Equatex has recently undergone a yearly auditing process to become certified in Service Organisation Control (SOC) reports. These are internal control reports on the services provided by an organisation and give valuable information to clients about the risks associated with outsourcing a service. Risk & Compliance Officer, Gila Meier-Droste, tells us more about what’s involved in the auditing process.
How long have you worked for Equatex?
Almost from the very beginning – I will have worked here for 14 years this May. I joined as an assistant before moving on to roles within business management. I then became a Risk & Compliance Officer.
What does your role as Risk Manager involve?
My main tasks are managing internal and external audits, as well as the SOC reporting. In addition to that, I do a lot around access rights and help my colleagues with everyday risk and compliance matters.
You have recently been working with external auditors on Equatex’s SOC reports. Why are they so important for the business?
With the administration of compensation plans, corporate clients outsource part of their financial operation. Of course, they trust us with a lot of private information about their employees. SOC reporting gives clients reassurance that we handle their plans and data fairly and discreetly. The reports are proof that we take our jobs seriously and we surpass global standards.
What does the process of auditing involve?
We create a control framework that is tested by external auditors Ernst and Young. They tell us whether the framework is sufficient or if there are any gaps in it. As soon as the framework is ready, we have to bring evidence that we actually carry out these controls and they work. We go through this process once every year.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Finding solutions for difficult situations. I know that the risk function normally comes across as the new sheriff in town, but I like to see us as the ‘airbag holders’ so to speak. We believe that everything goes right in everyday life, but in case it doesn’t, we are there.
When you’re not working, what are your hobbies and passions?
I read a lot about history to understand why the world is the way it is. I’m also a very big movie buff. I love silent movies and I watch a lot of mainstream movies.
If you could be anywhere else in the world right now, where would it be and why?
I like living in Zurich, but for holidays, I tend to go to Brussels or Ireland. I also do a little travelling for my job to London, the US and Germany but I’m always glad to get back.
If you were shipwrecked on a desert island, what would you take with you?
My husband. He is my everyday survival kit.