Budgetary trends show companies are putting an increased focus on technology in the audit space, but internal auditors have room for improvement when it comes to determining how effectively they are using technology, according to the CCH TeamMate Internal Audit Technology survey.
The survey, conducted in September of this year, was completed by 585 internal auditors across the globe who use the TeamMate audit management system, offered by Wolters Kluwerâs ARC Logics business. The survey was developed to help internal auditors see how their peers are using technology, and consider ways they can use technology more effectively.
More than 35 percent of the survey respondents experienced an increase in their technology budgets this year. About 30 percent expect their technology budgets to increase over the next two years and more than half predict technology allocations will stay about the same. Less than 15 percent expect budgets to drop.
However, while roughly two-thirds of respondents say most of their staff has proficient technology skills, about 80 percent indicate their audit departments havenât determined how effectively they are leveraging technology.
âThere are a number of factors that can help auditors better determine the effectiveness of their technology initiatives, including ongoing training programs and the implementation of key performance measures,â said Mike Gowell, vice president and general manager, CCH TeamMate. âTechnology can help ensure key business risks are being managed appropriately and can greatly enhance auditorsâ productivity, but it requires ongoing assessments to reap those benefits.â
CCH TeamMateâs internal audit experts recommend a five-step approach in increasing technology value:
1. Convey the Right âTone at the Topâ â Strong leadership and support from the chief audit executive (CAE) can be a key factor in improving technology value at an organization.
2. Place a High Priority on Leveraging Technology to Boost Performance â Members of an internal audit departmentâs staff may be using technology tools, but beyond that, they need to also fully understand all of the applications available to them.
3. Hire Technology Skills Selectively â Hiring outside talent with experience in data analytics and data mining can jump-start implementation of major technology initiatives.
4. Train, Train, Train â Itâs not only about mastering technical skills, but also retaining them.
5. Measure What Really Matters â Have performance measures in place to determine how effectively you are leveraging technology.