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Amanda Bin

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Published on: 27 May 2016 by amandabin

Pioneer Associates: Internal Audit and Special Audit Services

We offer a comprehensive range of
internal and special audit services designed to help businesses enhance the
controls and improve the efficiency of their companies. We are committed to
providing quality assurance services to help ensure that our clients’ financial
statements meet relevant regulatory and business requirements, and to help
satisfy stakeholder expectations for assurance.

 

Our audits are led by partners
and managers who remain heavily involved in the engagement and who are
supported by staff with appropriate levels of skill and knowledge of our
clients’ businesses. Throughout the audit process, we communicate regularly with
our clients to ensure that we keep abreast of developments in their businesses.

 

Our internal and special audit
services include the following:

 

Special Audits and Financial Investigations

Shareholders, the board of
directors and/or management sometimes request a special audit or investigation
of the financial affairs or specific areas of the company. This typically
happens if they have reason to believe any of the following:

 

The accounting and other records
of the company do not properly reflect certain transactions of the company;

 

Significant errors or
inaccuracies have been noted in the accounts;

 

The integrity of the person
responsible for the accounts is in question; or

 

Internal control lapses have been
noted and management is unable to ascertain the impact of such lapses on the
accounts.

 

Internal Audit

Internal audit today is an
essential function in all listed and non-listed companies who believe in
corporate governance and enterprise risk management. The role and importance of
the internal audit function have evolved over time.

 

In the past, internal auditors
were primarily engaged to check compliance with corporate policies and
procedures. In most organisations today, internal auditors’ roles extend beyond
their historical purpose to include all or some of the following:

 

Provide recommendations to the
board, particularly the Audit Committee, on issues of corporate governance and
assisting in the identification and evaluation of the organisation’s risks;

 

Provide recommendations to the
management of companies in areas where internal controls need improvement and
efficiencies need enhancement;

 

Where possible, working with
external auditors to reduce their work by covering some of the areas of work
that they may rely on;

 

Assistance with SOX-related work (Please
refer to “SOX 404 Compliance Services”);

 

Where appropriate, assistance
with training on matters such as the importance of internal controls, corporate
governance, and risk management, and the importance of their participation in
such matters.

 

We recognise that some
organisations prefer to outsource their internal audit function and that some
others do not find it cost-effective to have a fully-staffed internal audit
department in Singapore or Asia. As such, we are equipped to provide a full
range of internal audit services in Singapore as well as in the Asia Pacific
Region.

 

Some companies outsource their
entire internal audit function. We work with our clients’ Audit Committee and
management to determine the scope of our work before we agree on an internal
audit plan, which we will implement over a period of typically three years.

 

Some companies have a core
internal audit team that needs to be supplemented by an external team of
internal auditors as they conduct their audits in Singapore and throughout the
region. We provide the requisite internal audit resources.

 

Some overseas companies with
subsidiaries in the region only conduct internal audits on certain of their
subsidiaries once every several years. We are engaged on an ad hoc basis to
assist with such internal audit work. We typically work with the head of
internal audit in the corporate office, who will determine the audit program
and scope.

 

SOX 404 Compliance Services

Section 4 (SOX 404) of the
Sarbanes Oxley Act has significantly increased the mandated focus on internal
controls and risk management. Many foreign subsidiaries and overseas branches
of public US companies need to comply with the requirements of SOX 404, which
can be demanding and challenging for those that lack the full resources to do
so.

 

We offer assistance to companies
and branches that lack sufficient internal resources to meet the tight time
frame for compliance. We are able to assist with the implementation of all or
some of the stages of SOX 404 requirements.

 

Throughout the engagement, we
will work closely with both local management and the US-based team leader of
the SOX 404 implementation program to facilitate efficient implementation.

 

We can assist with any or all of
the following stages of work:

 

Identifying key local entity
level controls;

 

Identifying key business
processes and key process controls with process owners;

 

Reviewing and documenting the
control framework of the key processes identified;

 

Conducting risk assessment of the
control framework within each key process and recommending the implementation
of specific controls to enhance the control framework;

 

Designing test procedures and
performing tests to confirm the effectiveness of the key controls identified.
Where appropriate, we recommend remedial action and assist with subsequent
tests; and

 

Assisting with regular updates of
documentation and tests to confirm continued SOX compliance.

 

We also assist with J SOX work.

 

Enterprise Risk Management (“ERM”)

ERM is a key element of corporate
governance and it is essential in enabling the board to fulfil its corporate
governance role. Identification of each enterprise’s risk is typically
conducted by management under the guidance of the board. The board is
responsible for monitoring the risks identified and ensuring that the risks are
within acceptable levels given the objectives of the enterprise and the
business and economic environment that the business is in. Companies in the
conduct of their businesses are at different levels of ERM. Many companies
however have not formally streamlined nor documented their ERM process.

 

In many companies, the Board
members and certain key management employees are involved in ERM. Many
companies do not engage other management and staff in the risk evaluation and
risk management implementation process even though input from management and
staff are essential for the success and effectiveness of ERM

 

We can assist companies in any
combination of the following:

 

Conduct ERM workshops for the
board, management and staff to help them understand the importance of ERM and
their role in the successful implementation of ERM in their respective
organisations;

 

Assist management in formalising
their ERM framework and the processes for identification, evaluation and
assessment of the enterprise’s risk;

 

Assist management in the
documentation of the ERM framework and processes.

 

Assist the board and management
in designing tools and the process for monitoring the relevant risks of the
organisation.

 

Where we are the internal
auditors, we will evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the company’s
ERM process.

 

Restructuring & Business Recovery

Our restructuring and business services aim
to meet the needs of financially troubled or underperforming companies. We
provide a broad range of recovery solutions for companies which include helping
companies to streamline their operations, to terminating unprofitable
businesses that cannot be sold.

 

More specifically, our services
include:

 

Helping ailing businesses to
identify problem areas; and

 

Implementing recovery solutions,
which may include financial restructuring, reorganization, fundraising, and
establishing appropriate corporate governance measures.

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