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Subcontractor Oversight Program Q&A with Scott Morris

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NCBA’s Subcontractor Oversight Program is beneficial to both law firms and vendors who participate in third party assessments. NCBA Executive Director Liz Terry and Board Member Scott Morris, Managing Member of Tromberg, Morris & Poulin, PLLC spoke about the benefits and goals of the program.

Liz: We’re excited to relaunch this program in 2021. What has been the biggest benefit for your firm?

Scott: For our practice, it is about simplifying the process of third party-assessments, while improving quality of the audit. Audits are necessary but time-consuming and an expensive part of our business. Further, our firm is not a subject matter expert on conducting audits of vendors. Knowing that our vendors are being assessed by an experienced accounting firm gives us, and our clients, confidence in the assessment process. When we receive the assessments from NCBA, there are controls we can count on, we know we are comparing apples to apples. This ‘best in class’ assessment is also being conducted with little bandwidth utilized by the firm and at a cost that is extremely affordable as I only need to purchase the report for $100.00.

Liz: With the pandemic, it’s been challenging to launch any new program – can you talk about how we’re managing the assessments and the process?

Scott: With the help of our audit partner Crowe LLP, we have pivoted to virtual assessments for now, in coordination and communication with our industry's largest clients. They’re working diligently to provide assessments of relevant internal controls and on a timeline that suits the vendors’ schedules. After the assessment, each vendor receives a comprehensive report and a list of possible issues they may resolve. A few other NCBA Board members and I provide support and feedback during this process to ensure the program is running smoothly. With Crowe we know we are getting a top-notch assessment of our vendors' strengths and potential risks.

Liz: How would you define success for this program?

Scott: I think this will be successful when we have a long list of vendors who are completing this annual audit consistently and law firms feel confident visiting NCBA’s website knowing they’re going to find a list of trusted partners they can reach out to. This will truly be a win-win for NCBA and our vendor partners once our vendors can rely on the NCBA assessment to provide to all of their firms , which would make it economically sustainable to them, while our firms can put their bandwidth into focusing on their own compliance and process improvement.

Liz: Thank you, Scott, for your time and leadership. NCBA Members, please reach out to us for more information and please encourage your vendors to participate in our program.

Subcontractor Oversight Program