With combined assurance, the audit committee and senior management are given holistic insights on governance, risk management, and control effectiveness. When sharing and communication is taking place on a regular basis between key stakeholders and assurance providers, it will result in better reporting and, ultimately, better decision making. If the audit committee and management are provided with a comprehensive view of risks, issues, and mitigation activities, they can more confidently consider ways to address them.
This holds true when charting a long-term course for a child to attend a university of choice. A shared view of the child’s emerging strengths, weaknesses, and activities will help the caregivers provide guidance to ensure a college-bound path.
No one appreciates having to repeat themselves or perform duplicate work. We’ve all seen a child roll their eyes or express their frustration when asked the same question by more than one adult. In the workplace, unaligned assurance providers can lead to “audit fatigue” for auditees when asked to provide the same document or answer multiple times to different auditors.
The increased communication and collaboration that takes place with combined assurance helps minimize duplicated effort, and reduces time demands on auditees.
Effective combined assurance will help ensure that business areas and functions responsible for providing assurance are working toward a common goal and providing a transparent and uniform messaging to executive management and the board. How you go about implementing a combined assurance model in your organization — or in parenting — will be based on the importance placed on strengthening this process, the tools available to you, and the commitment of individual groups to compromise and work in a more aligned manner. For more information about implementing a combined assurance approach, see the IIA’s guide to Combined Assurance.