Internal auditors are busier than ever. In addition to keeping a company’s governance, risk management and compliance processes in check, many audit teams also strive to prove their value by providing strategic insights to the board.
Based on the results of the 2023 What Directors Think survey, about 66% of those surveyed have observed a significant increase in the areas of risk being monitored by the audit committee. Additionally, more than a third of respondents noted that the audit committee’s responsibilities now compare in complexity and scope to those of the entire board.
And while auditors face a growing list of responsibilities, they must also contend with static or declining resources, among other challenges.
Many internal audit teams have begun collaborating with first- and second-line business users to manage their heavy workloads to assess risks and controls.
But how can this help the business as a whole?
Here, we’ll explore three ways that sharing assessment work can benefit your organization, allowing you to boost efficiency while effectively mitigating risks.
How collaboration between audit teams and control owners can benefit the business
Save valuable time
Delegating assessments to first-line users saves auditors time, but this collaboration’s benefits extend far beyond the audit team.
Internal auditors are uniquely positioned to pick up critical insights across risk, compliance and ESG — insights that can guide the entire business through a tumultuous risk landscape.
By giving more responsibility to first- and second-line users, internal auditors can focus on providing assurance, offering strategic guidance, and ensuring the business effectively mitigates risks.
A single organization could have hundreds of thousands of controls. In most cases, the audit team isn’t big enough or lacks sufficient resources to check every control.
Working with first- and second-line users increases coverage by allowing more risks and controls to be assessed in less time.
More coverage means your organization is better protected against risks and able to adapt quickly as new issues emerge.
Provide better assurance
First- and second-line users can typically determine whether a control works as it should with more speed and confidence than the audit team since they are the actual risk or control owners.
And as cybersecurity breaches, third-party risk factors and compliance requirements intensify, keeping a tight grip on risk is critical.
Sharing the work increases efficiency and ensures that those most familiar with the controls are doing the assessments, leading to greater accuracy and better protection.
The right technology is essential.
Audit teams and first-line users can join forces to save time and resources — but only if they have the right tools for the job.
Spreadsheets and old software systems make for time-consuming, manual work, which cancels any time-saving benefits of working together.
Investing in technology that enhances the productivity of auditors and control owners is crucial. We offer an innovative solution that simplifies collaboration between auditors and first-line business users, enabling them to achieve more with less and reduce risks.