Internal Auditors Urged to Get Strict with the New Anti Corruption Rules
Very soon, the government is expected to make public the first nationwide anti-corruption plan. This was the information given to the Cambridge International Symposium by the QC MP, Mr. Jeremy Wright. There were rising concerns at the Westminster that there were several scandals predominantly in the banking sector that had resulted in no company or individual being brought to book.
Without doubt, the internal audit departments and the accountants to whom the compliance task falls inevitably don’t seem to have made the situation better. In an ACCA poll conducted in November 2013, close to fifty percent of the accountants surveyed said that they were not as confident in handling fraud like before the act came into existence.
Corporations and their accountants will henceforth require polishing up on the compliance needs and also have their controls and internal checks made considerably stiff. This is in a bid to alleviate the risk of huge fines. The international precedents of the $800m Siemens need to serve as adequate proof of what may occur when organizations become tainted with the anti-bribery laws.
The government’s guidance document is the beginning point for any plan of compliance. In a bid to prevent bribery, the following should be the guiding principles:
· Impartial procedures
· Commitment at top level
· Assessing risk
· Due diligence
· Communication entailing training
· Review and monitoring
When a compliance plan is being implemented in an organization, the accountants and the internal audit departments have the ultimate responsibility in monitoring transactions. Having a data analytics strategy is the principle to an efficient and effective key that can assist in the compliance with the Bribery Act of the UK in the following manner:
· Checking out for the red flag
· Developing a prompt system of warning
· In order to have accuracy and completeness of the records and books validated, there should be 100% testing of transactions.
· Monitoring of important internal controls on a continuous basis
This results to forming a culture where employees are aware that they will be questioned. In turn, this is a verified method in making stronger the internal compliances. With time, making use of data analysis together with a follow up process and red flags resolution may be a control and offer evidence of having enough procedures in place.