Preventative and Detective Controls

You will recall that internal controls are actions taken to make sure the right things happen and the wrong things don't.

There are two types of internal controls

  1. Preventative controls: Designed to keep errors or irregularities from occurring in the first place. They are built into internal control systems and require a major effort in the initial design and implementation stages. However, preventative controls do not require significant ongoing investments. 

  2. Detective Controls: Designed to detect errors and irregularities that have already occurred and to assure their prompt correction. These controls represent a continuous operating expense and are often costly but necessary. Detective controls supply the means with which to correct data errors, modify controls or recover missing assets.