october2021 - 22
5 COVID-19 Impacts on Internal
Audit That Are Here to Stay
By Isaac M. O'Bannon, Managing Editor
A NEW SURVEY by AuditBoard shows what chief audit executives (CAEs)
think the long-term impacts of COVID-19 will be on their operations and
the profession at large. AuditBoard is a cloud-based platform transforming
how enterprises manage risk.
The survey uncovered five key trends respondents
believe will have long-term impacts on
internal audit teams, including: the continued
increased use of technology to conduct audits,
employing innovative means of gathering and
analyzing evidence, greater reliance on technology
for basic communication, a continuous
approach to assessing risks, and the hybrid
workplace model. Key findings include:
The use of technology will
be more critical to conducting
internal audits in the future.
For a profession that has traditionally
relied on face-to-face meetings and access
to physical evidence, mandatory lockdowns
necessitated the greater use of technology to
continue working. In particular, cloud-based
platforms that were designed to not only facilitate
remote collaboration, but also automate
workflows across the three lines, were successful
in streamlining and facilitating the actions
of multiple stakeholders to reach common,
intersecting goals. Going forward, CAEs believe
the use of technology will continue to play an
important role in internal audit processes, with
91% of CAEs agreeing with this statement,
including 34% strongly agreeing.
Audit teams will be more
focused on innovative means
to gather and analyze evidence as
part of internal audit processes.
The creative solutions audit teams
deployed in the process of working around
lockdown limitations produced new efficiencies
- as well as new methods - for evidence
gathering. With 83% of surveyed CAEs
agreeing with this statement, including 34%
who strongly agreed, it's clear that CAEs are
embracing nontraditional ways of working.
Among the innovative uses of technology
that have proven effective in the past year
have been the use of drones, reliance on prepositioned
security camera video feeds, and
video documentation by smart phones and
other devices. Chief audit executives have
reported that the use of drones to document
the physical existence of assets or control
effectiveness has provided sufficient evidence
more efficiently than even traditional means.
Most face-to-face meetings
will be replaced with virtual
meetings using video streaming
By all accounts, audit, risk, and
compliance professionals have embraced
video platforms not only for meetings between
members of the internal audit staff, but also
for meetings and other face-to-face interaction
throughout the audit process and communications
with key stakeholders. Based on the
survey responses-72% of CAEs agreed with
this statement, including 26.3% who strongly
agreed-CAEs believe their teams will likely
continue to rely heavily on technologyfacilitated
meetings as a more efficient means
Internal audit teams will
focus more on emerging
risks and their possible impacts
on the company.
The pandemic has proven beyond
doubt that the dynamic nature and velocity
of risks must be an overarching consideration
for internal auditors and other risk professionals.
The fact that 72% of CAEs agreed with
22 OCTOBER 2021 ■ www.CPAPracticeAdvisor.com
this statement, including 25.7% who strongly
agreed, speaks to the importance of auditing
at the speed of risk. Now, there must be a
continuous component to assessing risks,
not only in performing risk assessments with
greater frequency, but in the methodologies
and technologies used to create a continuously
monitoring risk function.
Internal audit teams will
likely not return to traditional
workplaces, but will work
remotely all or part of the time.
The COVID-19 experience has demonstrated
loud and clear that the internal audit
workplace of the future does not need to be
exclusively in a traditional office setting.
Based on the survey responses-68% of CAEs
agreed with this statement, including 35%
who strongly agreed-it would appear that a
strong majority of CAEs will embrace flexible
workplace arrangements in the future. This
may prove particularly true in markets where
internal audit talent (especially expertise in
specialized risks) is in short supply.
" In many ways the COVID-19 pandemic has
been the most disruptive event in the history of
the internal audit profession. Without question,
the events of the past 18 months have triggered
fundamental changes in how audit, risk and
compliance professionals undertake their
responsibilities-from how we communicate
with our teams and other stakeholders to our
day-to-day processes, " said Richard Chambers,
senior internal audit advisor at Auditboard.
" It's clear the internal audit profession is
evolving to be more flexible, innovative and
productive, leveraging technology to stay resilient
in an environment where risk priorities
can shift overnight. " ■
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of october2021
From the Editor: 2FA, MFA, GWTP
The State of Automation in Finance
Automation Solves Payroll Headaches
What is Human Capital Management?
The 2021 "40 Under 40" and "20 Under 40"
Marketing Your Firm: How to Create a Lead-Generating YouTube Channel
From the Trenches: Client Experience for Today: Leveraging Payroll
The Leadership Advisor: The Great Resignation: How to Keep Employees Happy and Prevent Burnout
The Labor Law Advisor: Wage and Hour Audits May Be Coming
The Millennial Advisor: Go For It!
The Staffing & HR Advisor: Hiring Remotely? Here's What You Need to Know
Will the 2022 Tax Filing Season Be Normal?
5 Covid Impacts on Internal Audit that Are Here to Stay
Bridging the Gap: Marketing for the Modern Accounting Firm
october2021 - 1
october2021 - 2
october2021 - 3
october2021 - From the Editor: 2FA, MFA, GWTP
october2021 - The State of Automation in Finance
october2021 - Automation Solves Payroll Headaches
october2021 - What is Human Capital Management?
october2021 - The 2021 "40 Under 40" and "20 Under 40"
october2021 - 9
october2021 - 10
october2021 - Marketing Your Firm: How to Create a Lead-Generating YouTube Channel
october2021 - From the Trenches: Client Experience for Today: Leveraging Payroll
october2021 - 13
october2021 - 14
october2021 - The Leadership Advisor: The Great Resignation: How to Keep Employees Happy and Prevent Burnout
october2021 - The Labor Law Advisor: Wage and Hour Audits May Be Coming
october2021 - The Millennial Advisor: Go For It!
october2021 - The Staffing & HR Advisor: Hiring Remotely? Here's What You Need to Know
october2021 - Will the 2022 Tax Filing Season Be Normal?
october2021 - 20
october2021 - 21
october2021 - 5 Covid Impacts on Internal Audit that Are Here to Stay
october2021 - Bridging the Gap: Marketing for the Modern Accounting Firm
october2021 - 24