This book is addressed to all who share responsibility for wealth creation in corporate enterprises. Its aim is to explore the scope for maintaining competitive edge and achieving superior performance through operational review. It develops the concept of operational review as a programme for operational managers to pursue enhanced quality of control by regularly reviewing their own operations with internal audit support. Operational review is a practice which has grown out of successful internal auditing and ,in particular, the use of operational auditing techniques. A key feature of the concept developed in this book is a discipline by which all line managers regularly carry out a structured self-examination and appraisal of their own control mechanisms. The effectiveness of this practice is based upon the use of sound and proven operational audit techniques with professional guidance and support from a competent internal audit function. Internal auditing is a tool of management: operational audit techniques extend its scope to the entire range of management concerns within an organization. Its main thrust is in evaluating the quality of control applied in the pursuit of management objectives. The growing use of internal auditing as a management tool has contributed significantly to efficient performance in many organizations. Providing professional guidance for reviews carried out by operational managers is compatible with the principle that the role of the auditor is to observe from an impartial viewpoint and to make recommendations. Impartiality is important - the internal auditor's independence from the operations being observed or reviewed is fundamental. Without it, objectivity would be suspect and the degree of confidence that could be placed in the auditor's recommendations would be severely restricted. This text does not set out to describe the techniques of internal auditing. It does, nevertheless, acknowledge that it is for corporate management to prescribe the scope of such internal audit service as it considers appropriate and to ensure that the standard of service provided matches up to these expectations. It adopts a management perspective, focusing on those issues of motivation and control through which superior performance can be achieved. The purpose is to demonstrate, for the benefit of board members, operational managers and staff, the value of regular structured reviews as a form of self-auditing with expert guidance and support using proven operational auditing techniques. Operational review based upon a self-audit approach adds a powerful extra dimension to the benefits which internal auditing can yield. This is because it uses the motivation of accountability and job ownership and this adds considerable emphasis to the impact of the auditor's skilled appraisal without impairing its objectivity. The aim is competitive advantage from superior performance; the means for achieving it include pragmatic risk management, enhanced quality of control and better use of resources. Clearly, this has special relevance in today's climate of change. Special consideration is given to issues which are likely to have a dominant influence in the development of management thinking for the foreseeable future. They include: a trend towards open employment relationships based upon trust and involvement; continuing development of the technology used for managing information; increasing concern for protection of the environment; and a need for assurances about the quality of corporate governance. There are important new opportunities and risks to be addressed within each of these issues. This is precisely the context in which operational review practices are perceived as crucial in the pursuit of superior performance and safeguarding the quality of control.
Publisher: LexisNexis UK
Number of pages: 267
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