Internal Control over Financial Reporting (ICFR)

In today’s evolving business climate, reliable and accurate Internal Control Financial Reporting (ICFR) is crucial for companies doing business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Investors, creditors, and regulatory authorities can all use financial reporting as a vital tool to evaluate a company’s financial performance.

The necessity for thorough ICFR becomes critical as companies in the UAE work to draw in capital and grow their operations. In addition to assisting firms in meeting regulatory obligations, it fosters investor confidence, attracts possible partners, and instills faith and confidence in the financial statements.

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    Objectives of ICFR

    • Elevate the standard for financial reporting practices

      Businesses may guarantee that their financial reporting procedures are carried out in a consistent and reliable way by having a strong internal control system.

    • Strengthening financial reporting’s precision and openness

      The accuracy, completeness, and transparency of the information provided in these statements are ensured through the implementation of ICFR.

    • Increasing the reliability of financial data by implementing global best practices

      Compliance to international standards is essential for preserving investor trust and luring foreign investment as firms work in a more linked and globalized world.

    Benefits of Internal Control over Financial Reporting

    In order to guarantee the dependability and accuracy of financial reporting for enterprises in the UAE, internal control over financial reporting, or ICFR, is essential. The policies, practices, and controls put in place by an organization to give a reasonable degree of confidence about the truthfulness and reliability of financial statements are included in ICFR.

    Businesses can gain the following benefits from ICFR implementation:

    • Limiting the possibility of fraud and financial misstatements
    • Increasing the integrity of financial data
    • Complying with the rules and regulations
    • Enhancing stakeholder assurance

    The significance of ICFR reporting for Middle Eastern regulatory compliance

    For Middle Eastern regulatory compliance, ICFR reporting is vital. As of now, compliance with ICFR provisions in the UAE is particularly crucial for government and insurance entities, in addition to other businesses operating in the region. Regulators in the sector are aware of how crucially important strong internal control systems are to guaranteeing the accuracy and dependability of financial reporting by businesses. Regulators in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have put in place particular guidelines for organisations to follow when publishing reports on the effectiveness of ICFR.

    Government Entities are required to set up strong internal control frameworks and for external auditors to evaluate and report on these controls’ performance as per Law Number 1, 2017 regulation issued by Abu Dhabi Accountability Authority (ADAA) and similarly, insurance companies as per Circular No. 21 of 2019 of UAE Insurance Authority. By adhering to their reporting requirements under the ICFR, businesses in the middle east promote a culture of good governance and regulatory compliance.

    Regional Shift towards a risk-based strategy

    Significant regional trends in ICFR reporting have been seen in the Middle East, showing a shift towards a risk-based approach to regulatory compliance. Internal controls are being accepted by regulatory agencies in the area as a way to ensure compliance and reduce financial reporting risks.

    This regional transition to a risk-based methodology is consistent with global best practices and standards, such the COSO (Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission) framework. The COSO framework for internal controls is being embraced by Middle Eastern regulators as a recognised and frequently used one. To establish their internal control systems and guarantee regulatory compliance, businesses are recommended to use COSO or other comparable frameworks.

    Role of consultants and adoption of COSO framework

    Throughout the ICFR implementation process, consultants offer invaluable support, assisting businesses in designing and documenting control actions, setting up monitoring systems, and instructing staff on their duties.

    COSO provides a comprehensive framework that encompasses


    Companies may gain from a defined, tested framework that adheres to global best practises by using the COSO framework. Companies may use it as a single language and point of reference to evaluate and enhance their internal control systems, thereby complying with Middle Eastern ICFR reporting standards.

    ICFR UAE: HLB HAMT to Assist!

    HLB HAMT is a dependable partner for assisting businesses in the UAE establishes solid internal control frameworks. HLB HAMT has a thorough grasp of the regulatory environment and has successfully worked with customers in a variety of industries.

    HLB supports the clients in implementation of ICFR framework as per the internationally accepted COSO framework and testing of design adequacy and operational effectiveness of internal controls over financial reporting and report the deficiencies and help in remediating those deficiencies.

    The workforce at HLB HAMT is knowledgeable with the most recent ICFR standards and advances, and they stay informed of changing laws to guarantee that their clients are in compliance. Organizations may confidently move through each stage of the ICFR implementation process with the assistance of HLB HAMT, improving the accuracy and dependability of their financial reporting.

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