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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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15–11. Create and Disseminate Information from a Best Practices Database

A large company will have many internal auditors combing through its processes in many locations and possibly on multiple continents. These auditors will build a store of knowledge about best practices that is based only on what they have seen, and which they will likely recommend to other business units as they travel throughout the company on various audit projects. Though this will result in the spread of best practices through a company over time, it is a very inefficient way to do so—knowledge will only be applicable if an auditor happens to be assigned to another business unit whose processes could benefit from that person’s specific knowledge, and it will be lost when an internal auditor retires or leaves employment.

A much better way to spread the use of best practices is to store the information in a central database. It should be entered into the database as soon as an audit is completed; it can also be validated in terms of its effectiveness by specifically reviewing its results during a repeat audit at a later date. Auditors can also be given bonuses or recognition awards for any best practices they uncover and store in the database, which will have them enthusiastically rooting through business units to uncover new best practices.

Spreading information about these best practices can take several forms. The most passive approach is to simply have it available in the database, but this approach ...

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