Compliance & Assurance Project

Assurance Services for Corporate Reporting

Louisville, Kentucky, and various US Locations

Solution Overview

Client:

A for-profit health insurance company which employs 46,000+ personnel with $64.9B in revenue in 2019.

Business Challenge:

Ensure transparency, data quality, and standards-aligned public disclosure of the 2019 CSR report.

Solution:

  • Apex professionals with comprehensive understanding of the GRI reporting standard conducted an independent third-party assurance review of data and content.
  • This was performed through remote interviews with data owners and detailed examination of data sources and report language.
  • We used AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS, 2008) as the reference assurance standard, at a limit assurance level, to assess data collection, management and reporting procedures.

Results:

  • Achieve transparency demanded by stakeholders.
  • Proactively understand material topics that impact business operations; allowing better risk management; new growth opportunities; and insight into how to provide value to your employees, customers, and investors.
  • Improved reporting systems, data quality, and management processes.

Challenge

Apex was retained to conduct a limited-level assurance of the client’s 2019 Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report prepared in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) Standards Core option.

Solution

Apex helped to ensure select GRI content data and information related to social and governance included in the GRI Content Index of the CSR report. The review included an assessment of the appropriateness and robustness of underlying reporting systems and processes, used to collect, analyze and review the information reported. The Apex team also evaluated the GRI content against the principles of Completeness and Accuracy as defined in the related GRI Standards.

The assurance process was conducted in line with the requirements of AccountAbility’s AA1000 Assurance Standard (AA1000AS, 2008) Type 2 assurance. The work was planned and carried out to provide moderate (also known as limited), rather than absolute assurance and we believe it provides a reasonable basis for our conclusions.

As part of its independent assurance, Apex provided:

  1. Interviews with relevant personnel of the client;
  2. Review of documentary evidence produced by the client;
  3. Audit of performance data and a sample of which was traced back to the source data;
  4. Review of the client’s data and information systems for collection, aggregation, analysis and review;
  5. Review of stakeholder engagement activities by reviewing news articles, event agendas, and other documentation.

Results

Apex’s assurance services conclusions were summarized in a detailed management report and assurance statement to accompany the public disclosure of the 2019 CSR report. These deliverables provide client’s stakeholders with confidence that the report was prepared in a credible and transparent manner.

The assurance process also resulted in discovery of key areas of ongoing development and improvement observed by Apex that were communicated to the client. These recommendations provide valuable opportunities for improvement for the client and will inform future assurance activities in assessing effectiveness of implementation and new opportunities to continue the cycle of continuous improvement.

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