I’ve had a weekly check-in call with our CFO ever since we started working remotely. During the first few calls he was reaching out to every department with a standard checklist about how the team was managing the transition to working remotely. I let my team members speak first, and everyone said that they felt well set up to audit from anywhere. It doesn’t matter if it’s the corporate office, a satellite office in China, or my dining room table — everything we need to access is in AuditBoard or in our shared files.
One thing that’s been a challenge for us, and I’m sure for other audit teams too, is being grounded for an extended period of time. So much of internal audit is relationship-based — going out to sites and building rapport with people. We’re figuring out creative ways to use technology like Microsoft Teams to stay in contact with the various finance and operational groups across the globe. We’re also utilizing AuditBoard to keep in touch with the business and get visibility into our team’s activities as they’re working from home.
We’ve also been able to give our external auditors access to AuditBoard and the documentation within, which has reduced the time and effort for internal audit and duplicative requests to the business. Our business units upload their documents right to AuditBoard, and thanks to role-based permissions, the external auditors access what they need without burdening them with information that is not relevant. In a prior life at other companies, it would have been rounds of back-and-forth requests and providing documents — I’d estimate that just in terms of providing reconciliation information to our external auditor, implementing AuditBoard has saved us anywhere from a half to three quarters of an FTE worth of time.
For most of 2019, AuditBoard was used just by the internal audit group, but at the end of 2019 we started to open it up to other areas of the business. Our corporate finance team was looking for a better way to obtain representation letters from the business units all over the world. We leveraged WorkStream to automate sending and obtaining these rep letters from our business units without a hitch.
The scope of what we’ve done has expanded with having AuditBoard to streamline the administrative tasks that used to take up huge amounts of time. Now we have the flexibility to react quickly to situations that come up like the pandemic, where otherwise we might have been struggling just to figure out how to work from home. Implementing AuditBoard has really been a win-win-win all the way around.