Key Focus 1: Board Centric Driven Audit Processes
Many senior audit executives fail to assimilate a board-centric-driven-audit perspective into every department and level of the organization. An internal audit department’s ability to implement a total board centric driven strategy can be undermined by a variety of shortcomings, among them a lack of audit leadership or an inadequate internal infrastructure. Having observed a range of approaches, the Audit Research Center find that the most successful board centric driven audit strategies arise from internal audit cultures that adhere to four mutually supporting principles — each of which is driven from the top but also supported zealously across all levels of the internal audit department. A closer look at each principle offers different development perspectives for senior audit executives seeking to design, promote, and lead more board-centric-driven-audit-process frameworks in their own audit organizations.
The basis for the development of a board-centric-driven-audit-process model is the identification of sub-processes in conjunction with the needs of our key audit customers. Then each sub-process has to be analyzed to determine whether audit services could be conceivably provided in order to support them. Therefore, Audit Research Center has adapted different methodology approaches from Six Sigma in order to help and to evaluate the process framework of internal audit departments, e.g. value stream mapping, CTQ – Critical To Customer analysis and more.
In further steps, the internal audit department has to analyse whether the specific board member’s sub-process could be supported by the service cluster of internal audit.
Finally, detailed audit service packages, as well as internal audit customer touch points and communication channels have to be defined in conjunction with the weekly or monthly availability, behaviours and the appointments book of the key board members, who are delivered by internal audit assurance services.
To have sustained success, internal audit executives have to analyse and understand current board member’s needs and wants, and ensure that there are the right board-centric-driven-audit-processes in place, to support and satisfy their needs.
Thus, it is no surprise that audit executives seeking to gain a better audit process framework are embarking on board-centric-driven-audit-process strategies.
Key Focus 2: Digital Century & Audit Priorities
Digitization and fast-changing, often disruptive, technology have irrevocably altered the business landscape, along the way ushering in a new era of internal audit risk analysis. As a result, an internal audit department’s ability to achieve better audit results through value added audit services offering that capture only the usual presentation and delivery of audit results is increasingly at threat.
As a lot of firms have expanded its client service offerings in conjunction with digitization and restructured several business units to be part of the new business models, internal audit departments found themselves ever-more challenged in performing its responsibilities in a digital business world. This challenge means internal audit must continue to identify and assess risk, audit high-risk areas in new business models and offer value add services.
Given the current dynamic landscape, Internal Audit has to increase the volume of audits and advisory services it offers in conjunction with all initiatives of digitization as well as social media risk. So that internal audit will be able to continue to provide business value and to deliver assurance services, which at the same time increase risk coverage, while doing it more efficiently and effectively.
So one general audit challenge in time of digitization is to do more with less, and do it faster, while at the same time be cost-effective.