To celebrate International Internal Audit Awareness Month, we’ll be shining a light on internal audit leaders this May, starting with Allison Waldrep of Lennar homes sharing how her team has leveraged technology to streamline their SOX and audit environment — which has helped ensure an effective response to emerging risks during the COVID-19 transition to work-from-home.
Allison Waldrep leads an internal audit team of around 20 people as Director of Internal Audit at Lennar Homes, one of the nation’s largest home builders. Based in Miami, Florida, the internal audit team manages about 1,000 controls across all of their businesses. In a previous Audit Leader Spotlight, Waldrep discussed how her team has “proven technology’s value to our business through the implementation of software that has helped us improve efficiency in big ways.” In the video below, she and Senior Auditor Vince Mongio share how AuditBoard has helped their internal audit team gain efficiencies and visibility into their SOX and audit environment.
From Spreadsheets to One Unified SOX and Audit Platform
Lennar’s internal audit team had been managing their audit program manually with spreadsheets, emails, and shared drives, and struggled with lack of visibility, time-consuming status reports, and version control issues. “Prior to AuditBoard, we were primarily in Excel, and that brought a whole host of issues from version control; we didn’t know who was making what changes where,” said Vince Mongio, Senior Auditor at Lennar. “Now, AuditBoard’s real-time version control tracking saves us a whole lot of time and stress.” AuditBoard helps Lennar keep their SOX and audit documentation accurate and consistent with detailed audit trails, version history, and role-based permissions. AuditBoard’s version history is easily accessible and tracks changes at the most granular level by user, which helps create accountability and facilitate collaboration.
As Lennar grew, their manual audit environment created pain points such as “not being able to see similarities between controls, differences, or things that… were duplicative. All of that changed when we started using AuditBoard,” said Waldrep. Now Waldrep and her team have instant visibility into their control environment and are able to perform analysis that helps them be more effective and efficient.
After implementing AuditBoard, Waldrep’s team has gained crucial connectivity and visibility into internal audit and SOX in one platform. “Within our controls, we can reference our operational audit work steps, and within our operational audits we can reference controls, and link back and forth between the two,” said Waldrep.
Lennar’s internal audit team team benefits from real-time visibility, from the status of testing, to issue management and evidence requests from the business. “The fact that AuditBoard can give me that high level overview of the status of the work by priority has helped me tremendously and saved me a lot of time and stress,” said Mongio. Before AuditBoard, “in terms of the certification process we would send out multiple workbooks to various auditees and that was a very time consuming process.” AuditBoard helps automate kick-off of the certification process, as well as follow up with certifiers. With automated notifications and built-in workflow, auditors can eliminate a significant amount of administrative effort to focus on activities that require their expertise and judgement.
Because AuditBoard was designed for how auditors do their work, it can be easily configured to support existing workflows. “It’s a very flexible solution. However you’re doing things now, you will be able to do it that way in AuditBoard — or even better,” said Waldrep. Unlike legacy GRC solutions that require customized implementations, rigid workflows, and rigorous change tickets for even the smallest of configuration adjustments, AuditBoard allows audit teams to update their workflows on the fly.
Quick Implementation and Audit Expertise
Having sales, implementation, and support teams with extensive audit experience means that clients can get up and running on AuditBoard in 20 days on average — something Lennar experienced firsthand. “During the sales and implementation process, I was skeptical about the timeframe that AuditBoard claimed that we would be able to go live. To my surprise, they were able to meet that timeframe. What was really impressive to me is that I was working with people who knew audit and who understood the data that I was providing,” said Waldrep. AuditBoard’s team collectively has hundreds of years of audit experience, which enables them to position audit teams to gain efficiencies and have success on the platform from day one.
Internal Audit Gets Visibility into Pandemic Impacts
When asked midway through the COVID-19 crisis how AuditBoard has helped her internal audit team succeed in this time of uncertainty, Waldrep spoke to the ease of WorkStream, AuditBoard’s workflow product, to help coordinate with internal audit and audit stakeholders to identify and assess emerging risks from the pandemic during the shift to work-from-home. “During the pandemic, we are using WorkStream certification projects to help us identify areas throughout the company where new approaches, controls, or procedures may be needed to ensure risks are still being addressed even with everyone working remotely” said Waldrep. By leveraging AuditBoard to rapidly address the impact of COVID-19 on the organization, Waldrep’s internal audit team have shown the agility and flexibility needed to be ready for evolving pandemic outcomes now and in the future.