A Time For Saying Thank You

‘Tis the season of using coupons for free turkey, aisle wars for the last box of fried onion crisps, pretending to like Aunt Mary’s casserole, and your crazy cousin getting in a brawl over a football bet…or is that just my family? While some of us might be stocking up on our favorite treats and prepping to fully embrace the holiday with their crazy family, we wanted to take a moment to say a heartfelt THANK YOU to all our employees.

2017 has been an amazing year thus far and we couldn’t do it without you! Not only did we reach a goal of 5 million meals packed through iOnHunger, we also successfully completed the 4th Annual Intern Day of Service which involved over 2,200 hours of volunteered work from over 850 people. More broadly, our local offices all continue to stay committed to giving back. Many examples of this work can be found by following the hashtag #ProtivitiCares. For all of this and more, we thank you for making us proud!

Gathering Together and Giving Back

Here at Protiviti, we love working with students AND we love giving back.  We couldn’t tell you which of those things we love more.  Last week, these two favorite pastimes intertwined in a unique and meaningful way through a series of meal-packing events hosted at core recruiting schools around the U.S.

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At St. John’s University in New York City, over 150 people (including our CEO, who is a proud alum of SJU), gathered together to pack over 25,000 meals.

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At The University of Texas at Austin, over 60 current and former Longhorns (and a smattering of Tigers, Bears, and Aggies) gathered together to pack over 20,000 meals.

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At the University of Notre Dame, this group of Fighting Irish was over 100 people strong. Rugby players and professors, current, former, and future students, and friends of the Irish gathered together to pack over 30,000 meals.

The collective effort of these teams propelled Protiviti’s i on Hunger initiative to another significant milestone.  At this point, we have now provided over 5 million meals for hungry people around the world.

Thank you to all the students, professors, alumni, and family and friends who contributed to this cause!  With the Thanksgiving holiday just around the corner, you inspire us all by demonstrating that we are strongest when we work together to make good things happen for those in need.  Now THAT is truly what it means to be #livingprotiviti.

#WorkWeDo — Fighting Fraud, One Case At A Time

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We continue to highlight examples of the work we do here at Protiviti.  These stories showcase the variety of projects that our people team together on to deliver meaningful results for our clients — and also to learn something of value in the process.

Next up in our #WorkWeDo series, Ashley, a Consultant in Charlotte, shares how her work has helped a financial services client address issues of fraud in their business.

Protiviti Career:  What was the situation?

Ashley:  “The client, which is a private bank, was under consent order to complete a growing backlog of Anti-Money Laundering (AML) alert and case investigations.”

PC:  What was our team tasked with doing?

Ashley:  “When I joined the engagement, we were tasked with investigating and reviewing a backlog of AML cases, as well as “business-as-usual” cases, alerts, and high risk customer accounts.”

PC:  What actions did we take as part of this work?

Ashley:  “We developed 3 work streams that worked diligently to clear this backlog and took the initiative to deliver above and beyond by becoming the primary driver of “business-as-usual” cases, alerts, and high risk customer accounts for the bank. ”

PC:  What was the result?

Ashley:  “Our hard work and willingness to work extra hours to help the client meet regulator expectations ultimately helped us add value in other areas of the engagement, and won us additional work with the client.  What started as 1 to 2 resources helping the bank create action plans to address their consent order has now developed into an engagement of over 50 people.

Through this work, the team has learned collaboration skills (discussing with one another to determine action to take in various situations that we are individually reviewing); patience and attention to detail in our review; and effective business writing.

For me personally, as a result of this work, I studied, tested and became a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist (CAMS).”

Thanks for the insights, Ashley!  Stay tuned for more glimpses into real client engagements that articulate the #WorkWeDo!

#WorkWeDo — Testing Controls and Taking Off

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Protiviti perspective provided by Stephanie, New York Senior Consultant

Over the next few weeks, we are highlighting examples of the work we do here at Protiviti.  These stories showcase the variety of projects that our people team together on to deliver meaningful results for our clients — and also to learn something of value in the process.

Next up in our #WorkWeDo series, Erin, a Consultant in Dallas, shares how her work has helped a client in the airline industry to manage its compliance efforts, and at the same time enabled her own career to take off.

Protiviti Career:  What was the situation?

Erin:  “Protiviti has been the outsourced Internal Audit department for a large airline client for over a decade. As such, we are responsible for performing a number of project workstreams including Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) compliance.”

PC:  What was our team tasked with doing?

Erin:  “Each year, we work with the business to test SOX controls to ensure they are operating effectively.”

PC:  What actions did we take as part of this work?

Erin:  “Working as the client’s internal audit function, Protiviti performs all IT SOX compliance work. We are responsible for testing all IT General Controls and Interface Controls and creating workpapers and test sheets.”

PC:  What was the result?

Erin:  “By testing the client’s SOX controls and ensuring they are compliant, we are able to provide management with information regarding the accuracy of their financial reports to help prevent fraud.

For me personally, as a result of this work, I have established an understanding of the airline industry and the IT controls that keep our client’s financial reports accurate. I have been able to develop strong, professional relationships and have contributed more than I could have imagined only a year out of college.”

Thanks for the insights, Erin!  Stay tuned for more glimpses into real client engagements that articulate the #WorkWeDo in the weeks ahead!

#WorkWeDo — Creating Global Efficiencies

Colourful evening at Gardens by the Bay

Protiviti perspective provided by Krishnan, Sydney Associate Director

Over the next few weeks, we will highlight examples of the work we do here at Protiviti.  These stories showcase the variety of projects that our people team together on to deliver meaningful results for our clients — and also to learn something of value in the process.

First up in our #WorkWeDo series, David, a Consultant in Chicago, shares a story about creating efficiencies on a global scale.

Protiviti Career:  What was the situation?

David:  “A fortune 500 global distribution company struggled with weak control over their finance and accounting teams in different countries. They had areas of frustratingly inefficient processes, unclear responsibilities, few policies in place (and even fewer followed), and generally had difficulty collaborating.”

PC:  What was our team tasked with doing?

David:  “The company wanted our help to identify how processes are currently performed, understand what the weakest areas were, and develop a plan to smoothly transition towards an improved organization. To do this, we were to create process maps showing what they do and how it could improve. We were also were to create procedure and training documents so that new job responsibilities would be clearly communicated and followed.”

PC:  What actions did we take as part of this work?

David:  “We first held workshops to discuss what each team does, focusing on what is most painful and frustrating for them. With that information we drew the process maps and detailed areas that could productively change. To support the implementation and future adherence, we then wrote supporting training/procedure documents for their processes. Then, after doing this for one country, we repeated these steps in other countries in the region, using the first one as a baseline.”

PC:  What was the result?

David:  “The client saw a more streamlined and smoothly operating organization. Since we were aligning the processes in different offices in the same region, it started to become much easier for them to all communicate and collaborate. The client’s headquarters in the U.S. also had a better understanding of the foreign region’s work, and was better prepared to support them.

Additionally, this project exposed our team to what multinational collaboration looks like. The goal was not to bring 100% standardization between different countries, but to allow for management to have an easier time controlling and supporting the teams across the globe.”

Thanks for the insights, David, and great job team!  Stay tuned for more glimpses into real client engagements that articulate the #WorkWeDo in the weeks ahead!

Congratulations to an Emerging Leader!

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Congratulations to Canberra’s Senior Manager Alissa Irgang, named to Internal Auditor magazine’s Emerging Leaders list! Alissa earned a spot on this prestigious ‘Who’s Who’ of up-and-coming internal audit professionals who are “ambitious, talented practitioners steeped in the profession, poised to take on new challenges, and ready to lead.”

Alissa leads Internal Audit for Protiviti Canberra and runs the office’s internal audit training program. She has successfully led innovative audit approaches at over thirty companies and government departments. Alissa was also the Australia lead in Protiviti’s first global Project Management Office for a major project, reporting directly to the client executive in the U.S. In addition, her thought leadership on corporate governance has been published in the Company and Securities Law Journal.

She is chair of the IIA Australia’s ACT Chapter Council, where she created and launched the first IIA mentoring program in Australia. Additionally, she is vice chair of the Australia National University Young Alumni Council where she regularly organizes networking and speed-mentoring sessions for students and young professionals, and has presented at multiple career development events for students.

As Alissa looks to the future of internal audit, she notes that technology is rapidly pushing the industry forward. “Everything is changing, and the future is already here,” she says. “To remain relevant, we need to evolve with it.”

Congratulations, Alissa!

#ProtivitiWomenInFSI – Meet Natalie

Tomorrow is American Banker’s 15th annual “The Most Powerful Women in Banking” awards dinner.  We have been counting down the days to this event by spotlighting various #ProtivitiWomenInFSI. This series will feature a variety of women, from diverse backgrounds and career perspectives. While their stories are all unique, the one thing they have in common is that they work closely with Protiviti’s financial services clients. Our final spotlight in the series is Natalie!

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Natalie is a Manager in our Risk and Compliance solution in London.

  • What was your path to Protiviti? “I started as a senior consultant in early 2015. Prior to joining Protiviti, I worked with Robert Half as a contractor on a project related to anti-money laundering compliance (in Fort Lauderdale, FL) which was in fact managed by a Protiviti team! Before contracting, I was an AML Compliance Analyst at Citibank and a Lead Customer Service Representative for Fifth Third Bank.”
  • What is one of your most memorable FSI projects? “One of my most memorable FSI projects was for a client based out of Los Angeles, California. We were working on an anti-money laundering (AML) investigations review and also developed an AML training program for our consultants and seniors on the project. The engagement lasted about 6 months and I traveled to our offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Charlotte. I worked closely with every level, from consultants to managing directors, and learned the difficulties of managing large scale projects, keeping open communication, and understanding each audience has a different perspective.”
  • What has been the biggest challenge you have faced working in the financial services industry? “I think the biggest challenge I have faced working in the financial services industry is that some clients are already in very tough situations with regulators. Sometimes they think that just doing what the regulator says will clear up their problems, but in reality, regulators may only hone in on certain pieces of the issue. When we go to help clients, it’s challenging (and rewarding) to help them see the bigger picture. Winning work is part of the reward, but I love to see a client’s ‘aha!’ moment.”
  • What advice would you give to both current and future women in banking to face the future with confidence? “Ask the right questions, go to conferences, attend webinars, contribute to whitepapers, and make a true effort to be present when people expect you to be. Your attitude towards opportunities and experiences where you are challenged will make all the difference.”
Reykjadalur-iceland

Natalie is pictured above hiking 3km up to the Reykjadalur springs in Iceland.