Roberto Abad
Country Managing
Carlos Álvarez
Internal Audit and Business Risk Managing Director
View from the Top

Governance Risk, Compliance Solutions For Energy Projects

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:30

Q: What is the greatest added value Protiviti provides its clients on energy projects?

RA: Protiviti’s cost structure, a direct result of its flattened hierarchical structure, allows it to offer competitive prices for its services. Service quality is backed by more than 37 years of experience from our specialized personnel. Our business pillars are based on the legacy of Arthur Andersen LLC. Another comparative advantage is the constant and direct involvement of our managing directors in every step of each project. Protiviti’s services are not commoditized; rather, we provide tailor-made solutions for our clients. Our Protiviti Governance Portal (PGP) is a Governance Risk and Compliance (GRC) software that covers corporate governance and business risk management and regulation compliance. It is unique in the market and designed by tenured specialists on our team as an integral solution.

Q: Which of your services do clients most demand?

CA: Our risk-based process documentation service is a client necessity. By conducting a strategic study of all relevant business risk factors with our client company’s executive board, we deliver a strategic risk map. The latter allows the board to prioritize and focus its resources in a more efficient and effective way toward variables that could severely impact our clients' business objectives. Once top priorities are defined, we can focus and delve into further details. Our main differentiator is precisely the degree of detail we can manage, including key corporate components such as transactions, organizational structures, Big Data and information systems, KPIs and process definition. Protiviti’s models of process classification schemes per industry are designed parallel to our business risk models because we consider it valuable for private organizations to know how controls operating within their processes can considerably mitigate potential risks. It is the only way to evaluate if controls in place are effective and efficient. 

Our strategic business risk map, combined with our process classification scheme models and our risk models offer the best visibility available for our clients’ transactions in a compact, simplified way, fostering quick and assertive decision-making to either mitigate risk factors as they come or prevent a risk present at the process level from escalating to strategic levels. For instance, ambit risks such as regulatory changes, socioeconomic and political environments are especially relevant to us. In short, any and every variable that falls outside a company’s control, we take into consideration and present them transparently, granting our clients a reaction capacity through mitigation mechanisms that go beyond control measures, forming an integral action plan. In some cases, certain organizations do not analyze their market thoroughly, making their products and services unresponsive to their targeted niche, in turn creating a potentially catastrophic risk.

RA: Protiviti does not dwell on theory and abstract models. We generate grounded, specific solutions on a case-bycase basis and empirically-based recommendations to assist our clients’ business decisions. Our PGP software is rated as a strong performer by Gartner’s magic quadrant and the Forrester WaveTM B2B Commerce Report. Training and specialization being at the core of our business, we also have Protiviti University (PU), where we try to share knowledge and keep the market up to date in everything pertaining to business risks, technology, internal audit, regulation and fraud, cost-free. Raising awareness in new methodologies surrounding these issues is PU’s main goal.

Q: What project in the energy sector best showcases this added value?

CA: We recently worked with an oil and gas company interested in participating in Mexico’s licensing rounds. Protiviti provided an integral business risk-management service, looked at strategic risks and dealt with the company’s main concerns and the detail of specific processes. Our client wanted to achieve absolute transparency for its financial statements to reflect its operational reality and we delivered. Being true to our name, Protiviti’s business model is centered on prevention rather than detection, preferring preventive to corrective measures. We are looking to do the same with a wind turbine manufacturer looking to enter Mexico’s stock market, thereby requiring the utmost transparency in all of its processes and the highest efficiency in its controls, to the benefit of its potential investors. Protiviti’s Mexico office is looking to close additional businesses pertaining to solar and wind-power projects, starting with advisory services in regulatory compliance regarding the National Anticorruption System (SNA) and the new Administrative Responsibility Law.

Q: How does Protiviti provide certainty in renewable energy projects for its clients?

(CA): Rules and regulations surrounding renewable energy projects are relatively new. Our regulatory compliance service deploys all new and existing rules and regulations through our PGP software and overlaps them with the company’s internal processes to streamline compliance with the company’s particular processes and controls. Our PGP tool unifies distinct languages such as compliance, business risk management and audits within a company’s operational structure to get a better sense of its process model and how it stands against the company’s risk model. PGP’s primary objective is to activate each and every element of corporate governance and aggregate them into a single and transparent system where programmable tasks can be inserted to design particular action plans to comply with regulatory requirements.

RA: Protiviti has an extensive track record worldwide from its offices in Houston and in Venezuela and the UAE, to name a few, solidifying our expertise in prominent energy markets and their inherent regulations, with each country’s specificities.

Q: How does Protiviti’s global presence impact its added value in Mexico?

RA: Protiviti was founded with a standardized knowledgeleader source of expertise. Each and every office has access to it, standardizing our processes and methods across the globe. As a consulting firm, our strategic decision to specialize exclusively in business risks, technology and internal audits made this process more valuable in strengthening our know-how and learning capabilities for our working teams as we replicate our model in every new location we enter. Our knowledge-leader source is also available for consultation for our clients. We are close to US$1 billion in worldwide income after 15 years of activity. In addition, Protiviti is a subsidiary of Robert Half, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, a major argument in favor of Protiviti’s seriousness and commitment to regulatory compliance and work ethics.

Regarding Mexico, we are developing proprietary tools for SAP security-control evaluations and task delegation. These cost-effective solutions can test an enormous number of scenarios showing sub-optimal SAP implementations.