In our Spotlight on Success series Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit, and Jake Varner, Senior Credit Reviewer at Texas Farm Credit, share how their four-person audit team leverages AuditBoard to provide real-time visibility into risk and mitigation efforts for the business. Texas Farm Credit is a customer-owned cooperative financial institution that supports rural communities and agriculture with reliable, consistent credit and financial services. Hear how this small audit team reduced time on administrative tasks, version control issues, and communication challenges by switching from a manual environment to AuditBoard, including:
- Selecting AuditBoard’s SOXHUB and OpsAudit solutions to boost efficiency and enable the team to add more audits to the audit plan.
- Reducing the pain points of audit report writing leveraging AuditBoard’s hashtagging feature to complete 80% of the audit report during field work.
- Delivering a return on the company’s investment in AuditBoard by providing real-time risk information to support better decision-making for the organization.
Tell us a little about your team at Texas Farm Credit, and some of the challenges you faced in your previous manual audit environment.
“Texas Farm Credit is a lending institution that’s owned by its borrowers and provides lending for agricultural land and operations. It’s a co-led audit department between me and the Senior Credit Reviewer, Jake Varner. We lead the organization in mitigating risk and maintaining security for our borrowers, so that we can remain safe and sound in the industry.” - Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit
“Being efficient with our time is critical, given that we have a small team of only four people. The level of risk for financial institutions is not decreasing, it’s ever increasing, so we have to be extremely efficient.” - Jake Varner, Senior Credit Reviewer at Texas Farm Credit
“Even though we’re a small team, we were all at different locations, so [prior to AuditBoard] we’ve had to work very hard on communication. With version control, things would get changed. We had time lags and inefficiencies in our process, which didn’t allow us to provide management and our audit committee with the real-time results and risk mitigation information that they needed to make better decisions.” - Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit
How has AuditBoard helped your four-person audit team gain efficiencies and showcase the value audit can provide?
“Having our SOX piece in AuditBoard as well as all of our assurance engagements has allowed us to really get through our audit plan in an efficient manner, and make sure that we’re able to add more audits and keep up with the speed of risk.” - Jake Varner, Senior Credit Reviewer at Texas Farm Credit
“In audit, you track everything. You track how much time you spend on this, and how much time you spend on that. With AuditBoard, we’re able to click the time icon at the very top, and put in your time right when you’re on the work step, so now it becomes less of an administrative responsibility that we have to do for our audit committee reporting and anything like that, but just becomes part of the process.” - Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit
“In the past, we would get through our fieldwork, and then the idea of sitting down and writing a written report was very daunting, and something the staff would always want to put off. However, with AuditBoard’s hashtag functionality and Word capabilities, we write 80% of our report as we complete our fieldwork.” - Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit
What kind of feedback have you received about AuditBoard both internally on the audit team and from your business stakeholders?
“AuditBoard exceeded our expectations. I remember very clearly the day that we got our site — it was like Christmas morning. It was the best present to us, as an audit staff, that we could’ve received.” - Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit
“I have a lot of conversations with our branches, and from their perspective it’s been a home run. They really like being able to see what they have outstanding from a remediation perspective. Management has commented quite a bit on how much they enjoy the product. It allows them to have a more active view into what the audit department’s doing and what we’re identifying.” - Jake Varner, Senior Credit Reviewer at Texas Farm Credit
Tell us about the ROI you’ve experienced with AuditBoard.
“AuditBoard has been such a gift from our audit committee, our senior leadership team, and our stakeholders and stockholders. We’ve been so pleased with that financial investment [in AuditBoard], and we’re happy that we’re able to give a return on that investment by being able to provide risk mitigation, real-time results, and real-time information that helps the company stay safe and sound.” - Ashley Martin, Internal Audit Manager at Texas Farm Credit