Total Credits: 2 including 2 Auditing- Technical
The topic of internal control has long been an issue for business. Management may view internal control as a set of forms, checklists, and templates that auditors require. However, internal control is much more.
Since the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), internal control (especially over financial reporting) has become a major focus for all organizations, regardless of their status as public, private, not-for-profit, sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation. It is essential that managers understand and establish sound, effective, and proper internal controls for operations, compliance, and financial processes within the organization. Internal control can truly provide ultimate organizational value.
Internal controls are defined as the mechanisms, rules, and procedures implemented by a company to ensure the integrity of financial and accounting information, promote accountability, and prevent fraud. Internal controls are a means by which an organization’s resources are directed, monitored, and measured. This includes operational and compliance activities. It plays an important role in preventing and detecting fraud and protecting the organization’s resources.
Internal control is affected by an organization’s structure, work and authority flows, people, and information systems, and is designed to help the organization accomplish specific goals or objectives. For instance, a small organization with limited resources may not be able to segregate duties with the same rigor that a larger organization can. However, that does not give small organizations an excuse to ignore the importance of that control. They must find other ways to mitigate potential issues. In any event, internal control is part of an organization’s overall responsibility and requires due diligence to ensure its operations are effective. Management is the “keeper” and “inventor” of internal controls and must take ownership.
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Lynn Fountain has over 37 years of experience spanning public accounting, corporate accounting and consulting. 22 years of her experience has been working in the areas of internal and external auditing. She is a subject matter expert in multiple fields including internal audit, ethics, fraud evaluations, Sarbanes-Oxley, enterprise risk management, governance, financial management and compliance.
Ms. Fountain has held two Chief Audit Executive positions for international companies. In 2011, as the Chief Audit Executive for an international construction/ engineering firm, she was involved in the active investigation of a joint venture fraud. The investigation included work with the FBI and ultimately led to indictment of the perpetrators and recovery of $13M. Ms. Fountain is currently engaged in her own training and consulting business and is a regular trainer for the AICPA.
Ms. Fountain is the author of three separate technical books. “Raise the Red Flag – The Internal Auditors Guide to Fraud Evaluations” was published by the Institute of Internal Auditors Research Foundation. “Leading The Internal Audit Function” and “Ethics and The Internal Auditor Political Dilemma” were published by Taylor & Francis In addition,
Ms. Fountain has performed as an adjunct instructor for the School of Business for Grantham University and developed the first internal audit curriculum for the School of Business at the University of Kansas. Ms. Fountain obtained her BSBA from Pittsburg State University and her MBA from Washburn University in Kansas. She has her CGMA, CRMA credentials and CPA certificate (non-active).
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