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Time to Focus

17 January 2019

2018 was a tumultuous year in the corporate world, with numerous emerging risks and challenges, exacerbated by growing regulation and greater public scrutiny. The bar has been lifted in regard to greater accountability and expectations of those charged with governance. In addition, the reputation risk of not maintaining appropriate standards has never been higher.

So where should clubs be looking in 2019 to assist in mitigating risks and achieving greater efficiency and improved processes.

Recommended Focus Areas:

Risk Management, Governance & Culture

  • Understanding and mitigating risks that impact the club business has become essential.  A good risk management framework will have systems for identifying, measuring, evaluating, monitoring, reporting and controlling or mitigating material risks that may affect the business' ability to achieve its objectives.
  • Policies around key governance areas need to be clearly articulated, communicated and continually updated.
  • Consider how the culture of the club is being overseen and driven.  Culture should start at the top and be assessed across the organisation.
  • Consider effectiveness and appropriateness of business continuity plans or documented plans for business interruption/crisis.  Have these been tested?

Internal Controls

  • Potential fraud need to be mitigated through effective fraud assessment and management.
  • Policies are only effective if they are being continually updated and actually put into operation.

Cyber Security

  • Cyber security is a continually evolving environment that requires ongoing audit, education, remediation and re-evaluation.  It should not be considered in isolation but as part of the overall risk management.
  • In-house or outsourced IT providers should be independently reviewed and challenged, and staff need to be continually educated on emerging risks e.g. phishing.

Data Analysis and Business Intelligence

  • Consider the quality of the data being generated by information systems for reliability, accuracy and timeliness.
  • Does your data provide business intelligence around member loyalty, profitability etc?
  • Data analysis is becoming increasingly powerful, being performed on an ongoing basis to identify trends, patterns and anomalies over entire population sets.

(SOURCED FROM: Scott Tobutt, Partner PKF, ClubLIFE Nov/Dec 2018)

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