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Investigators examine email traffic surrounding each grant to determine the intended date of the grant and the date on which it was actually communicated.
In some cases, data may reflect unusual gaps in email traffic, which might indicate that a key executive has deleted his or her emails on that particular topic.
And, increasingly, organizations have turned to audit software to conduct more extensive internal control testing and transaction monitoring.
And risks are growing—and growing in complexity—at such a clip that the periodic cycle of internal audits and updating of controls often can’t keep up, particularly when it comes to risks that can go viral in this hyper-connected electronic age.But companies rarely use such technology to effectively identify risks beyond those related to business and transaction processing in financial and operating system internal controls.What often goes unmonitored is a broad universe of data including email, desktop documents, internet logs, phone calls, text messages, and even social media messages and online customer product reviews.In other words, these are the “who, what, when, where, how, and why” of a risk.Email messages and other electronic documents, for example, are the types of data that attorneys and regulators will seek to pursue in lawsuits and forensic accounting investigations.
Thus, a new reality is emerging: The scope of risk on which internal controls are focused at many companies is much narrower than the scope of risks actually faced by the organization.