Wärtsilä has defined its objectives for internal control according to the international COSO framework. Wärtsilä defines internal control as a process implemented by Wärtsilä's Board of Directors, the management, the Boards of Directors of Group companies, and other personnel, which is designed to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of objectives.
Internal control covers all the policies, processes, procedures and organisational structures in Wärtsilä that help management and ultimately the Board to ensure that Wärtsilä is achieving its objectives, that the business conduct is ethical and in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, that the company's assets, including its brand, are safeguarded, and that its financial reporting is correct. Internal control is not a separate process or set of activities, but it is embedded within the operations of Wärtsilä. The system of internal control operates at all levels of Wärtsilä. Wärtsilä maintains and develops its internal control system with the ultimate aim of improving its business performance and at the same time to comply with laws and regulations in countries where it operates.
Planning and target setting, an integral part of performance management in Wärtsilä, are a regular management activity and not part of Wärtsilä's internal control system. The establishment of objectives, however, is an important prerequisite for internal control. Through the performance management process, financial and non-financial targets are set for Wärtsilä annually at the Group level. These group level targets are then translated into targets for Businesses and WIO, Group Companies, and eventually individuals.
The achievement of the annual targets is followed up through monthly management reporting. The performance of the Businesses and WIO and achievement of the annual targets are reviewed on a monthly basis in the respective Management Team meetings. The performance and the achievement of the targets of the Group and of the different Businesses and WIO are reviewed on a monthly basis by the Board of Management. The respective Management Teams and the Board of Management also address the reliability of Wärtsilä's financial reporting.
Financial reporting in Wärtsilä is carried out in a harmonised way in all major Group Companies, using a single instance ERP system and a common chart of accounts. The international financial reporting standards (IFRS) are applied throughout the entire Group. Wärtsilä's finance and control process is essential for the functioning of internal control. Adequate controls in the financial management and accounting processes are needed to ensure the reliability of financial reporting.
The Board of Directors regularly assesses the adequacy and effectiveness of Wärtsilä's internal controls and risk management. It is also responsible for ensuring that internal control over accounting and financial administration is arranged appropriately. The Audit Committee of the Board of Directors of Wärtsilä Corporation is responsible for overseeing the financial reporting process. The Group Finance & Control function is responsible for notifying relevant levels of management of deviations from plans, for analysing the underlying reasons, and for suggesting corrective actions. Group Finance & Control supports the Businesses and WIO in decision-making and analysis to ensure the attainment of financial targets. It is also responsible for maintaining and developing the company's performance management processes, so that the management at different levels of the organisation is able to receive timely, reliable and adequate information regarding the achievement of the organisation's objectives. In addition, it is responsible for developing the financial reporting processes and respective controls.
Legal and compliance management
Legal and compliance management practices and processes occupy a central role in Wärtsilä’s system of internal control. It is Wärtsilä's policy to act in accordance with the applicable laws and regulations in all countries where it operates.
Legal and compliance management acts predominantly in a proactive manner. Legal Affairs supports the President & CEO and the divisions in analysing and making decisions on matters involving contract policy, risk management and regulatory considerations. Another key activity is to lead compliance management and strengthen and ensure the culture of appropriate conduct and behaviour, both internally and in external business transactions. Company-wide control mechanisms and processes are a part of the overall internal control system.
Wärtsilä's compliance management is based on the Code of Conduct and relevant group level policies and directives.
Human resource management practices and processes play an active role in Wärtsilä's system of internal control. Wärtsilä's key human resource management processes with respect to internal control are compensation and benefits, HR development, recruitment and resourcing management, individual performance management, as well as processes for collecting employee feedback. The HR function is responsible for maintaining and developing Wärtsilä's HR processes to enable effective internal control, including at the individual level.
Other management systems
The Board of Management is responsible for developing and implementing Wärtsilä's management system, continuously improving its performance, and ensuring that it operates effectively. The Wärtsilä management system covers all global processes and management procedures within Wärtsilä related to fulfilling customer requirements. The proper functioning of the aspects of the management system highlighted below ensures, for their part, the attainment of Wärtsilä's internal control objectives.
The quality of Wärtsilä's solutions, and thus also quality management, is a top priority for Wärtsilä. Compliance with Wärtsilä's Quality Management System ISO 9001:2000 is compulsory throughout the Group, and compliance with the system is rigorously monitored.
Wärtsilä is strongly committed to sustainability. Wärtsilä's vision, mission and values, together with a solid financial performance, form the basis for sustainable development in Wärtsilä. Furthermore, significant attention is paid to the social and environmental sustainability of Wärtsilä's operations.
Internal control in Wärtsilä is designed to support the company in achieving its targets. The risks related to the achievement of the targets need to be identified and evaluated in order for them to be managed. Thus, the identification and assessment of risks is a prerequisite for internal control in Wärtsilä. Wärtsilä's internal control mechanisms and procedures provide management assurance that the risk management actions are carried out as planned.
Wärtsilä has defined and implemented entity level and process level control activities, as well as information system controls. Control activities at different levels are needed to directly mitigate risks at the respective levels. Wärtsilä's risk management processes consist of Group-wide risk assessment and management processes, as well as of project-specific risk assessments and project risk management. The Group-wide risk assessment process results in the creation of action plans for the identified and prioritised risks.
Each Business and WIO reports its main risks to the Board of Management of Wärtsilä, which also follows up the execution of the defined risk management action plans on a regular basis. The Board of Directors of Wärtsilä Corporation is responsible for defining the Group's overall level of risk tolerance and for ensuring that Wärtsilä has adequate tools and resources for managing risks. The President & CEO, with the assistance of the Board of Management, is responsible for organising and ensuring risk management in all Wärtsilä's operations. Business and WIO management is responsible for defining action plans for managing the most important risks.
Wärtsilä's most important strategic, operative and financial risks can be found in the Risks and risk management section.
Information management plays a key role in Wärtsilä's internal control system. Information systems are critical for effective internal control as many of the control activities are programmed controls.