by Nora Harris, i3Works head of Assurance
i3Works has been providing assurance and audit services for some years now. While we already count defence, nuclear and local government among clients who have benefited from our service over recent years, the requests for our skills in this area continues to grow. In fact, it has grown so much recently that we have decided to establish assurance as a dedicated service line.
I am proud to be the first head of this new service, and would like to take this opportunity to tell you about what i3Works can do for you. To do this, we first need to consider what assurance means.
Firstly, and for the record, assurance isn’t a stick to beat you with for not complying with procedure; not in our world anyway. Assurance is an independent professional service aimed at improving information or the context of information so that decision makers can make more informed decisions. This means providing checks on organisational controls and processes to make sure they are operating efficiently and are compliant with legal and contractual obligations.
Our assurance process works like this:
- Our client tells us what we need to assure and the criteria they need to meet.
- We then agree a framework to compare the information presented against the optimum model.
- Evidence is then presented by the organisation, which is then referenced against the aforementioned model to see if it meets the criteria.
- We then provide a written conclusion of our findings.
This could sound like the job of the assurer is to come in, find fault, charge a fortune for it, then leave. I can assure you – yes, I use that verb on purpose – that we do not work like this. We see our role as being that of a partner, or a critical friend. We want to help you identify any weaknesses, any non-compliance, any issues, and then use our expertise to help you address them. It is far better to capture and address problems early than to have to deal with expensive change or risk the possibility that benefits will simply not be realised. Our aim is to help you improve and make sure you won’t have any worries about any official inspections or audits of your systems and processes.
Our assurance team are all qualified assurance practitioners, and we have included assurance as one of the key skills to be taught as part of our i3Institute’s curriculum. This means we will have a pipeline of new assurance talent to add to our experienced ranks.
Alternatively, if you would like to hear more about how our assurance service can work with you, email me at nora.harris@i3Works.co.uk. I’m sure we can do business, and do it well.