Synopsis of Internal Assurances

This table compares internal controls (processes and accountability) with internal audits on four dimensions.  Although the two assurances might appear to fall under separate responsibilities in the organization, the internal auditor will also indentify control procedures necessary in various business units and help the employees in that unit to design and implement the procedures.  The auditor then assures that the employees take responsibility for the continued use of the controls to achieve the desired objectives.

Internal Assurances Internal Controls
(processes and responsibility)
Internal Audits
Definition Processes to guide, direct, motivate, and monitor employees Procedures undertaken by a company employee to determine if processes are working properly (a form of self-evaluation)
Purpose To support proactively achieving sustainability reporting objectives To ensure reactively that sustainability reporting objectives are being achieved
Result Provide direction to generate and compile information for reporting and to analyze information for performance improvement Ensure that employees understand their role in data accuracy and performance improvement
Appropriateness

Depends on the objective to be achieved and the education and experience of the employees Depends on the objective to be achieved in the review, but auditors are guided by professional standards