Transforming organizations through skillful alignment of people, process and technology.
The Hilltop Companies

Financial Accounting and Reporting Risk Assessments

The Hilltop Companies has a strong team of seasoned accountants.  Accordingly, we have seen a lot “go wrong” in either the accounting results or the reporting thereof.  The risks that we have dealt with in the accounting and reporting area include:

  • The accounting policy is not in compliance with GAAP
    • Error in policy design
    • Misinterpretation of the GAAP requirements
    • Disconnect between policy and the ability to implement such
  • The accounting policy is not adhered to i.e. the actual accounting records are not maintained in a manner consistent with the company’s accounting policy.
  • Controls over ensuring policy is adhered to, are weak or ineffective.
  • Errors in the accounting process caused by a number of situations:
    • Incomplete transaction data
    • Inaccurate transaction data
    • Improper use or interpretation of transaction data
    • Improper use or interpretation of data as result of poor controls over “end user computing” (EUCs) i.e. spreadsheet analysis
    • High accounting staff turnover
    • Unqualified professionals in key accounting positions
    • Intentional error/fraud
    • Management override
  • Errors in reporting (i.e. the reporting data is created/managed by other than the source system (EUCs are used or separate databases that are not properly reconciled to source financial systems, etc.)
  • Insufficient accounting experience with new business / transaction types
  • Management override is a major cause for improper reporting
  • Fraudulent reporting to meet contract, bank covenant or shareholder promised results
  • Accounting applications changed without proper review and testing
  • System outages that may affect the recording/capture of accounting data
  • Other risks involving people, process or technology and impact the capture, recording, processing, and reporting of accounting information.

Unfortunately, our senior management team have seen these risks first hand and understand what  needs to be done.  Most importantly, their “been there, done that” experience will help your company minimize these financial accounting and reporting risks.