The COVID-19 outbreak is disrupting supply chains and affecting production and sales across a range of industries.The extent of the impact on an organization’s operational and financial performance will depend on certain developments, including the duration and spread of the outbreak, impact on customers, employees and vendors, and governmental, regulatory and private sector responses. Businesses are approaching the safety of their personnel and customers in a variety of ways, but the large majority have a significantly reduced physical presence in their offices.
Internal controls may also be subject to substantial strain. With fewer finance and accounting professional onsite, maintenance of a proper and strong internal control environment becomes even more challenging. Properly functioning internal controls are intended to either prevent or timely detect fraud or financial statement errors. A thriving control environment requires careful planning, implementation and oversight. The following recommendations may improve internal controls in the wake of COVID-19.
Businesses will likely need to alter their implemented processes to adapt to the remote nature of business. There may have been things that were previously done in person or that used paper copies. Don’t bypass controls just because it seems difficult in a remote world. Re-engineer processes where necessary and possible.
Process Flow and Automation Technology