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Internal controls assessment improves financial accuracy

June 6, 2017 Case Study 1 min read
Operations assessment helps nonprofit organization safeguard its assets and strengthen internal controls over financial reporting.
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The client

A not-for-profit with over $225 million in assets and activity in both U.S. and international locations was preparing to develop and implement a long-term strategic plan. 

The challenge

The organization was struggling to obtain accurate financial information to use in its strategic planning process. Leadership noticed errors and anomalies and had concerns about the internal controls surrounding the finance department and safeguarding the organization’s assets. They previously hired multiple consultants to examine the issues, without success.

The solution

The organization engaged our team for an operations assessment of internal controls within their finance department. Through a combination of on-site observation, inquiry, and analysis, our team identified critical improvements needed to address the accuracy of financial information and safeguarding of assets. While assessing the finance office operations, our experts discovered activity that elevated leadership's concerns — and found that the current financial information being provided to leadership underreported investments by over $30 million. 

We discovered the lack of segregation of duties, weak controls, lack of detailed policies and procedures, inappropriate accounting, and an overly complex chart of accounts was the cause of many issues. Our experts developed a report of these observations and corresponding best practices to correct the issues. The report was reviewed in detail with their  leadership and management team. 

The benefit

Our recommendations resulted in several benefits, including:

  • Insight into the organization's issues around controls and asset safeguarding, with recommendations and best practices tailored to the specific findings and concerns. 
  • A practical, actionable game-plan with timelines and responsible parties to efficiently lead the remediation of critical findings.
  • Improved accuracy of financial reporting.
  • An improved internal control structure for safeguarding assets. 
  • Thorough and well-documented policies and procedures to ensure consistency and compliance.
  • Simplified finance office operations.
  • Accurate financial information to use in strategic planning, ensuring their long-range success.

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