Internal audits provide independent, objective reviews and advice to help organizations improve their business processes, create real value, and reach their goals. Audit management provides a systematic approach to assessing and improving the effectiveness of risk management, controls, and management processes.
Audits are expert check-ups for businesses, performed by specially trained auditors with a comprehensive understanding of a company's culture, systems, and processes. This provides clarity as to whether the internal controls in place are sufficient to mitigate risks, whether the management processes are effective and efficient, and whether the organization is achieving its objectives. Guidelines for conducting audits can be found in ISO 19011, a rulebook for auditing management systems such as quality management (ISO 9001) or environmental management (ISO 14001).
In an efficient audit management solution, real-time monitoring of risks and controls plays a central role. Instead of relying on occasional checks, continuous monitoring helps spot vulnerabilities early on. With automated alerts and notifications, organizations can swiftly address any unusual occurrences, taking prompt action as needed. This approach not only helps minimize potential harm but also enhances the effectiveness of control measures. It ensures that business processes consistently meet the expected standards, thereby reducing the risk of legal repercussions.
Data-driven decision making
In today's world, where data plays an increasingly important role, audit management is a powerful tool for companies to gain valuable information. The ability to collect, analyze, and convert audit results into easy-to-understand reports and visualizations opens up a whole new way of taking action and making decisions. For example, audit management enables companies to identify trends, track down bottlenecks, and react to potential risks in good time. In addition, it empowers management to make well-informed strategic decisions and helps business processes become fit for the future.
Internal auditing in an organization covers a wide range of areas, including corporate governance, risk management, and management controls. By following well-established audit processes, companies can confidently reach the goals they need to succeed.
By carefully reviewing all parts of the business, Audit Management ensures that procedures and policies are being followed properly and efficiently.
A strong internal audit greatly reduces the work needed for an external audit because the latter one can use the results that are already there.
Unexpected business problems often require so-called ad hoc audits. In these cases, auditors step in to take charge and provide guidance.
Audit management helps to optimize internal and external processes, procedures, and guidelines. To establish audits as trusted advisors in this regard, a smooth introduction is key.
- Plan ahead
The implementation of audit management is a complex task that can encounter various challenges. The earlier you start planning (goal, scope, resources), the more time you have for strategic preparations and operational focus.
- Highlight the benefits
Audit management is often misunderstood and perceived as a kind of “internal police”. To counteract this perception, clearly communicate the audit scope and emphasize the advantages to management and the supervisory board.
- Use resources wisely
Meeting the growing expectations of management and the audit committee can be challenging with limited budgets and staff. Therefore, optimize your audit processes with suitable software to boost automation and efficiency.
- Expand skills and expertise
As audit management evolves, new areas such as cybersecurity require highly specialized knowledge. This necessitates continuous training for specialist staff, while managers and organizations in general should also familiarize themselves with modern technologies such as AI, RPA, and cyber security to enhance their skills.