Internal Controls and Financial Reporting

The CBI Board is ultimately responsible for the CBI's system of internal control and for reviewing its effectiveness. However, such a system is designed to manage rather than eliminate the risk of failure to achieve business objectives, and can provide only reasonable and not absolute assurance against material misstatement or loss.

The CBI's key internal control procedures include the following:

  • Authority to operate the regional and overseas offices and projects within the CBI is delegated to their respective managers within limits set by the Director-General and the Resources Director under the overall supervision of the CBI Board. The appointment of managers to most senior positions within the CBI requires the approval of the Director-General.
  • Systems and procedures are embedded in the CBI at both corporate and directorate level to identify, control and report on the major risks including credit, liquidity, operational error and fraud. Exposure to these risks is monitored by management and by the CBI Board as a whole and the CBI Board is responsible for determining the appropriate strategy to manage those risks.
  • Annual financial plans are prepared and are reviewed and approved by the CBI Board. Results are monitored regularly. Reports on progress compared with the plans and budgets are prepared each month. All expenditure, including capital expenditure, is regulated by a budgetary process and an authorisation system.
  • The CBI Board monitors compliance with policies and standards and the effectiveness of internal control structures across the CBI. This is augmented by the Director-General's reports to the CBI Board on significant changes in the business or external environment that affect significant risks.
  • The Audit Committee considers the controls which are in force and any perceived gaps in the control environment. The Audit Committee also considers and determines relevant action in respect of any control issues raised by the external auditors.


The CBI Board keeps the effectiveness of this system of control under review. The key processes used by the CBI Board in carrying out its reviews of the effectiveness of internal controls include:

  • Financial reports, which identify variances from plan and prior period performance, identify performance issues, and discuss the risks that arise and the steps being taken to mitigate those risks
  • Discussions with senior personnel on risk and control issues
  • Consideration by the Audit Committee of reports from the external auditors.
Figure and caption

Internal Audit

The CBI does not have an internal audit function. This is presently considered appropriate given the size and organisational structure of the CBI and the close involvement of the executive directors and senior management in the day-to-day operations.


Figure and caption

Carolyn Fairbairn
Director-general


Figure and caption

Nigel Hopkins
Resources director

11 April 2017



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