Internal controls are policies and procedures put in place to ensure the continued reliability of accounting systems. Accuracy and reliability are paramount in the accounting world. Without accurate accounting records, managers cannot make fully informed financial decisions, and financial reports can contain errors.
At the organizational level, internal control objectives relate to the reliability of financial reporting, timely feedback on the achievement of operational or strategic goals, and compliance with laws and regulations. At the specific transaction level, internal controls refers to the actions taken to achieve a specific objective (e.g. how to ensure the organization's payments to third parties are for valid services rendered) Internal control procedures reduce process variation, leading to more predictable outcomes.