What's a remote-site approach?
In a remote-site model, there are few to no in-person activities. For example, people don't sit together in a physical location to conduct day-to-day risk and compliance monitoring. Risk and compliance teams can collect audit evidence, assess the effectiveness of controls, and interact with clients and teams across functions and geographies while working remotely. When these teams have easy access to collaboration tools and advanced analytics solutions, they can continue to work effectively from anywhere.
A remote-site approach can address various compliance needs. It can effectively help run internal audits, SOX reviews, anti-bribery/anti-corruption assessments, and internal control analytics while also providing wider risk coverage across geographies.
Though this method has become more relevant in today's context, it's not new. Many companies already operate a global risk center of excellence (COE), delivering assurance services to different parts of the organization. The COE provides a unified, integrated view of controls and compliance health across the organization. And it uses a hybrid, flexible operating model (a combination of people working on-site and off-site).
Organizations can adopt a COE approach by building on the following pillars:
- A pool of risk and compliance experts
- Collaboration tools, such as videoconferencing and instant messaging
- Local and regional on-site support
- A mature data analytics program
- IT infrastructure support
But moving to a remote-site model brings its own challenges. Here's how your company can overcome them:
Diluted audit rigor and failure to understand the business context
Maintain rigor by providing process documentation and strong knowledge-retention processes, along with access to a team with relevant experience.
Inadequate data availability and completeness
Online training sessions and data integrity checks can help address the challenges of extracting data accurately and having complete data.
A lack of connection with the business
To avoid project delays and build stakeholder relations, enable teams with collaboration tools, build a strong governance mechanism, and establish well-defined escalation protocols.
What value does a remote-site delivery model deliver?
Adopting a remote-site model offers significant efficiency in terms of speed and cost. This approach also means minimal disruption to the current operating model. Companies can:
- Gain wider risk coverage across more locations
- Cut overall internal compliance and audit costs by about 30–40 %
- Save time for controllers and internal auditors