3 Highlights from the Gartner Market Guide for Audit Management
The world we live in is growing increasingly more digital. Smartphones consume just about every aspect of our day-to-day lives. Modern thermostats allow you to adjust the comfort level of your home via an app, without ever leaving the couch. Connected refrigerators remind us when we are out of milk and eggs.
It makes sense that these technologies trickle into our work as internal auditors, too. But the options for making that transition can seem overwhelming.
Gartner, a leading research and advisory company, has assembled the Market Guide for Audit Management Solutions to help companies in similar situations. Here are three highlights from the report.
1. Quantity Over Quality: Efficiency is lagging
"Sixty percent of buyers report stagnating, and sometimes diminishing, operational efficiencies in audit workflows despite getting above average satisfaction post solution deployment."
Quality and efficiency can often be at odds. (For a deeper discussion on this, read my white paper, Beyond Quality: The Four-Part Approach for Audit Efficiency and Effectiveness.) Teams can create a thorough, detailed audit, but if it absorbed too many resources, or if it is turned in late, that value is less apparent.
Find an audit management solution that enables teams to work together as efficiently as possible while creating top-quality reports that keep executives confident.
2. Lending a Helping Hand: Assisting other roles
"Internal audit teams spend at least 30% of their time exploring areas that do not typically fall within the purview of traditional audit cycles (for instance, supporting digital initiatives, mergers/acquisitions or business expansion)."
Picking up someone else's slack or helping out with ad hoc requests is just part of modern work. You roll up your sleeves and assist with whatever project you are needed for.
Still, if you are spending nearly a third of your time on tasks that fall outside your job description and those tasks cannot be avoided, the time is right to reevaluate the processes underpinning each aspect of your role.
The right audit technology can help with workflows, dashboarding, approvals, and much more, affording you additional time to do your work—and whatever else falls on your plate.
3. One Tool to Rule Them All: SOX and audit capabilities
"Gartner observes a U.S.-specific trend in which there is growing interest for SOX compliance management-oriented tools that also have audit management capabilities."
Every experienced camper knows not to leave home without their trusty multi-tool—screwdriver, knife, pliers, and more, all in one. Risk and compliance professionals are clamoring for tools that can do more than one thing, too, according to the report.
It is likely that this push is brought about by the surging number of companies pursuing initial public offerings (IPOs), requiring SOX compliance testing, reporting, and a formal internal audit function.
Make sure you choose a solution that can scale with your organization's needs. Why choose multiple different tools for SOX, internal audit, financial reporting, and more, when you can choose one that serves all three lines of defense?
Get a full copy of the report to learn more about how Workiva compares against other audit management tools.
Gartner, Market Guide for Audit Management Solutions, Khushbu Pratap, David Gregory, 28 February 2019
About the Author
Ernest Anunciacion, Director of Product Marketing, brings over 15 years of experience in internal audit, risk management, and business advisory consulting to Workiva. Ernest is a Certified Internal Auditor and Six Sigma Black Belt. He holds an undergraduate degree and an executive MBA from the Carlson School of Business at the University of Minnesota.