Suffering Through So Many Pauses

June 18, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

262993_playpause_pioneer_cdj-100Lately it seems that I’ve been surrounded by computers that have, well, not been running at 100 percent. They seem to be running v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y. You go to the Internet, type in a Web address and wait, wait, wait for the site to finally download. This pause in the action definitely gets me riled up. I want things to keep moving.

I’m the same way with other pauses — waiting at traffic lights, stopping a DVD movie midway so that my daughters can “take a bio-break,” sitting through countless TV timeouts during the March Madness basketball tournament. Coke used to have a slogan saying that it was the “pause that refreshes.” Well, that may have been the only known positive pause, because other things that make me pause are serious distractions. Let’s go, let’s go!

I bring this up after writing up an article yesterday from the National Grants Management Association’s recent annual training conference (Editor’s note: There were so many good sessions that I’m still writing stories this many weeks later). Tiffany Winters, Esq., a partner with Brustein and Manasevit, led an excellent session on the importance of internal controls in grant programs. One thing she said that really stuck out to me was the following:

“You don’t want [an auditor] to pause. You want [the auditor] to keep going, because if [he or she] pauses, that means something is not right. Implementing internal controls is all about thinking outside the box — what can you do to change your systems and make them stronger and more efficient to reduce fraud, waste and abuse?”

That is so true. As long the auditor continues moving through the audit process and doesn’t come to a stop, the chances are good that there are no problems. However, if he or she stops, look out! Grantee organizations should take Winters’ advice to proactively take steps to implement effective internal controls to safeguard the integrity of their programs. An article in the August issue of the Single Audit Information Service will have more information on this session.

So go out, get moving, and try to keep those unwelcome pauses from ruining your day.

Do you have any tips for improving internal controls that you can share with others? Let us know.

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