Combined Assurance and The Three Lines: Enhancing Alignment and Collaboration

Anand Bhakta
Anand Bhakta AuditBoard
Serhat Khan
Serhat Khan McDermott International

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Anand Bhakta is the Sr. Director of Risk Solutions at AuditBoard, a cloud-based software platform to help streamline and automate internal audit and compliance activities and a Principal at SAS, a boutique firm focused on Information Technology (IT) Controls and advisory services. He has over fifteen years of IT audit and consulting experience. Anand specializes in risks and controls related to the implementation of ERP systems, and he has helped various multinational companies evaluate and/or implement application controls in ERP systems including Oracle Financials, SAP, and PeopleSoft. Anand is recognized for his ability to develop and implement auditing and data analysis tools. Additionally, he has assisted clients comply with Sarbanes-Oxley from both an advisory and attestation perspective. Anand graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems. Previously, Anand was an executive at Ernst & Young LLP in the Technology and Security Risk Services (TSRS). In his role at Ernst & Young LLP, he designed and developed procedures and tools to help clients perform continuous monitoring, as well as evaluate Segregation of Duties controls. Anand is an experienced trainer and has designed and conducted multiple technical training sessions including Oracle application controls, data analysis, Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, and IT general controls.

Serhat Khan is the Vice President of Internal Audit at McDermott and is responsible for overseeing McDermott’s Internal Audit and Internal Controls efforts globally. Serhat brings a significant record of success within the energy and EPC industry, including 20 years of professional expertise in delivering Internal Audit services, SOX compliance and conducting risk assessments—at both public and private companies. In his previous roles, Serhat served as the Chief Audit Executive at National Petroleum Construction Company and prior to that held senior accounting and audit roles at Kohler Company. Serhat holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance and Information Systems from the University of Wisconsin as well as a Master of Business Administration from Wisconsin’s Marquette University. He is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Management Accountant and Certified Information Systems Auditor. In addition to his professional duties. Serhat routinely serves as a speaker and panelist for a number of national and international professional organizations and conferences.


Internal Audit departments that are not leading their organization’s combined assurance initiatives risk being marginalized. The IIA’s July 2020 update on governance and risk management, the Three Lines Model, squarely emphasizes the need for enhanced collaboration between assurance providers in the Second Line and Internal Audit. This session will take a deep dive into the underpinnings of combined assurance to understand the key benefits and how to navigate common challenges with best practices for successfully implementing Combined Assurance. Find out why combined assurance is such a hot topic with boards, senior management, and audit committees. Attendees will learn how an Assurance Map can be a critical communication tool, 5 key success factors for gaining management support, and pitfalls to avoid to help you move up the Combined Assurance Maturity Curve.

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