AuditLink, the audit and compliance division of CU*Answers, recently published a white paper and opinion piece on the basics of internal controls. Jim Vilker, VP of Professional services and head of the AuditLink division of CU*Answers stated the recent rash of large embezzlements and review of the indictments points to something that is pervasive: the lack of very basic internal controls. Vilker, whose background as a regulator and experience in the audit and compliance field went on to “it would appear that what we as seasoned practitioners believe should be well known has not been passed on to credit union staff, auditors, and regulators.”

Vilker continued: “Take for instance the facts pointed out in the case of CBS Employees Credit Union. The CEO was caught because an employee uncovered a large check made out to him that was cut out of the credit union’s membership account. No one was reviewing the credit union’s member account statement? There were so many oversights in this case that it begs one to believe the industry has simply forgotten the basics.”

After reading the indictment and about other embezzlements, Vilker got to work on writing a white paper describing basic internal controls. In the paper, Vilker outlines 21 basic audit functions he thinks should be well understood and practiced in the industry. They are designed to uncover insider embezzlement and fraud and by adhering to these many of the recent embezzlements might have been detected. To view the white paper, visit the AuditLink website.