How Elevations Credit Union Centralized Audit, Risk, and Compliance

How Elevations Credit Union Centralized Audit, Risk, and Compliance

In our Spotlight on Success series, Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit at Elevations Credit Union and Adam Russell, Senior Internal Auditor at Elevations Credit Union, share how their five-person team leverages AuditBoard to collaborate seamlessly and streamline how they perform their core responsibilities, including compliance testing, entities-based risk assessments, and maintaining the audit and risk universe. Hear how AuditBoard’s intuitive, connected risk management platform enabled this Colorado-based credit union to:

  • Manage multiple regulations and frameworks efficiently.
  • Create a single source of truth for their audit, risk, and compliance program.
  • Decrease time spent on administrative reporting by 50%.
Elizabeth McDowell and Adam Russell share the efficiency gains Elevations Credit Union has experienced by unifying audit, risk, and compliance in AuditBoard.

Tell us about the challenges you experienced prior to implementing AuditBoard, and what helped you in your selection process?

“When I joined Elevations two and a half years ago, the internal audit department was primarily outsourced. The decision had been made to insource the audit department, and I was brought on to coordinate that initiative. I hired a team and took a fresh look at our workpaper management system and all of our processes and procedures — there were a lot of inefficiencies.

When we were evaluating workpaper management systems, we primarily evaluated three different systems. AuditBoard stood out from the beginning because of its ease of use. When somebody asks me why I like using AuditBoard — it’s just easy. That may sound basic, but you want your system to be simple, but also be configurable to what you need.” – Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit

Tell us about your implementation experience. How quickly could you get up and running with AuditBoard?

When I joined Elevations, it took me less than a week to learn how to use AuditBoard, how to integrate the workflow system to easily request things from clients, to receive information back, remediate issues, and streamline the entire process, including preparing, reviewing, and clearing workpaper comments. I found the platform very, very easy to pick up. All of the workpaper interfaces were very intuitive. Anyone with audit experience could very clearly see the value that it was bringing to the process of preparing and reviewing work papers.” – Adam Russell, Senior Internal Auditor

How has AuditBoard’s CrossComply enabled you to manage multiple regulations and frameworks?

“As a credit union and financial institution, we have a lot of regulations that we have to comply with both at the federal and the state level. We’ve been able to use CrossComply, the compliance module within AuditBoard, to set up the different frameworks and regulations that we monitor. Within CrossComply, we have the overviews of the different frameworks, we have all of the regulations put in separately, and then we also have areas within those for our annual or other frequency testing.” – Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit

One of my favorite things that we have in CrossComply are the different frameworks that we have to comply with, including NCUA, CFPB, and different state regulations. It’s very easy to go in and learn about the regulations because we can drill down into a specific framework and it has all the different regulations laid out in front of you. We can automatically add all of our testing work so we can easily review any of the testing work that we’ve done either in previous audits or in previous compliance testing engagements — all in one place. It streamlines the ability to review all the work we’ve already done and the work that we have coming up in those different frameworks.” – Adam Russell, Senior Internal Auditor

How has AuditBoard helped make reporting less cumbersome and time-consuming?

“We do monthly audit and risk committee reporting, and previously, that could take an entire day — which may not sound like a lot, but eight hours every month on reporting is quite a lot. We spend at most four hours now, so we’ve cut our reporting time in half for our monthly executive and audit committee reporting.” – Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit

How have you streamlined issue and action plan management?

The issue and action plan management within AuditBoard is extremely easy to use. It’s really nice because our action plan owners can come into the system and update in the management comment section. They can attach files and then we can go in to see what they have done and validate if the action plan can be closed or not.” – Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit

How has AuditBoard enabled you to collaborate effectively with your regulators?

“As a financial institution, we are highly regulated and we do have an examination every year. AuditBoard makes it really easy to share our workpapers, including our actual audit workpapers or our risk assessments with our regulators. It’s easy to get the information out or even provide them a different level of access so that they can go in and review themselves.” – Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit

How has AuditBoard’s connected risk platform centralized your audit, risk, and compliance program?

I really like AuditBoard because it makes my day-to-day work a lot more efficient. I no longer have to worry about whether someone else has a specific workpaper checked out or whether something has been reviewed because all of that information is held all within the same place. I’ve shown the AuditBoard platform to individuals who work at larger organizations, and they’re very easily able to see how much more efficient and clean the entire interface looks in comparison to the applications they’re using.” – Adam Russell, Senior Internal Auditor

I love AuditBoard because it makes my life so much easier. As a manager, I can review workpapers, prepare workpapers, review our risk assessment process and our compliance program — all in one place. The way the parts of the AuditBoard system integrate — it just makes my life easier.” – Elizabeth McDowell, AVP, Internal Audit

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