How U.S. Xpress Connects People, Data, and Insights Across the Business

How U.S. Xpress Connects People, Data, and Insights Across the Business

In our Spotlight on Success series, Rob Zunt, VP of Internal Audit and Bambi Gifford, Manager of Internal Audit at U.S. Xpress, share how they leverage AuditBoard’s connected risk platform across multiple teams to gain visibility into risk across the business. Headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S. Xpress is the fifth-largest asset-based trucking company in the United States, providing a vital link in the supply chain with a portfolio of capacity solutions including an established Dedicated fleet servicing some of the nation’s largest shippers along with innovative over-the-road (OTR) and brokerage solutions. Hear how this team has taken advantage of the efficiency gains, transparency, and stronger staff morale they’ve experienced by switching from a legacy GRC tool to AuditBoard, including:

  • Leveraging AuditBoard’s full platform to connect people, data, and risk insights across the enterprise.
  • Quickly getting their SOX program up and running, and gaining efficiencies that have freed up their team for value-added activities around ERM, ESG, and more.
  • Taking advantage of real-time visibility into status to optimize resource planning, achieve ambitious SOX testing goals, and provide robust executive reporting.
Rob Zunt and Bambi Gifford of U.S. Xpress share how the efficiencies they’ve gained using AuditBoard have freed up their team for value-added activities around ERM, ESG, and more.

Tell us a little about U.S. Xpress and some of the challenges you faced with your previous GRC tool.

“U.S. Xpress is the fifth largest asset-based trucking company in the United States. The big focus for U.S. Xpress is getting goods where they need to go. Whether you’re going to Walmart, to Amazon — all the products that we buy every day— U.S. Xpress’ mission is to make sure they get there at the right time and make the customers happy.” – Rob Zunt, VP of Internal Audit at U.S. Xpress  

“U.S. Xpress went public in 2018. When I took over the team, it was fully outsourced. We did have tools and an application for documents, controls, and matrices, but we did not have anything that our auditors were working in every day, and I didn’t have visibility into where they were at with their control work. Really all we did with that [previous] tool was have a listing of our controls and our matrices, everything else was done in spreadsheets and emails. I knew coming in that that wasn’t going to be an efficient way to grow.” – Rob Zunt 

Tell us about your experience getting new team members up and running on AuditBoard?

“When I started at U.S. Xpress they had AuditBoard fully implemented, at least the first couple of modules, SOXHUB and OpsAudit. I came from a company that didn’t use that to begin with. So for me the journey was fairly easy. I would say also for my team, we have a lot of younger staff that are coming straight in for their first audit experience and it’s been really easy to get them up to speed and on board using AuditBoard. As a matter of fact, they love AuditBoard —  they’ve threatened to leave if we ever get rid of it, so, that’s not happening!” – Bambi Gifford, Manager of Internal Audit at U.S. Xpress 

How has AuditBoard helped you save time and provide real-time visibility with executive reporting?

“Some of the aspects that AuditBoard brought to the table for expediting our processes are on the reporting side, especially executive reporting. We’re able to build Power BI dashboards that I use to report to the audit committee — I just press refresh, export it out, import it into my audit report, and I’m done. During the audit committee meeting, if I get a question I’m able to drill down very quickly to get the answers. In the past, I’d have to say, “Hey, let me take a note of that and I’ll get back to you next week or the next day or two, because I’ll have to go find the workpapers, look into that, and get that answer for you.” – Rob Zunt 

How has AuditBoard helped you get visibility into status and achieve your SOX team’s goals?

“Since I primarily run the SOX process it’s super easy for me to go out there and see who’s assigned what controls, how they’re doing, what stages it’s in, if it’s been completed, if there’s anything that’s ineffective.” – Bambi Gifford

“We actually met our goal last test period — it was super exciting for the team to get everything completed on time, and AuditBoard was a big piece of it. It’s easy for me to go in and review things because I have the prior testing rounds right at my fingers. I can see who did what, if I had any questions or comments that I left previously. It’s just really made my job easy where I can really focus on my team.” – Bambi Gifford

With Audit being asked to step up to support ERM, ESG, and other new areas, how has leveraging AuditBoard’s full platform helped you connect risk and data insights across the enterprise?

“Audit used to be just SOX or just control based, but we’re getting asked to do ERM, we’re getting asked to do ESG, and all these different areas that are outside the normal scope. Having AuditBoard, which has all those different areas at our fingertips, has been a game changer. It has allowed us to be able to dig in and cross-connect. If we have a control failure that’s on the SOX side but also has a financial impact or some other impact on our ESG environment or our ERM environment, we can cross reference all those. When I get a question from the ERM or the risk team, I can dig into that and it connects all the way back and forth. That connectedness, it really helps us be able to guide the ship.” – Rob Zunt

How has AuditBoard’s purpose-built solution helped elevate how you and your team do your valuable work?

I would say that we’ve probably saved at least one full-time employee with the WorkStream paired with SOXHUB. It’s made our lives so much easier and my staff really appreciates the fact that they’re not buried in mundane tasks. I’m able to do my job a lot easier because I have everything where I can see it immediately, know exactly where testers are with statuses, and processes. The transparency that AuditBoard gives to us and our business partners really helps us as an organization better manage risk.” – Bambi Gifford 

Reflecting back on your experience standing up the SOX program, how has AuditBoard helped you build efficiencies that have freed your team up to add value to the business more quickly than expected?

“When I took over as the CAE at U.S. Xpress about four years ago the timeline that was expected of me was about 3-5 years to get SOX fully up and running and fully in place in a very efficient manner. Then probably after that was the expectation to move into other things like operational audits, ERM, ESG. Having AuditBoard has allowed me to actually expedite that process. When I sat down with our CFO and even the audit committee they were very ecstatic and surprised with how quickly we were able to navigate and get the SOX environment up and running in a very efficient manner, where we could spend more time doing other business value-added activities. That was one of the critical things for the tool and it’s really helped us along the way.” – Rob Zunt