The system of internal controls and risk management
The Board of Directors is generally responsible for the Company and Group’s internal audit and risk management, and for evaluating their effectiveness each year.
The Board of Directors confirms that the Company has internal control systems and risk management policies in place and that it has been informed by the CEO and the competent Group executives about their effectiveness.
The Board of Directors is aware of the important risks which could materially impact the Group’s operations, reputation and results, as well as of the risk management processes that support their identification, prioritization, mitigation and monitoring.
It should be noted, though, that the system of internal controls and the risk management provide reasonable, but not absolute security, as they are designed to reduce the probability of occurrence of the relevant risks and to mitigate their impact, but cannot preclude such risks from materializing.
Specifically, the key elements of the system of internal controls utilized in order to avoid errors in the preparation of financial statements and to provide reliable financial information are as follows:
The assurance mechanism regarding the integrity of the Group’s financial statements consists of a combination of the embedded risk management processes, the applied financial control activities, the relevant information technology utilized, and the financial information prepared, communicated and monitored.
The Group’s management reviews on a monthly basis the consolidated financial statements and the Group’s Management Information (MI) – both sets of information being prepared in accordance with IFRS and in a manner that facilitates their understanding.
The monthly monitoring of the financial statements and Group MI and their analysis carried-out by the relevant departments, are key elements of the controlling mechanism regarding the quality and integrity of financial results.
In consolidating the financial results and statements, the Group utilizes specialized consolidation software and specialized software for reconciling intercompany transactions. These tools come with built-in control mechanisms and they have been parameterized in accordance with the Group needs. Finally, the above tools indicate best-practices regarding the consolidation process, which the Group has to a large extent adopted.
During each Board meeting, the Group CEO informs the Board about financial results and business performance and the Group CFO informs the Board on the aforementioned once every quarter.
The Group’s external auditors review the mid-year financial statements of the Company, the Group and its material subsidiaries and audit the full-year financial statements of the aforementioned. In addition, the Group’s external auditors inform the Audit Committee about the outcomes of their reviews and audits.
During its quarterly, bi-annual and annual reviews of the financial statements, the Audit Committee is informed about the performance of the Group’s working capital and cash-flow, as well as about the Group’s financial risk management. Following this, the Audit Committee informs the Board whose members have the right to request additional information or clarifications.
Prior to Board’s approval, the Audit Committee reviews the consolidated financial statements. Any additional information or clarifications regarding the financial statements and requested by the Audit Committee is provided by the Company’s competent executives.