may still be necessary to integrate some of these listed guidelines into your organization’s 2010 strategic goal setting procedures.

For 2010, business risk assessment remains high on any organization’s planning agenda – as does compliance assessment and compliance risk management.  Security risk assessment and security risk management of both financial and operational issues closely follow ….

The following highlights of issues — that should be at the top of every audit and/or control committee in the coming year — are summarized from a report recently issued by KPMG U.K.  and are as follows:

  1. Regain control of the committee agenda and focus an eye on the company’s current and future key areas of risk.
  2. Understand the risks imposed by and stemming from the dramatic cost reductions from the prior year.
  3. Focus closely on all current and proposed financial and other narrative disclosure and communication requirements.
  4. Pay particular attention at specific current and new financial reporting developments impacting the company.
  5. Rethink the internal audit committee’s role in risk oversight and be ready to make changes when and wherever necessary.
  6. Focus internal audit’s activities only on key areas of risk and risk management.
  7. Prepare for the potential impact of key 2010 public policy initiatives on compliance, risk, and governance processes and how they impact the organization.
  8. Be extra vigilant since an economic crisis continues to put pressure on the funding and implementation of necessary compliance and anti-fraud programs.
  9. Allow upper management support of these committees to reduce the risk of misalignment between the organization’s strategic goals and daily operational achievements.
  10. Take a hard look at the committee’s composition, independence and leadership capabilities and make adjustments or changes to deliver a maximum level performance from that committee.

You can view some more information on the  issues raised above, by viewing EITHER a summary article on the continuitycentral.com website OR you can view the full report on the KPMG U.K. website.   Registration is necessary on the KPMG U.K. website.

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