No Laughing Matter

The Benefits of Audit Management Software

Imagine I’m on a decrepit stage in a dark space, wearing an old blazer with new jeans and blue basketball shoes. A big banner of digital code is hanging behind me. The room is rather quiet, but it is filled with patrons, and everybody is desperate for a good laugh. I stumble around on the stage and break into my routine. Please remember, I’m not a comedian (If you’ve heard these jokes before, my apologies, and if you haven’t heard them, my apologies).

Did you hear the joke about the interesting internal auditor?
No? Me neither.

How many auditors does it take to change a light bulb?
How many did it take last year? (nervous chuckles rise from a few of the spectators)

Why did the auditors cross the road?
Because they looked in the file and that’s what they did last year.

And because I sense the crowd can’t take it anymore, I finish up.

Do you know what the definition of an Auditor is?
An accountant with an opinion. (bada bing, bada boom)

Hold your applause and keep reading.

The Challenge of Doing an Audit with Spreadsheets

Moving past the gags and puns, everyone knows that audit is no laughing matter (just like my jokes). Most audit teams still use spreadsheets for some, if not all, of their audit processes—that means potentially dealing with a lot of pain points. If you are currently using spreadsheets, it’s a good bet some of these things are tripping you up:

  • Difficult workflows. If there is a process or methodology that you have to skip because of your spreadsheet program, that means your audit might be incomplete.
  • A lack of compliance. If someone makes a change in the spreadsheet, is it easily updated to all instances and trackable?
  • Hard to create reports. Putting together relevant documentation is an essential part of any audit. Do you struggle to make reports with data from spreadsheets?
  • Insecure data. Most spreadsheets have limited permission controls when it comes to restricting access for multiple users. This lack of protection leads to data manipulation, which compromises data integrity.
  • A lot of errors. Even if you can use basic data validation in Excel (or another spreadsheet program), data entry errors can still easily go unnoticed.

Don’t Joke Around

For an immediate, positive impact on your internal audit program, the right audit management software can change your work patterns, the amount of time you spend on an audit and most importantly, greatly enhance your overall final product and findings. With a top-performing audit management system, in addition to the items listed above, you can:

  • Move Your Data. Audit management software will allow you to easily transition your manual, spreadsheet-based workflow to a new, automated system.
  • Organize Information. You’ll be able to establish a central portal for enterprise risks, controls, projects, work papers, findings and remediation plans.
  • Communicate Easily. Work with audit staff at any location without technical limitations in real time.

Once the pieces of an audit management software are in place, your audit world can become everything you ever wanted it to be—you’ll be smiling again. The right software will not only help your workflow, it can enhance your entire process to do things your way. You’ll be able to:

  • Easily adapt to new types of projects that align with your team’s most significant risks and objectives.
  • Coordinate with process owners and adjust ownership, assignments and workflow as your team expands or contracts.
  • Generate dynamic audit reports in several different formats without having to engage technical resources.
  • Effortlessly adhere to standards and regulations affecting your organization.
  • Manage work papers, findings, notes, milestones and project statuses.

A Better Solution

How many times has a spreadsheet internal audit system let you down? Let me extend this piece of advice: say goodbye to your spreadsheet program. Your challenges with a spreadsheet program can end—a new audit management solution awaits, so get moving.

And now, because I know you want one, final guffaw at the expense of auditors, I’ll end with this:

What did the internal auditor do to liven up the office party?
He didn’t show up.

Featured Resource:

Onspring Audit Survey Summary Brief

Onspring surveyed audit professionals to find out about current and future trends within the internal audit community. This brief is a summary of the findings.

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