Thursday, May 24, 2012

Workpaper Process Reported not Mature by 72% of Auditors

According to the State of Internal Audit Survey 2012 from Thomson Reuters ACCELUS, in the case of audit workpapers, only 28 percent of respondents described their process as robust or mature. The survey found that while 49%  of the respondents said they had a workpaper process in place it still needed work. The IIA founded in 1947 has promoted their motto of "Progress through Sharing" so it seems that internal auditors should be further along in their maturity level for this fundamental area. With advances in technology there has been ample opportunity to learn from others (through the Internet), share what they have learned (through the IIA's Progress through Sharing example) and have a defined process in place. In my opinion the issue is that every audit function sees themselves as unique because of their industry, organization or corporate structure. The bottom line is that audit functions are more similar than they are different regardless of where they are located, who their customers are or what their structure is. Each should have a Charter that defines the roles and responsibilities and the audit process (planning, fieldwork, reporting and monitoring) is established.

AuditNet® has been promoting the use of technology in auditing for more than 19 years. We have been through the paperless audit phase and now see technology as a solution. But according to the AuditNet® 2012 State of Technology Use Survey the majority of auditors have not embraced technology and continue to struggle with complex issues when it comes to solving problems. The profession needs to develop a simple plan that organizations can adopt in order to move internal audit departments up the maturity level. It will take a team approach enlisting software vendors, content providers, educational institutions and professional organizations to accomplish a paradigm shift in developing an integrated technology approach to the audit process.

Help us gather the information by taking the 2012 Audit Use of Technology Survey

Go to the following URL to download the Thomson Reuter ACCELUS State of Internal Audit Survey 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Audit Use of Technology Survey Early Results

The AuditNet® Audit Use of Technology Survey has gotten off to a great start with over 600 responses. A preliminary review of the responses to the questions reinforces the fact that although auditors have more advanced audit software solutions available then ever before, auditors are not embracing these state of the art technologies. Most auditors are still relying on basic tools for data analysis and have not even begun to consider software technology for areas such as GRC, continuous auditing and monitoring for fraud detection, audit management and more. When asked to rate themselves on the Audit Use of Technology Optimization Scale (AUTOS) more than half indicated that they were at the ad hoc or informal use stage or below. The main reasons cited for not embracing technology more were inadequate financial resources, limited low cost high quality training options and CAE support. 

We will be monitoring the survey results and issue another preliminary report before closing the survey this month. 

Stay tuned for the details on the audit software technologies being used and what will be needed to move professionals higher on the AUTOS. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

AuditNet® Survey - 2012 State of Technology Use by Auditors

The AuditNet® 2012 State of Technology Use by Auditors survey was launched in order to determine what tools audit departments are using, how the tools are being used, the level of use and where auditors see themselves on the Audit Utilization of Technology Optimization Scale (AUTOS). AuditNet® has been on the leading edge of the profession when it comes to encouraging auditors and audit departments to integrate the use of technology in their methodology.  Surveys by other organizations recognize the added value that technology affords auditors however it does not appear that a paradigm shift is imminent.  

We will publish the results of the survey here as well as on AuditNet®

Here are some of the key findings from other surveys on technology and internal audit: 

According to a recent survey by the Institute of Internal Auditors data mining and analytics are one of the top five skills sought for new internal auditors.

The 2012 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey by Protiviti reported that CAATs, continuous auditing and continuous monitoring are skills areas that auditors need to improve as the profession moves toward these approaches and techniques. 

According to the 2011 TeamMate User Survey it is imperative that all auditors understand the technology tools available and use them on all audits. 

The options available to CAE emphasize either hiring auditors with the technology skills to jump start implementation of technology initiatives which helps shorten the learning curve. Additionally providing staff with training for audit technology tools is a must. 

According to the Grant Thornton 2012 CAE Survey … most CAEs seem to recognize that their departments can better harness the power of technology. Half of respondents acknowledged their organizations do not effectively use  governance, risk and compliance (GRC)-specific technology. Data analytics and continuous auditing technologies are gaining wider acceptance, however. Still, given the power of today’s technology tools, internal audit can do more.

The IIA Standards related to use of technology (1220.A2 – Leveraging Technology Resources) states that... in exercising due professional care, internal auditors must consider the use of technology-based audit and other data analysis techniques.

So if auditors are required to use technology, have access to this advanced technology and the benefits are clearly apparent why are auditors not higher on the Audit Utilization of Technology Optimization Scale? This survey will attempt to answer that question as well as others relating to the current state of technology usage by auditors.