December 29. 2009 | Bhavesh Vadhani
Increasing Need for Assurance - Why?
What do organizations that provide services like IT hosting, payroll, benefits processing, credit/debit card processing, automated clearing house, XBRL tagging, accounting, and financial support have in common? The need to provide assurance.
Along with an innovative business model and strong industry expertise, one of the key enablers of a company’s growth is the TRUST that is built with its customers, business partners, employees, and other stakeholders. Trust is an essential element of all successful business models, whether the business processes are online or traditional.
The new economy is changing the nature of the relationships we have with our customers, business partners, suppliers, and competitors. In person meetings are infrequent and new technologies can be both powerful and scary. The business world is not about risk avoidance anymore; it’s about risk exploitation and the opportunity that risk generates. With risk a central concept in the market, an organization’s need to provide assurances to its stakeholders is escalating every day. Companies need to demonstrate that they have good internal controls over processes and supporting systems and they are designed and operating effectively and consistently.
So how can you provide this kind of assurance? Start by making sure that you have the right controls in place to support the services you provide. Then you can seek an independent assessment performed by a third party. Some of the widely accepted and used attestation services are: AICPA’s Statement of Auditing Standards No. 70 (SAS 70), Trust Services (SysTrust and WebTrust), and Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. Depending on the services an organization offers to its clients, it should explore one of the above certifications and see which one is right for the company and its partners.
Comments (0) »