TOP CHALLENGES OF AUTOMATING AUDIT.

Author:Hashemi, Seyyed Mohsen
 
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Internal audit must transform its own processes to keep pace with the business transformation occurring in the organization.

Organizations are rapidly adopting technologies such as cloud computing, robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, blockchain, and cognitive computing to create tomorrow's business in today's market. Internal audit needs to transform its processes to keep pace with these changes, and IT audit processes are an excellent place to start this transformation.

Organizations that still perform most internal audit tasks manually complicate IT governance. In this manual model, auditors have adopted many compliance laws, policies, procedures, guidelines, and standards, along with their related control objectives. Moreover, internal audit manages audit process elements such as training, standards, risk, planning, documentation, interviews, and findings separately.

An automated internal audit process can enable the audit function to link, consolidate, and integrate the planning, performance, and response steps of the audit process into a holistic approach. The process should present audit recommendations in a way that is dynamically sustainable within the organization's integrated action plans.

Since 2012, many standards and frameworks have changed their models, procedures, and guidelines to elaborate on the role of the IT governance process. Accordingly, internal audit should redesign its processes to coincide with new, streamlined IT processes and related roles. Meanwhile, IT audit specialists should understand the interoperability among the conceptual models of IT management, governance, standards, events, audits, and planning.

Transforming audit processes comes with challenges, though. Each of these challenges can be encapsulated in a pattern of a problem and a solution, which internal audit can prioritize based on its stakeholders' needs.

  1. Syncing the IT Audit Process With IT Project Planning

    Problem: IT audit teams need a way to link, tailor, and update audit findings and recommendations for ongoing IT projects and action plans. This will be necessary for auditors to follow up on findings and identify who is responsible for carrying out audit recommendations.

    Solution: An automated IT audit system would break IT audit work into two levels--findings' recommendations and their final conditions--encompassing all preventive, detective, and corrective controls. The recommended actions reported in audit findings should...

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