In some parts of the world, bribing government officials is still considered a normal cost of doing business. Elsewhere there has been a growing trend over the past 40 years to make it illegal for a corporation to pay bribes. In the United States, Congress passed the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) in 1977 in the wake of a succession of revelations of companies paying off government officials to secure arms deals or favorable tax treatment. More recently other governments have implemented anticorruption statutes. The U.K., for instance, enacted the strict Bribery Act in 2010 to replace increasingly ineffective statutes dating back to 1879. The purpose of these actions is to enable ethical and law-abiding companies to compete on a level playing field with those that are neither. A cynic might wonder about the real, functional difference between, say, Wal-Mart’s recent payments to officials in Mexico to accelerate approval of building permits and the practice in New York City of having to engage expediters to ensure timely sign-offs on construction approval documents. No matter – the latter is legal (it’s a domestic issue, after all) while the former is not.
Topics: bribery, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), CFO, compliance, ERP, Financial Performance Management (FPM), FPM, Governance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), GRC, IBM, Operational Intelligence, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Oracle, Oversight Systems, SAP
A recent news release by Robert Half, a staffing company that specializes in accounting and finance personnel, covered what it sees as the most important attributes required for auditors in the 21st century. “7 Attributes of Highly Effective Internal Auditors” covers the people dimension of the profession and focuses on the non-technical requirements of the role, including relationship-building, teamwork, and diversity. No doubt these skills are a must for just about anybody working in a modern (Western) corporation. For me, though, the most important quality on the list is at the bottom: continuous learning. That’s because the role of internal and external auditors will be transformed radically by big data, in-memory processing and other advances in information technology that will make enterprise automated fraud discovery and mitigation a reality before the end of this decade.
Topics: Analytics, audit, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), compliance, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Fraud, Governance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), GRC, HANA, Infor, Oversight Systems, Risk, Office of Finance
I recently spoke with Oversight Systems, an operational intelligence analytics company that uses predictive analytics and optimization to help companies save money, reduce the risk of loss and fraud, and reinforce corporate governance and compliance efforts. Ventana Research views operational intelligence as an emerging technology with the potential for a high return on investment. By continuously monitoring activities in a company’s IT systems, Oversight’s Web-based software continuously, consistently and objectively monitors all business processes to identifies opportunities to save money, cut fraud, minimize risk and provide real-time controls to support governance.
Topics: Analytics, audit, Big Data, Business Analytics, Business Performance Management (BPM), Cloud Computing, controls, Financial Performance Management (FPM), Fraud, Governance, Governance, Risk & Compliance (GRC), GRC, Information Management (IM), Operational Intelligence, Operational Performance Management (OPM), Oversight Systems, Predictive Analytics, Sales Performance Management (SPM), Supply Chain Performance Management (SCPM), Office of Finance