Home > Risk > The need for information – now!

The need for information – now!

In my IIA blog, I have commented on the need for internal auditors to address deficiencies in the information the management team uses to run the business.

How does your organization stack up with respect to its information systems? Does it deliver the timely, reliable, holistic information needed to optimize performance? Consider:

  • Do you know what information the executive and operating management team needs to run the business? What is critical and what is incidental?
  • Is management running the business through the rear view mirror? How current is the data? Is it current enough to make the right decisions? Is it a month old, a week old, a day old, or an hour old? Is that OK?
  • Does management have data or information? Is the information presented in a way that facilitates fast decision-making? Does it enable agility?
  • Is there sufficient information to anticipate and manage risks, take advantage of opportunities?
  • Is information effectively consolidated across the enterprise so management has a holistic view? Are total cash, total inventories, total currency risk, etc. managed effectively?
  • If management has to use spreadsheets to manipulate the data, doesn’t that imply a problem with timeliness and presentation? It certainly represents a risk of error
  • Do all levels of management have the timely information they need? Different people need different levels of data, etc.
  • Is the data reliable? Is it secure?
  • Is there a single source of truth? Is there a single BI system? Are there multiple, overlapping and duplicative data warehouses?
  • Does everybody trust the information in the system – the information they see?
  • If you don’t know the answers to these questions, why not?
  1. Mike Corcoran
    May 27, 2010 at 3:27 PM

    I guess internal audit is in a very good position to do everything and even judge senior management and the BOD on the information they need and use to carry out their fidicuary responsibilities. If SAP has examples on how their Internal Audit department helped your C suite and BOD with this, I am all ears. Please share.

  2. nmarks
    May 27, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    Mike, I can’t talk to SAP internal audit (I am not part of that team), but I have performed audits in this area at prior companies. For example, we looked at the information flowing to the executive leadership team when I was at Tosco: its integrity and its timeliness.

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