How Compliance Internal Audit Systems Ensure Regulatory Needs Are Met

Compliance internal audit procedures are very similar to those of an external audit, except that they are carried out by someone working within the organization. Now that the world has become a far more complex and litigious place, there are more regulations than ever for companies to comply with. It is not only necessary to keep within sometimes stringent regulations, it is also necessary to prove that this has been done. The result of the audit will be a report which can be submitted to the authorities to demonstrate that everything is in order.

Auditing as a profession has been part of accountancy for many years, for virtually as long as there has been business and finance. The nature of the job has changed greatly, though, as business structures have grown ever more involved and difficult to understand. There have been two other major changes alongside the growth of the business sector and the emergence of major companies, and these are the increasing bureaucracy that companies have to deal with, and the technology which is available to cope with this.

The audit which is most familiar to the layman is the financial audit, and this can easily be used to comply with financial regulations. The financial services sector is one of the most heavily regulated in most developed countries, and the penalties for breaching regulations are extremely severe. Even if the company does not operate in the financial services industry, there will still be accounting and disclosure laws which will need to be complied with. This type of audit is best carried out by someone with an accounting background, but it can be done by someone else in a smaller firm.

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There are other audits known as process audits which operate in a totally different way. It is impossible to quantify these, as processes vary so greatly from one company to another. The pertinent fact is that all processes much comply with some kind of regulation, even if this is nothing more than basic health and safety. The complexity of regulations within each industry means that this type of audit needs to be carried out by someone with inside knowledge of how that industry operates. Having the audit carried out internally, and then submitted to authority, is clearly the most effective way.

The compliance internal audit results are then submitted to the relevant regulatory authority, and assessed. The authority will need to be able to verify that the results are accurate and that the audit was genuine, so a visit to the firm will need to be made. In many cases, the verification can be carried out very quickly, and the audit passed as authentic. Only rarely will something suggest that there may be a problem, in which case there will be a deeper investigation into the compliance internal audit.

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