Stout Survey Finds Internal Controls Professionals May Be Less Prepared for M&A Than They Believe

Published: 06 Oct 2023

Stout released compelling survey results uncovering common challenges that internal controls teams may encounter during a transaction, providing an essential resource for navigating the M&A process.

The challenges related to adjusting staffing needs, integrating systems, dealing with internal controls disparities, and documenting and designing business combination controls. The findings emphasize the critical need for a strategic approach to mitigate risks and enhance operational efficiencies by leveraging professionals that possess a comprehensive knowledge of best practices.

"The Intersection of M&A and Internal Controls: A Comprehensive Report" outlined the following themes:

● Over 90% of survey respondents believe they are ready for M&A transactions but find that substantial challenges arise with internal controls during the M&A process.

● Adjusting staffing needs, integrating systems, and managing internal controls disparities are the three most common challenges, as reported by 85%, 80%, and 75% of respondents, respectively.

● While more than 80% of organizations' internal controls teams were involved in assisting with the deal, only a modest 22% of in-house teams were able to offer guidance to key stakeholders regarding effective M&A controls and the disparities between companies.

● Approximately 74% of respondents reported that designing business combination controls posed a significant challenge; however, only 36% of respondents included their internal controls team in the lead-up to a transaction.

In partnership with Hanover Research, Stout surveyed 100 respondents recruited via a panel. The respondents were required to meet the following qualifications: Live in the United States; work as a high-level financial decision-maker; have been involved in a merger or acquisition in the last five years; and be at a company that was not acquired from a private equity firm, or if the company was the acquirer, it cannot have acquired an entity from a private equity firm.

"This white paper delivers insights to executives and financial professionals seeking a comprehensive guide to proactively mitigate internal controls-specific challenges they may encounter when undergoing an M&A transaction," stated Jeremy Enuson, Managing Director.

"As we continue to see these challenges overlooked or not prioritized, this resource will empower businesses with the tools they need to navigate the M&A landscape and optimize value realization," added Drew Dodson, Director.

To access a highlighted analysis and insights from the survey, please visit

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