Improving internal controls: the Ernst & Young guide for humanitarian aid organizations
On 26 December 2004, the deadliest tsunami in recorded history struck in the Indian Ocean,killing more than 200,000 people and displacing 1.6 million in 14 countries. In its aftermath, Ernst & Young was touched by the donations that poured in from our clients and our people — but we also recognized the challenge in assuring these donors that their generosity was applied as effectively as possible. It was a moment of revelation for Ernst & Young.
As an organization, we are constantly humbled by the ability of relief organizations to alleviate suffering in the wake of a natural disaster or war to mobilize quickly to bring tents, food and medicine where they are most needed. Yet, the tsunami helped us see that the same non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that deal so adeptly with physical and social chaos
Our work as accountants is clearly abstract in comparison to the work of humanitarian aid organizations. However, we knew we had something important to contribute to their disaster relief efforts: a knowledge of internal controls that could help them keep their houses in order, even during an emergency.