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5.0 out of 5 stars impressive achievement - a resource to return to again and again, 5 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Intelligent Internal Control and Risk Management: Designing High-performance Risk Control Systems (Hardcover)
This book contains a comprehensive tool-kit for improving quality of business processes and thereby reduce the risk of error. Matthew Leitch draws on auditors' specialist knowledge, best practice in design of computer software like databases and spreadsheets, and these are merged with techniques identified from analysing client businesses and developed over the author's extensive career as a business consultant.

As the pace of trade and innovation speeds up, systems have to respond by getting smarter and more robust in design. Other books on 'internal controls' focus on addressing regulations (such as the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act 2002) which will go out of date, and follow a checklist approach which discourages creative impulse.

The book is unique - it provokes creative thought and inspires. Applying its "design led discipline" can benefit enterprises more than applying the proscriptive regulations drafted in response to scandals of maladministration and fraud in recent decades.

Having trained as a chartered accountant and computer auditor developing financial systems, I found Leitch's every chapter stimulated "aha" moments and fresh insights - a resource to return to again and again. His later chapters build on earlier ideas to offer side views and deeper insights. The author's background in psychology shows in the way he discusses human reactions and barriers to improvement, so this book offers a rounded picture not just bare technique.

Knowing how MBA teaching can be behind the times, I would urge Business Schools to adopt this book to cultivate students' imagination around systems of business control, to develop case studies illustrating how combinations of techniques may be applied. Corporation directors are now required to certificate that their organisations have adequate control over business processes, and this book gives them the tools to do this.
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