Should technology become the norm for internal audit departments

Published | Monday, July 11th, 2016


The role of the traditional internal audit department is evolving

Over the years there have been a number of formal studies done across the globe that highlight how the role of the traditional internal audit department is evolving. It is not uncommon these days for internal auditors to be involved with fraud detection, risk management or data analytics. With the department’s reach and impact being extended, the findings and outcomes are becoming more important to the strategic direction and decisions made by the organisations stakeholders.

Whilst the use of technology for internal audit may be a mind shift for the more mature internal auditors who are used to manual, labour intensive and often repetitive auditing methods, the younger generation is quickly adjusting to the new way. They see the value of monitoring 100% of a data population in almost real time as a way to increase the level of assurance and coverage. A much greater level than any traditional method would have been able to offer them, and in much less time.

The reality is that with organisational data growing at an alarming rate, implementing a technology solution is the only way for internal audit to be truly successful and efficient.  Internal auditors need to be confident that the chosen technology would be able to detect control weaknesses or data exceptions quicker, and easier, than they would ever have been able to do without it.

Bringing new technology into your organisation increases productivity and helps make faster, better decisions but at what cost? Employees need to understand these benefits and not feel threatened by it, but rather see it as an improvement. There are always going to be people who have routines and those who resist change. The best technology in the world isn’t going to save you from reputational damage or revenue loss if things go wrong, so how can you ensure that it is being used effectively. Ensuring that the money spent on the technology is well spent, deriving maximum adoption and ensuring you get value from your investment? Prevent it from failing!

Why could it fail?

  • It changes how people do what they do
    People are unsure of the unknown and this makes some uneasy. This uneasiness creates resistance and hurdles
  • Users were never involved in the decision process
    How can you expect someone to get excited about something they were never involved in choosing. When you decide to procure a new technology, involve users as early as possible in the project
  • There is no project or technology owner / champion
    No one knows who is actually responsible. This person needs to be carefully chosen and have the right mix of people skills, enthusiasm and knowledge of the technology. They should ultimately become the “super user”
  • Success isn’t measured
    The technology is there and it’s running. Now what? Has it saved money, time, or both? If the results are quantifiable it’s easier for everyone to get excited about the benefits and to push to better the results.

 Technology, when used efficiently is a game changer for any organisation

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JOHN OKARI

Posted on:2017-04-18 08:16:59

Thanks for the update well encouraging for traditional internal auditors to use technology for easier and quick tracking of business transactions.


CPA Edith Kagasi

Posted on:2017-04-12 08:27:53

Thanks for the article, it is true internal auditors to be relevant to the organisation they must embrace technology . To be able to assess internal controls in the fast growing technological world the traditional internal auditor must change and learn how to audit using the available technology.


bernard otieno okondo

Posted on:2017-04-11 11:42:40

Good and very enriching article on the evolving role of internal audit department and efficient use of technology


Leigh Carmichael

Posted on:2017-04-04 09:50:19

Let us know if you want us to get in touch to discuss your technology requirements, Wilson.


Wilson Mwai

Posted on:2017-04-04 09:06:58

Good message to assist in focusing ahead when planning.


Leigh Carmichael

Posted on:2017-04-03 12:20:26

Thank you for your comment


Simbarashe G Chizanga

Posted on:2017-04-03 11:14:31

The above message is well informing. Thank you. Regards