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Control Self-Assessment: the collaborative approach to enhance control processes

Control Self-Assessment

In the era of explosive technological development, Control Self-Assessment (CSA) is an approach which brings the focus back on the people making up an organization and relies on their collaboration to help ensure achievement of business objectives.


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What is CSA?

As defined by the Institute of Internal Auditors, CSA is a technique used by bringing together individuals in natural work to evaluate the effectiveness of business process groups and focusing the work group teams on the assessment of steps necessary to assure the achievement of business objectives.

CSA can be used to assure key stakeholders, both internal and external, that an organization’s internal controls system is reliable. Although the CSA process can be designed by management, it is recommendable that it be done with the assistance of Internal Audit.

How to put CSA in place?

Three primary CSA approaches are facilitated workshops, questionnaires, and management-produced analysis. Of them, facilitated workshops have proven to be the most popular and effective method. Furthermore, most organizations often choose to combine more than one approach to accommodate their self-assessments.

What’s in CSA for an organization?

A CSA program offers many benefits, including accountability for internal controls, sustainability of management’s compliance program, enhancement of training opportunities, and creation of a stronger controls environment. An effective CSA program will enhance the
communication between operational and top management, and provide greater assurance to both senior management and external stakeholders that the organization’s internal controls are operating effectively. CSA also helps to evaluate “soft” or informal controls in such areas as ethical practices, management philosophy, and business processes.

Overall, CSA can help to establish a sound control environment by raising employee awareness of internal controls, which results in an effective corporate governance of the organization.

Albena Haralampieva, Senior Manager, Risk Consulting, discussed the specifics of Control Self-Assessment at a training organised by the Institute of Internal Auditors in Bulgaria.

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