In our Spotlight on Success series, Rajesh Ghosh, Senior Director, Internal Audit at the University of Calgary, shares how his forward-thinking audit team is stepping up to expand its focus into more operational areas supported by AuditBoard’s connected platform. As one of Canada’s leading public research universities, the University of Calgary is a global intellectual hub offering more than 200 undergraduate, graduate, and professional degree programs to over 33,000 students. Hear how this higher education audit team is redeploying time saved on administrative tasks to focus on the issues themselves and opportunities to add value:
- Leveraging AuditBoard’s SOXHUB and OpsAudit solutions together to streamline workflows for audit as well as extending the benefits of a connected platform to IT, GRC, and other teams across the institution.
- Getting set up for success by AuditBoard experts during an educational sales process followed by an attentive implementation experience.
- Quickly achieving ROI by saving at least a week per engagement within the first six months after implementation.
Tell us a little about how you’ve built out the audit team at the University of Calgary.
“I’m the Head of Internal Audit at the University of Calgary. We have a small team of six individuals, and we’re tasked with providing not only assurance over the financial controls and the financial processes, but also on the operational side.”
“When I came in, we were more of a traditional audit group focused a lot around finance and financial controls. I have started to lead the group, and together we’ve been changing the mold to focus more on operational areas: value for money audits and giving people more awareness around risk and controls, as opposed to just focusing on the control side.”
Tell us about your experience selecting AuditBoard, and how did the sales process prepare you for later success?
“What we found with AuditBoard was that the [sales] team listened to what we had in terms of our special processes, and were able to say, “Yes, we can accommodate that,” or, “Here’s how you may get around it.” The experience of going through that process really made the difference, because we saw how easy it was or what we needed to do to customize ahead of time — not after we bought it — and we knew what we were going to get.”
What made the software implementation process a positive experience for your team?
“What made implementing AuditBoard such a pleasurable experience for us — and you don’t hear a lot of people say about software implementation, ‘It was a good experience,’ but this really was a good experience for us — was that the AuditBoard team knew the product and was able to take our work and contextualize it so we could see it. Even more importantly was their responsiveness. As basic or as technical as a question may be, they were very solutions-minded and driven, and made us feel that we were valued.”
Tell us about the ROI you’ve seen with AuditBoard, and how do you envision leveraging the platform across the institution?
“Within the first six months, we were able to save at least a week on every engagement. We could very quickly see the power of the system.”
“Now we’re looking at AuditBoard not only as a solution that can help internal audit, but we’re asking how can we serve the institution — because we’ve got other groups that are doing similar work. We’ve expanded AuditBoard to our IT group. Our GRC department is starting to make the transition. We’re talking to our financial team with their internal controls group, and they’re going to start making the transition into SOXHUB. I’m going to be reaching out to our EHS&S group to say, “Hey, you do quality assurance and safety audits. Let’s take a look at AuditBoard.” And I’m working with another department because they’re doing ISO 9001 audits — how do we bring those quality audits into AuditBoard? Now whether it’s a program through audit or whether it’s through another controls-based program, we’ve got AuditBoard in place — that’s going to help the institution a whole lot.”
“AuditBoard really helped us as an audit team to focus less on the administrative efforts and really get focused on the issue itself. That’s been probably the biggest benefit for us as a team.”