What is Oversight?

Oversight is often identified as a watchful eye – over money, policies, programs, and other things that happen within a business. The terms "oversight" and "governance" are often used hand-in-hand because of how similar they are. While oversight is considered more relaxed, governance involves a more regulated version.  Providing oversight is a good best practice to ensure that everything is handled not only legally but to the organization’s specifications.  Through the use of oversight, a business can: Oversight is the due diligence that organizations take before making key decisions as well as throughout the processes.

Examples of Oversight

There are many ways to exercise oversight over different projects within a business. Understanding the ways that oversight can play out in any industry will make it easier to determine what needs to be put into place within a specific business. Often, oversight is necessary in more than one department. Oversight in the Health Care Industry Oversight can be performed by the board of directors, the leading physician, or even a third party to ensure that care is being coordinated and patients are receiving the proper level of care. It is possible to take oversight to the next level by checking records to see if insurance codes are being used properly and that everything is being maintained to the HIPAA regulations. Oversight in the Finance Industry Oversight can be performed by an accountant, controller, CEO, or a third party to ensure that checks and balances are in place. This includes looking at who is authorizing expenditures, what is being expensed on a regular basis, and who has access to spending cards. It is also possible to conduct audits to determine if the financials are being documented properly. Oversight in the Retail Industry Oversight is commonly used in the retail industry, specifically for chain retailers. This ensures the employees are wearing the correct uniforms, greeting customers to the "brand" specification, as well as displaying everything as they should. Often, there are seasonal materials sent to the individual stores that should be displayed — and oversight ensures that everything is going up by a certain date.

 Other examples of oversight include:

Related Reading:

Browse More Terms and Definitions: