Corporate Governance and Risk in 2018
2018 was a year of quite startling change for the hospitality industry, in many ways. Certainly our company, Venners, went through a process of reinvention, as companies often should. At the same time, the industry’s trading and regulatory climate shifted to something more complex, more dystopian.
Venners Responds to Needs of the Hospitality Industry
For our company, this was felt in some fairly noticeable shifts in popular service-line demand. For example, as the restaurant sector weathered a perfect storm of multiple external factors, loss prevention unsurprisingly became an area of focus. Compliance audits were increasingly being adopted into operators’ corporate governance procedures. Seemingly, it was no longer acceptable for companies to merely state that they had procedures or policies in place to cover areas of risk. They now had to demonstrate, in a practical sense, that their policies facilitated true and proper governance.
Our own compliance validation services grew quickly, propelled to a degree, by the tragic stories in the press relating to our industry’s lack of safety controls. Meanwhile the BBC’s Watchdog programme teared into popular casual dining brands claiming alleged allergen information deficiencies at point of service.
A Recent Example of the Dangers of a Lack of Corporate Governance
More recently and by and large unrelated to the industry’s struggle against business rate rises and increasing food and staffing costs, a well-publicised café chain found itself under the microscope after “significant, and potentially fraudulent, accounting irregularities” were found. Their account auditors allegedly failed to unearth a twenty million pound hole in the company’s accounts and the industry and wider business community was left wondering how on earth, in 2018, this could ever happen.
How to Validate All Aspects of Control & Ensure Corporate Governance
Venners, we might argue are somewhat of a tonic, having matured into an entity now geared towards validating many aspects of control and enablers of proper governance (stock, cash, payroll, finance, due diligence, safety policies and allergens to name a few). Our traditional reporting lines that in the past were much more operational have become as much about auditing risk on all planes.
Although our stock audit services remain our most popular and arguably what we are best known for; our compliance and consultancy divisions have seen steady increase in demand arising from their propensity to not only turn a business’ losses around, but also to provide a strong return on the investment.
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