How auditors can deliver added value
The notion of ‘value add’ has evolved from an act of surpassing expectations to a requirement for auditors. But how, exactly, are audit professionals supposed to find this treasured value-add? At the IIA GAM Conference, March 20–22, presenter Aaron Boor, IT Audit & Project Automation Specialist, delivered guidance on how to achieve this goal during his presentation, ‘The Treasured Value Add and Where to Find It’.
To achieve value-add auditors need to do two things: increase their knowledge of technology and be innovative.
Management looks to auditors to pull together data from all departments to complete company-wide analysis. In spite of either being not documented or communicated, all that data is a ‘low-hanging fruit’ opportunity where unexplored insights can be mined. But many auditors continue to lack the skills and/or proper tools to grab hold of this untapped data. By increasing their knowledge and utilization of technology, particularly those with institutional knowledge, auditors increase their ability to do something different with known and unknown data.
Innovation from auditors is essential. Traditional audit uses sampling to understand populations through extrapolation of samples. But if the sample is wrong, the assumptions and consequent conclusions will be wrong as well. With data analytics, auditors can move beyond only sampling to examining entire populations and focusing on potential issues. From this position, auditors can focus on attributes that were previously out of reach and look for relationships and correlations that were never visible before. By examining the whole population, auditors can find things that may have been overlooked for years. As you go through the audit process, auditors can take these efficiencies, pull them into a risk assessment for the following year and become much more effective using data analytics.
In summary, the key to providing the value add is to:
- Have an understanding of work processes, along with expertise in technology
- Be innovative by leveraging your unique perspective in how data is compiled
With this skillset, auditors can turn data into insight.
About Anu Sood:
Anu Sood is the Director of Product and Corporate Marketing at CaseWare Analytics and is responsible for the company’s global marketing strategy. Prior to CaseWare Analytics, Anu worked in various roles in the high-tech industry and her accomplishments range from writing software for telephone switches to launching a new global satellite communication service. Anu has extensive experience in strategic marketing, corporate communications, demand generation, content marketing, product management, product marketing and technology development.
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