Internal audit, going concern, Jessops and the sweep of history

An earlier version of this article appears on the ACCA e-newsletter here. With multiple UK high-street retailers failing since Christmas 2012, it is reasonable to ask ‘where were the internal auditors?’ and ‘where was these firms’ management of risk’?  The rash of failures in a single sector raises inevitable questions about the focus of risk…

Excuse me, how many lines of defence? The new financial Maginot lines . . .

Depending on your point of view, the ‘three lines of defence’ metaphor has its origins in either sport or in military planning.  It brings to mind three distinct lines operating independently; each ready to step in to save the day if the line before it crumbles.  In NFL, there can be three lines of defence…

Internal audit in financial services: a long time to wait for not very much

“Time is the old justice that examines all such offenders, and let Time try.” As You Like It, Act IV, Scene 1      As Canadian consultant Tim Leech pointed out in an ACCA column in 2009, internal auditors really didn’t have a good financial crisis.  Quite validly, Tim asked the question: Not being fingered for…

1.5 billion reasons to improve your interviewing skills

UBS, the giant Swiss banking corporation, has been fined the equivalent of USD 1.5 billion by supervisors in the US, UK and Switzerland in the latest (but far from the last) chapter of the LIBOR rigging scandal, said to involve investigations against more than a dozen major investment banks.  These fines dwarf earlier fines levied…

‘Re-rethinking’ the relationship between risk management and regulatory systems

The current context of regulation Who’d be a regulator today?  As more and more regulatory initiatives run in to trouble, it is harder than ever to get agreement domestically, let alone internationally, on what regulation in any sector should prescribe or proscribe and how it should operate. In the UK, the findings of the inquiry…

An agenda for improving corporate risk management

In the course of preparing a series of seminars we will be delivering in London this winter, we have focused on what an agenda or ‘manifesto’ for improving corporate risk performance would look like.  What should the firm do practically to improve its management of risk and uncertainty? The agenda has five items. 1. Better…