CSA is a management technique that can be used to assure key stakeholders, both internal and external, that an organization’s internal controls system is reliable. CSA is a sustainable process whereby management validates the operating effectiveness of its internal controls via testing. That is, each process owner and individual control owner within an organization performs effectiveness testing to verify that key controls are functioning properly, resulting in the detection or elimination of material misstatements.
The fifth anniversary of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has passed, and many continue to argue whether or not the benefits of the legislation outweigh the related costs. Although there is no clear answer to this yet, does it even matter? Establishing and maintaining strong internal controls over financial reporting and disclosure is critical for the success of any organization: public, private, and nonprofit alike. Adopting the principles and best practices promoted by Sarbanes-Oxley, including solid corporate governance, the ethical behavior of management, and the transparency of financial information, will enable senior management to become more accountable for, and aware of, the material information emanating from their companies.
Many important key financial control procedures reside in the decentralized units overseen by departmental fiscal administrators. As such, a series of comprehensive questionnaires have been developed to assess the level of compliance with key financial controls and are facilitated through the Sarbanes-Oxley Control Self-Assessment (SOX CSA).
Controls Self Assessment To achieve this, organisations need to implement Control Self Assessment (CSA) which is defined as an effective approach to identifying and managing areas of risk exposure, as well as highlighting potential opportunities.
CSA provides a framework for helping organisations to manage their risks to achieve their business objectives. In simple terms, CSA involves a structured approach to documenting business objectives, risks and controls and having operational management and staff assess the adequacy of controls.
Benefits of CSA Implementing CSA successfully, requires people with the necessary experience in these type of projects to ensure the major benefits of CSA are achieved.
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