Businesses are being disrupted from many fronts, and the effects are trickling down to internal audit (IA) functions. This new era demands new thinking and approaches, new skills, and new capabilities. The keys to this new approach include more than just proactive involvement of management but also a continued collaboration along with tools that support a more iterative approach so audit projects can adjust as needed to deliver as expected.
The four phases of our dynamic internal auditing approach, Initiate, Perform, Deliver, and Drive, differentiate from traditional auditing phases and look to drive impact beyond assurance.
In the Initiate phase, where profiling, acquiring and discovering, scoping and planning take place, there is a shift in focus from problem finding to problem solving. If this is done at the onset, it will lead to a more impact-oriented scope.
In the Perform phase, where analyzing, validation and adjustment take place, frequent review of progress, results and scope avoids wasted time and keeps the audit impact oriented.
In the Deliver phase, where insights, solutions and actions take place, prioritization and rationalization of solutions over reiteration of problems will demonstrate ROI for IA work.
In the Drive phase, where support and monitoring takes place, maintaining a pulse on future risks and issues through continuous monitoring feedback will make the IA work more dynamic.
Traditional audits stop at the point of delivering findings with superficial recommendations. Agile auditing drives impact beyond assurance by using insights for analysis of the right change to solve the problem. Beyond validation, it is essential to get to the root cause, correct it, change it, and monitor going forward to stay ahead of future risks.
Agile-inspired and data-driven, dynamic internal auditing should be the only way to perform internal audits going forward.