6 Features to Look for in an Audit Management Solution
Internal auditors have never been busier. With increasing workloads, many financial institutions are turning to automated audit management solutions that digitize the audit process to improve efficiency and reduce risk.
Here are the top six features to look for in an automated audit management solution:
- Easy to use.
- Captures audit activity and status.
- Designed for financial institutions.
- Facilitates organization.
- Generates and automates presentation-ready reports.
- Integrates with findings.
1. Easy to use.
An audit management solution should make your day flow more smoothly. If the solution is hard to understand and manage, you are less likely to use it—and the rest of your financial institution will feel the same way.
Faced with a confusing or clunky solution, staff is likely to revert to manual processes like Excel spreadsheets, re-introducing the problems you were seeking to avoid.
Take the time to dig into the usability of any audit management solution under consideration to determine how intuitive and organized it is. Does it make sense to you? If it doesn’t, you won’t want to use it.
2. Captures audit activity and status.
When it comes to audits and providing independent assurance, transparency matters. Auditors need to demonstrate what was audited as well as when and how the audit was completed. This information feeds into the reports that make an auditor’s work worthwhile.
As internal auditors face a growing workload of audits to manage and perform, it’s increasingly difficult to know which audits have been completed, which ones are on the horizon, and which audits are in process (and where they are in the process). The volume of audits makes manual processes cumbersome.
When assessing audit management solutions, look at the type of tracking and logging an audit it provides to determine if it seems complete enough to satisfy your needs. An audit management solution should make it easy to track and document audit activity—and let you proactively set reminders. It should ensure no one overlaps, overrides, or deletes someone else’s work. Audits are too important and auditors are too busy to waste time figuring out what work needs to be completed or where it went.
3. Designed for financial institutions.
There are lots of audit management solutions out there, but how many are designed with the specific types of audits your financial institution regularly conducts?
Seek out an audit management solution designed for financial institutions like yours. The best solutions include customizable audit templates and reports pre-built for financial institutions and financial services companies.
4. Facilitates organization.
Audit management is a lot simpler when all work papers are in the same place. Time isn’t wasted looking for or reproducing missing documents, and the whole team can be confident they are working off the most up-to-date information.
Look for cloud-based solutions with secure, centralized, accessible document storage that makes it easy to quickly pull up documents and data for the board, management, examiners or auditors.
5. Generates presentation-ready reports.
Audits provide little value if no one looks at the results, making reporting a critical function of the internal audit team. Creating attractive reports that highlight key findings can be an onerous task that takes hours and auditor doesn’t really have.
Choose an audit management solution with built-in and customizable reports that can pull data from any number of audits. The best audit management solutions reduce the burden of reporting by generating attractive reports with actionable information in minutes instead of hours.
6. Integrates with findings.What happens with your audit findings? Are they promptly assigned to someone within the institution and remediated or do they linger on the back burner until they are forgotten?
Don’t let your hard work go to waste (or expose your institution to increased risk). Opt for an audit management solution that integrates with findings management and remediation tracking to protect your institution from unwanted examiner attention and unmitigated risk.
Don’t waste time and money on an automated audit management solution that doesn’t provide these six key features. Make sure to ask how any potential audit solution will satisfy these needs.
Want to learn more about audit management? Check out our Audit Management Resources Page.