An effective internal audit program is indispensable for continuous improvement

Both the ISO and the FDA require an internal audit program of an organization’s Quality Management Systems. This is a core requirement. The simplest way to understand an internal audit system is that it is a tool to assess or inspect an organization’s Quality System.

Apart from helping organizations to fulfill the requirements of auditing set out by the ISO and the FDA and other regulatory bodies, audits, be they internal or external; carry manifold advantages. These are some of them:

o  Organizations can apply best practices relevant to their industry through audits

o  Audits help organizations to identify where they need to improve

o  Audits play a stellar role in ensuring the quality of products, which leads to enhance customer satisfaction

o  They help organizations to take preventive actions with which bigger problems can be checked

Most organizations think of audits as an unpleasant duty

Although internal and external audits are considered so useful; it is a fact that most organizations carry them out only because it is thrust upon them. Most companies lack the conviction and volition for an audit, and drag their feet when it comes to this important task. The many benefits of an audit program are usually overlooked by 75% of companies.

What happens to organizations that are not diligent when it comes to carrying out audits? They are sure to receive penal actions from the FDA, which range from Warning Letters, 483’s to penalties to Consent Decree.

Learning session on ways of getting internal audits right

In order to help organizations get their internal and external audits right, Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will be organizing a webinar. The purpose of this session is to help professionals who need to carry out an internal audit for their organization, get it right.

The speaker at this seminar is Susanne Manz, Quality and Compliance Expert/Auditor for Medical Devices, Manz Consulting, Inc., who is an accomplished leader in the medical device industry with emphasis on quality, compliance, and Six Sigma. Participants that want to get a clear and total understanding of the rationale for carrying out audits and of the ways for get them right can enroll for this webinar by visiting http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501303LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

An explanation of the ins and outs of auditing

Susanne will equip participants with the knowledge needed for audit professionals in organizations to put an effective and compliant audit program in place. She will help them understand what it takes to carry out a solid and thorough quality audit program that meets regulatory requirements by first being able to identify the red flags. This is the groundwork for understanding, reducing and communicating risks associated with quality and compliance.

Susanne will cover the following areas at this session:

o  Using a structured program to identify areas of risk leading to an effective audit strategy

o  How to develop a meaningful structure of audit, oversight, transparent communication, and escalation to management review

o  How to ensure your audit staff is well trained to proactively identify, communicate, and escalate issues

o  How a culture of quality and compliance can encourage clear and transparent communication of risk

o  How to prioritize, resource, and implement corrective actions

o  Tools for monitoring and communicating risk and improvement over time

o  How to identify residual risk

o  Monitoring and Controlling progress over time

o  Signs that your company culture is taking unnecessary compliance or quality risk

o  How to ensure management gets valuable information from your audit program

o  How to prioritize, resource, and implement corrective actions

o  Tools for monitoring and communicating risk and improvement over time.

Challenges to analyzing financial statements

Analysis of financial statements, or Financial Statement Analysis or FSA, as the discipline is called, is the application of one’s analytical ability into understanding the financial statements of a company. This analysis is made to get insights into how the company has been performing financially over a defined period of time. Based on this understanding, financial analysts make forecasts of how the company is expected to perform in the future, based on certain parameters.

Financial experts get down to understanding the way in which one of the company’s most vital ingredients, finance, is performing. FSAs are the most truthful indication of not just how the company has been performing, but also how its performance is going to lead the company in the future. Being an important tool in analyzing the financial health of the company; FSAs reflect the financial state of the company. These statements help the management decide on the company’s future decision-making relating to investment.

Viewed by many stakeholders

Financial statements are critical statements from a company. They are viewed and analyzed by a number of internal and external sources. While the company’s board of directors, management, and employees belong to the group of people who analyze FSA’s internally; customers, shareholders, banks, lending institutions, the general public and the government are some of the external analysts of FSAs.

Financial experts analyze FSAs in two important manners: Horizontal and Vertical. At their barest, horizontal analysis represents the history of the company’s financial performance over a varied period of time, while vertical analysis is made of a fixed period of time.

Types of Financial Statement Analysis 

Ratio analysis

Ratio analysis is one of the important techniques of Financial Statement Analysis. It is the analysis of how the company has performed in core areas of its business.

DuPont analysis

Another important analysis tool of Financial Statement Analysis is what is called DuPont analysis. It extends the ratio analysis method by taking note of the areas of strengths and weaknesses in the company’s financial statements. It breaks up the aspects of the company’s financial statements into the sources, such as equity, investments or others, from which the company is earning its revenues.

Challenges in Financial Statement Analysis

Financial Statement Analysis comes with its challenges. Financial Statement Analysis works in a vacuum. There is no theory or point of reference to which the Financial Statement Analysis is made. It is based purely on each situation, and is thus vulnerable to extreme volatility in the analysis. The fact that a company’s Financial Statement Analysis is positive in a certain situation under certain factors is no indication of how it would be in the future, in different situations. There are too many large variables involved in Financial Statement Analysis.

When a company is operating a number of businesses; it is difficult to evaluate the performance of each of the businesses, especially if the businesses are diverse. There are no fixed parameters to judge the performance of each of them.

Also, when accounting practices change; the whole character of Financial Statement Analysis undergoes a metamorphosis. This makes it necessary to completely redraw the practice of Financial Statement Analysis.

Financial Statement Analysis is not always accurate in analyzing the strengths or weaknesses of many of the company’s intangible resources.

Get to understand the ways in which Financial Statement Analysis works

A complete understanding of Financial Statement Analysis, with a clear definition of the challenges involved in this practice, will be given at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance. At this webinar, Kevin Chenoweth, who has expertise in designing project plans for multi-million dollar Oracle R12 financial leading to under budget and on-schedule projects, will be the speaker.

To get insights into the challenges involved in Financial Statement Analysis; please enroll for this webinar by visiting Financial Statements & Valuation

Kevin Chenoweth will cover both the telecommunication and technology industries at this session, and will show how company operations can be improved. He will also offer recommendations on trend and ratio analysis as applicable to diversified industries. He will also help participants evaluate sales trends and develop ways to increase sales.

He will deconstruct financial statements and help identify key drivers of organic and inorganic growth. This session is of high value to those involved in Financial Statement Analysis, such as Accounting Staff, Finance Staff, IT Staff, Sales & Development Staff, Business Directors, Auditors, Company/Business Owners, and Finance Managers.

The following areas will be covered at this webinar:

o  DuPont Analysis

o  Cash to Cash Cycle

o  Real Options for Decision Making

o  Understanding organic and inorganic growth

o  Ratio and Trend Analysis

o  Quantitative and Qualitative Analysis.

Cash management in ERP systems and Reconciling bank statements

Cash management is a major component in ERP systems such as Oracle. It is a module that offers information about the most critical component of the business, namely cash flow. Cash management processes and analyzes all of the business’ cash and bank transactions from a number of sources such as:

o  The payments made to a supplier as reflected in the invoices

o  The value of receipts got from the business’ sales invoices

o  Single or isolated payments not from any of these above categories

Another important role performed by the cash management module is that using it, the organization’s Finance personnel can analyze financial transactions of all kinds that happened during a selected period of time. Cash management in ERP also gives Finance the inputs that help them understand where the funds are coming in from, and how they need to be allocated and spent so that the company meets its payments-related obligations.

Functionality of Cash Management module

Usually, cash management modules in ERP systems are built to accommodate the following features:

o  Tracking Supplier Payment

o  Tracking the way in which sales invoice amounts receipts are made

o  Helping to forecast the cash flow

A learning session on cash management and bank statement set up and reconciliation

Do all these aspects of cash management sound confusing? It is to address these confusions and issues related to cash management that Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will be organizing a webinar.

Kevin Chenoweth, who has wide-ranging expertise in designing project plans for multi-million dollar Oracle R12 financial leading to under budget and on-schedule projects and has helped organizations complete full life-cycle implementations in the Oracle financials modules through effective leadership, will be the speaker at this webinar.

To hear Kevin offer his insights into cash management, which is a result of his having implemented Cash Management processes for both technology and manufacturing SMB and Fortune 500 companies such as Comcast and having addressed their particular challenges in streamlining their bank account structures and relationships to align them with their changing business structure and accounting systems; just enroll for this webinar by logging on to   http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501331LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

The wealth of the speaker’s experience

During this course, Kevin will offer guidance and understanding about the fundamentals of Cash Management in ERP systems such as Oracle. Another important related activity, namely bank statement formats, will also be discussed, along with how to and when to apply them.

Kevin will discuss all the challenges associated with bank statement set up and reconciliation, namely how to handle various deposits in transit, outstanding checks, service charges, and non-sufficient fees. During this explanation, he will illustrate the experiences he had earlier in his career at organizations such as ComCast, where he helped prepare its merger with Time Warner with important works like streamlining its zero-balance accounts and regional banks.

Kevin will cover the following areas at this session:

o  Bank reconciliations for various types of transactions

o  Streamlining of accounts to match company strategy

o  Consolidation of accounts to match company strategy

o  Preparation of banking relationships for a merger

o  Zero Balance accounts and how to manage them

o  Understanding of cash flows in strategic initiatives

o  How cash flows interact with financial statements

http://www.managementstudyguide.com/cash-management-module-erp.htm

Most common mistake is failure to prepare Form 1099-MISC

The IRS 1099-MISC form is one of the very important forms that need to be filled by a number of entities such as businesses, estates, trusts and non-profits at the end of each calendar year.

The IRS 1099-MISC is filed and filed for each person to whom a payment has been made during the year:

  • royalties or payments made to brokers for a value of at least $ 10 in place of dividends or interest that is tax-exempt;
  • payment of not less than $600 in the following categories:
  • rents
  • services carried out by a non-employee
  • awards and prizes
  • income payments from other sources
  • payments for healthcare and medical items
  • proceeds from crop insurance
  • payments made in cash to buy aquatic creatures from a person who is in that business or trade
  • payment made from a notional principal contract to either an estate, partnership or individual;
  • attorney fees
  • proceeds from a fishing boat
  • Direct sales of consumer products of a value of not less than $5,000 made to a buyer and meant for resale in any outlet that does not qualify to be a permanent, regular retail establishment.

Areas in which mistakes are made in filling up IRS 1099-MISC

The fact is that the IRS 1099-MISC form is the IRS 1099 form that comes with the maximum errors. Why is this so? What are the kinds of errors that people who file the IRS 1099-MISC are most prone to?

Among the most important areas in which people make errors most commonly in the IRS 1099-MISC form are these:

–       Mismatch between the payee’s name and the payee’s Identification Number, with confusion over the Social Security Number, or Taxpayer’s Identification Number, or Employer’s Identification Number. In many cases, the amount is seldom entered incorrectly in the provided boxes

–       Many people make errors in preparing Form 1099-MISC for payment of services of a value of over $600

–       Another major area in which errors occur in filling up IRS 1099-MISC is in the section in which to fill up the requisite amount, whether in Block 3, Block 7 Nonemployee Compensation, or Other Income.

Get to understand the proper method of preparing, filling and filing IRS 1099-MISC

It is to help overcome these fallacies that Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance will be organizing a learning session. At this webinar, which will be spread over 90 minutes, Greta Hicks, a former IRS Revenue Agent and Regional Training Coordinator, the author of IRS Examination and Appeals Procedures, and pilot tester of on-line continuing education courses for Checkpoint Learning, will be the speaker.

Want to gain insights into the workings of the IRS 1099-MISC?

Then, please register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501195LIVE?Wordpress-SEO

At this session, Greta will equip participants with the timeframe required for preparing to file for IRS 1099-MISC. She will state the correct methods of preparing for and filing these forms. By the time participants complete this course, they will have had a clear understanding of how to evaluate the W9 and prepare an IRS 1099-MISC with all the blocks appropriately ticked and completed, with suggestions about the content of each of these boxes. They will be able to select the entities and payments reported on Form 1099-MISC, will gain the confidence required to ensure that the Name and EIN, ID, and SSN match, and also be able to ensure that amounts are in the correct block.

To help participants get a clear idea of filing for IRS 1099-MISC, she will explain the following:

o  Review W-9 for accuracy and completeness

o  Match W-9 SSN, EIN, and TIN to IRS records

o  Entities that should send 1099 MISC

o  Entities who should receive a 1099-MISC

o  Block by block instructions of 1099-MISC.

At this webinar, Greta will cover the following areas:

o  What name and EIN/SSN goes on the 1099-MISC?

o  How do I know what amount goes in which block?

o  Example: Block 3, Other Income, versus Block 7, Non-Employee Compensation

o  Example: Block 7, Non-Employee Compensation Paid to Attorneys or Block, 14, Gross Proceeds Paid to an Attorney

o  Example: Block 6, Medical and Health Care Payments

o  Select the entities and payments reported on Form 1099-MISC.

https://www.irs.gov/uac/about-form-1099misc

Today’s Pre control and Statistical Process Control (SPC)

Pre control and Statistical Process Control (SPC) are key tools for determining the process that goes into a product.

SPC is a key ingredient of Quality. It is an important step in reducing nonconformities and defects in any manufacturing process. SPC charts help to detect assignable causes of a process change in a timely fashion. SPC helps to identify root causes and take corrective actions before the development of the product has reached such a stage that carrying changes out is neither practicable nor useful.

Examples of process changes that SPC helps to detect include trends, shifts and variation. Three items are needed for SPC to meet its goal:

o  A system that measures effectiveness in real-time

o  Tolerance that is practical and is connected to customer keenness and satisfaction

o  A dial indicator that comes with an anticipated response.

All these help SPC to determine whether a process is stable and requires no adjustment, is incapable of performing its functions altogether, or is deviating but capable.

And now, pre-control

Pre-control, on the other hand, inspects the units and adjusts the process and the succeeding sampling procedures assuming where the measurements are placed in relation to the specification limits. The focus of pre-control is individual measurements.

It uses a set of probabilities, based on assumed distributions and the location of the process, to estimate where there is a justification for the process adjustments. Since decisions concerning pre-control are based broadly, i.e., on the area in which the measurements; it obviates the need for charting, as it is very responsive to the process signals right from the start.

SPC or pre-control?

There are arguments for and against the use of SPC and pre-control as an effective means of ensuring that the process is right and that it results in the desired quality for the product.

At a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, the speaker, Jd Marhevko, who has been involved in Operations and Quality/Lean/Six Sigma efforts across a variety of industries for more than 25 years, will explain all the aspects of pre-control. To hear her perspective of pre-control, please register for this webinar by visiting http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501074?Linkedin-SEO

What makes this webinar special is that it has consistently ranked in the top 1-5% at previous conferences at more than five venues. It was featured in ASQ QMD’s special edition of the Quality Management Forum’s 2015 Spring edition (ASQ-QM.org). A webinar of this topic was provided in 2015 via the ASQ QMD Linkage Technical Committee to over 1300 respondents through the IMA and ASQ QMD.

Tools needed for pre-control

At this hour-long session, Jd will explain all the elements of pre-control in Quality. she will show to participants the way of drafting and creating a pre-control chart. She will run a process in which to model the next steps and decisions.

The aim of this session is to equip participants with the knowledge needed for reducing the complexity of the system and bringing about an improvement in the effectiveness and efficiency of their Quality Management Systems.

A session packed with interaction and practical application of principles

A major component of this webinar on SPC and pre-control is that Jd will share the result of case studies. The knowledge gained at this webinar can be applied immediately at their work in respect to the following:

–       Measurement System Analysis (MSA): Jd will conduct a high level overview of MSA. This will help the participants get a grasp of the need for putting an effective measuring system in place ahead of implementing pre-control

–       Cpk Overview: To help participants gain baseline capability in advance of implementation of pre-control, a high level Cpk overview will be conducted

–       Normal Distribution: The way in which the cumulative distribution function of the normal distribution is to be used for estimating and establishing the zones on a pre-control chart

–       Pre-Control Chart: Jd will show participants how to apply the concepts listed above with the use of a mock pre-control chart where the process will be demonstrated based on the “go/no go” zones that are established.

At this webinar, Jd will cover the following areas of pre-control:

o  Reduce process complexity and minimize risk

o  Increase affectivity of a Core Tool

o  Increase personnel compliance in proactive process management.

https://www.isixsigma.com/tools-templates/control-charts/using-control-charts-or-pre-control-charts/

http://www.symphonytech.com/articles/pdfs/precontrol.pdf

http://www.winspc.com/what-is-spc/ask-the-expert/400-pre-control-no-substitute-for-statistical-process-control

http://www.qualitymag.com/articles/86794-pre-control-may-be-the-solution

Understanding and handling payment issues

A financial organization, or an organization involved in any business for that matter, faces the prospect of receiving duplicate, fraudulent or late payments. These are the typical payment issues an organization is likely to face at some point of time in its business.

Payment issues are something almost no organization is likely to be free from. Duplicate invoice payments, just one of the payment issues an organization is likely to face, account for losses of something like $100 million over a three-year period just for medium sized organizations. The amount is likely to be several times higher for large companies and those in the public sector, which most likely deal with billions of dollars in transactions.

Payment issues have their implications

The consequence of payment issues, be they duplicate, fraudulent or late payments, is whopping. It is likely to lead to business losses, because late payments, for instance, hinder investment into other productive activities by businesses. Although there are a number of sources at which payment issues can happen; it usually takes an organization quite a while to detect any payment issue, which could be duplicate, fraudulent or late payments. It also takes herculean efforts at times to get to the bottom of the payment issues.

Payment issues can happen due to a number of reasons

There is any number of reasons for which payment issues could arise. Manual data entry and processing, possible overlooking of characters while entering Accounts Payable (AP) or by Automated Clearinghouses (ACH) processors, oversights by manual checks and overlapping or duplication of payments while making payments from varied sources are just some of the reasons for which payment issues can occur with businesses.

Although the Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) Act has put in a number of checks and balances into the payment aspect of corporations; there are still a good number of loopholes that need to be e plugged if payment issues have to be addressed. How do organizations, especially those in finance, mitigate payment issues? What steps do they need to take to understand the regulations set out by the SOX Act, or take their own measures to prevent payment issues arising out of duplicate, fraudulent or late payments?

Learn the aspects of payment issues at a learning session

All these will be addressed at a very valuable learning session on this topic. The webinar, being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for all the areas of regulatory compliance, will have Ray Graber as speaker.

Ray is a senior BFSI professional who brings a deep and thorough understanding of banking, technology, and finance. To hear from him on how to understand and address payment issues such as duplicate, fraudulent or late payments; just register for this webinar by logging on to http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501138?Wordpress-SEO

Insights for understanding payment issues

At this webinar, Ray will help participants understand how to foresee payments issues and strategize solutions. He will offer suggestions about how to put risk management plans in place to do this. The suggestions Ray will offer at this webinar will help participants from banks and corporations to get a clearer understanding of each other’s concerns and constraints, and ways of addressing them.

This session will arm them with the tools necessary for accurately auditing their existent processes and limit the potential for fraud. He will teach them how to understand the settlement process, which is part of the banking business. In other words, attending this session will equip participants with the insight needed for understanding payment issues and tackle them in relation to duplicate, fraudulent or late payments.

At this session, Ray will cover the following areas:

o  Payment System Risk Policy

o  FFIEC Action Summary for Retail Payments

o  Areas of Risk

o  Risk Assessment Activities

o  People, Processes, and Products

o  Is there an optimal organizational structure/for managing payments strategy?

o  Are there best practices that apply to my institution?

o  What are the hurdles in establishing an organization focused on the payments business?

o  Are there common pitfalls?

http://www.infor.com/content/whitepapers/detecting-prev-dup-invoice.pdf/

Understanding normality tests and normality transformations

That the inputted data should be “normally distributed” is a requirement of the calculations used in many statistical tests and methods. Typically, the methods used for Student’s t-Tests, ANOVA tables, F-tests, Normal Tolerance limits, and Process Capability Indices include such calculations.

A core criterion for ensuring the correct results is the one that the raw data used in such calculations be “normally distributed”. It is in view of this fact that the assurance that the FDA holds a company’s “valid statistical techniques” being “suitable for their intended use” as a critical component for making the assessment of whether or not data is “normally distributed”.

Now, which are the types of data that are normally distributed? Dimensional data, such as length, height and width are considered as being typically normally distributed. Which kinds of data are usually non-normal? The typical example of non-normal data are burst pressure, tensile strength, and time or cycles to failure. Some non-normal data can be transformed or converted into normality data for the purpose of validating statistical calculations, when they are run on the transformed data.

 

Get an understanding of the normally distributed and normality transformation data

Statistics professionals can get a thorough understanding of the concepts of what are normally distributed and how to transform non-normal data into normality at a webinar that is being organized by Compliance4All, a leading provider of professional trainings for the areas of regulatory compliance. At this webinar, John N. Zorich, a senior consultant for the medical device manufacturing industry, will be the Speaker. To register, please visit

http://www.compliance4all.com/control/w_product/~product_id=501103?Wordpress-SEO

John will take the participants of this webinar through all the aspects of “normally distributed” data and how to transform non-normal data. He will explain the various elements of data, such as:

o  What it means to be “normally distributed”

o  How to assess normality

o  How to test for normality

o  How to transform non-normal data into normal data

o  How to justify the transformations to internal and external quality system auditors.

A combination of graphical and numerical methods that have been in use for many years constitute Normality Tests and normality transformations. These methods are essential whenever one has to apply a statistical test or method whose fundamental assumption is that the inputted data is normally distributed. John will offer an explanation of these methods.

What goes into normality testing and normality transformation?

While normality “testing” involves creating a “normal probability plot” and calculating simple statistics for comparison to critical values in published tables; making simple changes to each of the raw-data values, such that the resulting values are more normally distributed than the original raw data, is what a normality “transformation” involves.

Professionals whose work involves normality testing, such as QA/QC Supervisor, Process Engineers, Manufacturing Engineers, QC/QC Technicians, Manufacturing Technicians, and R&D Engineers will find this session very helpful. John will offer guidance on both objective and some subjective decision-making that go into the evaluation of the results of “tests” and “transformations”.

John will cover the following areas at this webinar:

o  Regulatory requirements

o  Binomial distribution

o  Historical origin of the Normal distribution

o  Normal distribution formula, histogram, and curve

o  Validity of Normality transformations

o  Necessity for transformation to Normality

o  How to use Normality transformations

o  Normal Probability Plot

o  How to evaluate Normality of raw data and transformed data

o  Significance tests for Normality

o  Evaluating the results of a Normality test

o  Recommendations for implementation

o  Recommended reference textbooks.