If you think about it, preparing for exams is kind of like preparing for a round of golf. You’ve “played” an examination round before, so you have an idea of how the process will go. You’ll want to review the previous examination “round” to determine what went well and what the examiner wanted you to work on, so review past findings and resolve any outstanding recommendations in advance. You’ll also want to get a “feel for the speed of the greens” by looking at pronouncements regarding this year’s focus (presently, it’s vendor management and cyber risk). Last, but not least, tee it up for your examiner.
Here’s what I mean by that. Many of our clients utilize our product called ERM 365tm – Findings Manager to manage exam findings. They’ll enter the finding provided by exam results and set up tasks to delegate resolution of the issue. Tasks are electronically distributed, tracked and results are recorded accordingly. It significantly reduces the time and challenges associated with numerous exam findings and recommendations. However, I suggest you consider taking this a step further by setting up your report and associated findings in advance of the exam. Now you might say, “Why would I want to give my examiner any ammunition?” One can look at it that way for sure. Or, you can make an honest assessment of your situation and prepare the report and associated findings in advance, set up the task for resolution and review it with the examiner. For example, why wait for the examiner to point out a missing signature on a critical vendor contract. Set up the finding in advance and let them know you are tracking the progress towards resolution. In other words, tee up the finding for them! Our professional services team utilizes Findings Manager significantly to tee up many of our due diligence findings for our clients. We’ll even go so far as to set up all the tasks that need to be addressed by the appropriate staff.
For our clients already using Findings Manager you can see this possibility. For those not using it yet, take a closer look at how Findings Manager will greatly improve your examiner game!