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The internal control system (ICS) is considered an essential element of corporate governance and helps companies to ensure transparency and security in processes and systems. However, internal controls are often characterised by a high number of manual activities. Due to ever new regulatory requirements as well as an increasing number of business transactions, it is becoming more challenging, especially for the ICS, to ensure the necessary security and monitoring of business processes.

Against this backdrop, progressive digitalisation and automation can represent a promising opportunity to replace or optimise manual activities/controls with the help of digital solutions. Through the appropriate use of existing IT systems, real-time evaluations, the use of robotics for repetitive process and control steps, etc., our clients can actively accompany changes today and thus make a substantial contribution to the future viability of their company.


KPMG supports you on your way to a digital and future-proof governance function with the following services:

1. ICS efficiency analysis 

The annual ICS control cycle as well as the control activities in selected business processes are subjected to an evaluation based on interviews and data analysis techniques in our ICS efficiency analysis. The aim is to identify activities that are highly manual, time-consuming as well as error-prone in order to optimise them with suitable digitalisation solutions. Taking into account cost-benefit potentials, we develop a digital roadmap aligned with the ICS, which helps to modernise the ICS and embed it in existing transformation projects of the company. In the process, both short-term (quick wins) and long-term measures are determined.

2. implementation of optimisation measures

We support you in implementing the optimisation potential identified in our ICS efficiency analysis. On the one hand, this concerns activities that affect the ICS control cycle itself (such as testing, risk assessments, process documentation). On the other hand, we support the control optimisation itself (automation/digitisation of manual control activities). 

We define optimisation as broadly as possible, whereby our possible approaches can be applied flexibly and in a solution-oriented manner. To realise the optimisation potentials, we recommend a holistic view of the processes and activities. The available technologies are to be coordinated in such a way that they correspond to the individual situation of your company or the respective process under consideration. The following approaches have proven successful in optimisation:

  • Re-design of the activities to be optimised = harmonisation/standardisation of process parts or control activities in order to reduce the overall effort for the introduction of new technologies. 
  • Level of utilisation of existing ERP systems = optimised use of customising settings and IT application controls such as automatic "three-way reconciliation", "double invoice verification" or "workflow-controlled release processes". In addition to security, the focus here is on efficiency in the process steps.
  • Continuous Control Monitoring (CCM) = Tools and/or analyses for KPI-driven monitoring of error-prone activities and transactions. Manual control activities take place in the event of deviations from defined threshold values. 
  • Workflow Management Solutions and Decision Modelling = ERP or customised applications help to digitise policies, quickly run through ICS standard processes and significantly accelerate approvals in processes. 
  • Robotic Process Automation (RPA) = Automation of repetitive, manual control and ICS-related activities.
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) = Continuous improvement of automated activities through self-learning systems as well as gaining insights to actively support decision-making processes.

The digital transformation is an opportunity, also for the ICS. This is because the ICS function can actively accompany changes through a variety of optimisations and automations and, as a process expert and agile change consultant, provide possible starting points for a successful, cross-divisional digitalisation strategy.

Our specialists at KPMG Corporate Governance Services will be happy to support you in the further development of your business processes and a control system adapted to the needs of your organisation.