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Setting the right “Tone at the Top” is critical to the control environment.  The tone defines management’s leadership and commitment towards openness, honesty, integrity, and ethical behavior. The control environment is the foundation upon which all components of internal controls are based. For an organisation, having a strong internal control system is important in its achievement of operating, reporting and compliance objectives.

With the current landscape of rapidly changing business models and technology, it can be challenging to design and implement an effective internal control system.  All the three lines of defense in an organisation have a role to play in internal control. Management control being the first line of defense, the various risk control and compliance oversight functions established by management being the second line of defense and internal audit, the independent assurance, is the third. As required by The Code of Corporate Governance, the Board needs to comment on the adequacy and effectiveness of the company’s internal controls. The Board has to rely on the 3 lines on defense to obtain assurance.

The combined assurance which brings together the internal and external assurance providers i.e. management, external audit and internal audit to provide a comprehensive, and holistic view of the effectiveness of the organisation’s governance, risks, and controls. There are inherent limitations in all systems of internal control with the people element. Systems can be circumvented if people collude. Likewise, with management overriding controls, systems will not be effective. In this session, you will have an appreciation of internal controls, the responsible parties, the limitation of internal controls, tips on the designing of internal controls and continuous monitoring concepts and combined assurance.



Ms. Tan Boon Yen is a Senior Director RSM Singapore with extensive experience in governance, risk and consulting work. Boon Yen has conducted and led many financial, operational and compliance audits in listed and multinational groups in various regional industries including container shipping, precision engineering, property, printing and publishing, retail, disk drive and semiconductor manufacturing, trading, distribution, banking, technology, electronics and marine businesses. She also has extensive experience audit projects overseas in countries such as Malaysia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, India, USA, Europe and Australia.

Prior to RSM Singapore, she has worked with Singapore Technologies Pte Ltd, Seagate International, Sembawang Shipyard, TNT Express Worldwide, Neptune Orient Lines and Deloitte.

Boon Yen holds a Bachelor of Accountancy Degree from the National University of Singapore and is a Chartered Accountant of Singapore, a Certified Internal Auditor and also holds a Certification in Risk Management Assurance. Boon Yen is currently the President of The Institute of Internal Auditors Singapore (IIAS).

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