Startups need to focus on the Unsexy – It can make or break them

Cash is King! People say. That’s the more true in the startup world than anywhere else. Having cash in your bank account ensures that you can survive and maybe become a Unicorn. Most founders focus on the problem of getting more cash but if they also focus on how they are spending the money they can ensure that they are not overly dependent on external funds. One key tool to monitor your cash is doing bank reconciliations on a regular basis. This is a very boring,time consuming and completely unsexy…

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Learning to see the Big Picture

I saw an interesting video on TED today on How art can help you analyze – Amy E. Herman. In the video Amy talks about how learning to analyse art can help doctors, nurses, police officers learn real world skills. Studying art like René Magritte’s Time Transfixed can enhance communication and analytical skills, with an emphasis on both the seen and unseen. You can watch the video here http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-art-can-help-you-analyze-amy-e-herman. This method could also be used as a tool to help internal auditors be better at their jobs and help them see…

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Audit IT without IT audit staff

In the early 1990s auditors (internal or external) never really looked inside the IT infrastructure of a company and it was treated like a black box. During an audit transactions were audited as if the IT applications did not exist. Then came the wave of specialised IT audits who could open the black box and identify numerous new risks associated with the complex workings inside the servers, computers and applications used. The financial/operational auditor could never really understand these risks and full reliance was placed the IT auditor. However, in…

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Think Business Continuity in a Start-up

Events like 9/11 and tsunami hitting Japan after the Tohoku Earthquake in April 2011 have emphasised the importance of planning for business continuity and each new event has forced companies to think about new aspects when planning for business continuity. For example 9/11 made companies sit up and think about offsite storage of key documents and stopping of manufacturing of specialised chips in Japan after the tsunami made companies relook at their supply chains and critical vendors. Ensuring that you can run your business and service customers after a business disruption…

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Back Ground Verification – Important in everyday life also

I along with Bangalore are shocked to follow the recent events involving the rape of a six year old girl in a Bangalore school. Yesterday the Bangalore police arrested a skating instructor on suspicion of being involved and as I read about the arrest (Bangalore school rape case: Skating instructor arrested) and saw the news stories, the panic level started to increase.Especially, when we realised today that the person who was arrested had taught my daughter to skate a couple of months back! Imagine how close she came to an incident like this!The articles…

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Hiring for Internal Audit – Everyday Challenge

I recently read an interesting post by Norman Marks on risk management where he posed a question to a Big 4 consultant and didnt get a answer. The question was about managing risk when hiring someone. You can read the full post here (http://normanmarks.wordpress.com/2014/06/21/a-risk-management-challenge-for-you/). This got me thinking about hiring for Internal Audit. Given the importance of the function and the absolute need to have skilled staff, how do audit functions ensure they get the right people. Having hired for a number of years now in India, I can tell…

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Risk Management in a Start-up

So you thought of a great idea and have decided to start a new venture. There are almost a million articles on the internet about how to start up, launch your product, acquire customer, raise money etc. I know, because I have been thinking about doing something on my own for about 6 months or more and have read enough of these articles. Being an auditor, I was interested to learn about things that can go wrong and found this one articles (5 Common Startup Mistakes That WIll Sink You…

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