As the challenges businesses face become more multi-faceted and all-encompassing, what is the role of audit? How can audit teams and leaders adapt their practices, tools and frameworks to be successful and relevant in an ever-changing environment? Our Modern Governance Summit offers some insights.
Embrace Innovation Through Automation
Firstly, efficiency and effectiveness are critical. In order to maintain these two aspects of audit, your teams need to embrace innovation through automation. Begin by determining which risks you want to address within your organization, and then use data to learn more about them and probe for solutions. Ideally, audit technology should be mostly automated, and should then allow you to pull out relevant information quickly and easily, saving time and effort by eliminating administrative work.
Tell a Story With Audit Findings
It’s also important to remember that in today’s environment, attention spans are short. How can audit teams stand out and compete, and show that their work is critical and requires action? To solve this problem, the content and delivery from audits are critical. Audit insights should be consumable, relevant, engaging and ultimately compelling so that decision-makers can easily absorb and take action on the issues presented.
“Internal audit often has the reputation of behaving like the police. In today’s context with climate, political and economic disasters occurring almost on a weekly basis, internal audit needs to be as effective as the rest of the business. Credibility comes from sticking to core audit principles: accuracy, clarity and brevity.”
Jean-Michel Garcia-Alvarez, Head of Internal Audit and DPO, OakNorth Bank PLC
Communicate the Value of Internal Audit
Audit teams need to successfully advocate and communicate information. If internal audit’s time with the board or other senior leaders of the company is getting compromised, your team won’t be able to stay relevant. Internal audit needs to be at the forefront, and the board and leadership teams need to understand the vital role of audit teams. As Juliane McGarry, Senior Lecturer at Birmingham City University put it, “Review your staffing, how many hours you have, and gauge how much time is allocated to talking to management, educating them and sharing the benefits of internal audit. Promote your disciplines and data analytics to stay relevant.”
To learn more about demonstrating the value of audit, download our free white guide, The Future of GRC: Create Value by Bringing Risk, Audit & Compliance into the Boardroom.