The primary purpose of control activities is to prevent and discover at an early stage errors in the financial reporting so that they can be addressed and rectified. Control activities take place on both overall and more detailed levels within the Group. Routines and activities have been designed in order to handle and rectify significant risks associated with the financial reporting as identified in the risk analysis. Corrective measures, implementation, documentation and quality assurance take place on a Group level, subsidiary level or process level, depending on the nature and affiliation of the control activity. As with other processes, the relevant head is responsible for the completeness and accuracy of the control activities.
During the year and in connection with the Group’s reorganization, an in-depth analysis has begun concerning the processes and control structures in group companies in order to further ensure the reliability of the financial reporting. This work is expected to continue during 2011.
In 2007, work began on implementing a joint Group consolidation system. All companies in the Group report in this system commencing 2009. The joint Group system entails an improved internal control over the financial reporting. Work has also continued in the Group concerning automation of more controls and processes, and limitations on authority in IT systems in accordance with express and ostensible powers.
Control activities are carried out at all levels in the Group. For example, there are established Controller functions which analyze and follow-up deviations and forward reports in the Company. Monitoring by Group Executive Committee takes place, among other things, through regular meetings with heads of business areas and subsidiaries with regard to the operations, their financial position and results, as well as financial and operational key ratios. The Board of Directors analyses, among other things, monthly business reports in which the Group Executive Committee describes the period that has elapsed and comments on the Group’s financial position and results. In these ways, important fluctuations and deviations are followed up, a factor which minimizes the risks of errors in the financial reporting.
The work on the closing accounts and the annual report involves processes in which there are additional risks of error in the financial reporting. This work is less repetitive in nature and contains several elements in the nature of an assessment. Important control activities include ensuring the existence of a well-functioning reporting structure in which the business areas/subsidiaries report in accordance with standardized reporting templates, and that important income statement and balance sheet items are specified and commented on.