What is the impact of the implementation of internal audit software on departmental productivity

The first question to ask yourself is whether you already have an internal audit methodology. After all, what good is a tool, if the audit methodology is flawed.

So, if you already have an internal audit methodology established then it will depend on the audit department's team members learning curve regarding the software. The more adaptable the team is to the new tool, the more productivity we can expect.

However, if there is no methodology (including proper work papers, quality reviews, supporting documentation etc.) and the software is a way to improve the department's audit quality then productivity will decrease a lot.

So, assuming that there is a good audit methodology, then the following are some of the positive impacts of the internal audit tool.
•Audit Automation can provide the Audit staff with the metrics to lead them towards improvements and a standard process that could be reviewed with ease as opposed to a document file with references, cross references, cross-cross references, etc

•The software also helps to properly manage the documentation linked to the audit: work programs and papers, audit evidences, time and expenses register... What will be of advantage to time and cost saving

•Efficiency can be gained at just about every level work performed, from the performance and management of each audit/project to the administrative tasks required for management of the internal audit function. Internal auditing system not only provides with IA performance and administrative metrics, but is a cornerstone of quality assurance program, and most of all, it increases efficiency in the performance of audits.

•Among the benefits derived from internal auditing system, users are able to view and work on any work paper from any geographic location. Work paper documentation is facilitated with ability to link and/or embed supporting documents. Work paper review, comment and response process can also be performed and discussed real time and between auditors at different locations.

•The system helps to ensure that all workpapers are level 1 &2 reviewed, audit administrative tasks are completed before an audit is closed, tracks the status of internal audit findings, tracks time and resource budgets, and documents accountability for the work performed.

•Many users have indicated that though they have not quantitatively measured the productivity change, from experiencing the before and after, the tool was significantly positive.

•Don't expect the automated auditing application to be effective if your process doesn't adjust to the tools design and capabilities.

•Once implemented with the corresponding audit process, use the metrics provided by the tool to find the bottlenecks, process improvement areas, etc.

The success of the implementation comes down to upfront planning. Be prepared to look at the system and adjust your processes to work best with the system you pick. The systems are designed to be flexible, but they do have certain process flows built into them. If you can build on those, you will be much more successful.
Also, think ahead as to what you would like to measure and set the system up to accordingly. If you try to set it up for what you currently measure, it will be harder to modify it down the road.

Some of the downsides of internal audit software are mostly people related. One common complaint is that upgrades are an issue because the system needs to be empty when they are done. However, users can control how often you do upgrades.
Finally, things to take care when implementing internal audit software

•The first important step is to get sufficient training on the system before completely implementing it. Let the Audit team find the feature and functionality of the tool. Hence this process will save you time and money. From people's experiences, it is advisable to have a gradual implementation that will help the business in the long run to be more effective, saving time and money

•The Audit Methodology and better yet, the audit process needs to be adjusted to take advantage of the features and functionality of the Audit Automated tool. To do this, you need to gain an Understanding of the tool, its expected process and any parameters or requirements. Then use the tool to make your process more effective and efficient.

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