As part of our Spotlight on Success series, we spoke with Bobby Luka, Senior Manager of Internal Audit at Ulterra Drilling Technologies, about how Ulterra leveraged Protiviti’s SOX and internal audit expertise and AuditBoard’s integrated platform to optimize their audit processes as they position for future growth, get stakeholder buy-in, and save countless hours and frustration compared with their previous manual environment.
Tell us a little bit about Ulterra Drilling Technologies, and your role there.
I’m Bobby Luka, and I’m Senior Manager of Internal Audit at Ulterra Drilling Technologies. Ulterra is a private drill bit and downhole tool manufacturer for the oil and gas industry.
How did Ulterra select Protiviti as their internal audit outsourcing partner?
Ulterra’s audit department is relatively small — I lead the internal audit team, which is myself as well as a co-source effort with our outside partner, Protiviti. Protiviti is a global consulting firm, and we’ve definitely leveraged them when it comes to testing or if we’re ever in need of outside expertise. Ulterra reached out to Protiviti when we were ready to start an internal audit process as we were growing, and realized the need for an outside internal audit partnership.
What was Ulterra looking for in an audit management solution, and how did they select AuditBoard?
Ulterra was looking for audit management software as they grew. We knew we wanted to get out of the Excel spreadsheets in favor of a more automated effort when it came to the month end close checklists.
Protiviti actually helped Ulterra review AuditBoard’s proposal, as well as other competitors, and helped Ulterra iron out what would fit best for the company. In the end, AuditBoard was by far the most competitive, and answered all the questions that Ulterra had.
When we were going through the proposal process, we noticed that with all the challenges and stresses that came with the Excel workbooks, and the Shared Drives, we were looking for something that would help answer those questions or remove those stressors. Especially as we grew our team and partnered with our various stakeholders, we were looking for something to consolidate everything into one platform that was easy to use — and I think AuditBoard provided exactly that.
What are some of your favorite AuditBoard features that helped get stakeholder buy-in?
I personally use the comment functionality on a daily basis. In AuditBoard, the comments make it easy to exchange back and forth between not just the internal audit team, but also internal audit and our stakeholders. The comment functionality and the ease of use more generally with AuditBoard made it very easy to roll out the platform and get it in front of our stakeholders.
With the rollout of AuditBoard, there was a great buy-in from the internal audit team and our stakeholders. One noticeable improvement was with PBC requests — instead of having to do the constant back and forth and emails, everyone saw and understood what the PBC was in the WorkStream module. They realized that if they were able to put together the support and documentation they needed within the PBC request in AuditBoard, that usually led to less knocking on doors from the audit team.
One of the nice features that AuditBoard offers our team is the ABI dashboard. We are able to quickly pull down reports in terms of where our status is, and in terms of testing or operational type audits. We can then easily report on status to the CFO, our management team, and the audit committee, which is a great benefit.
Another thing that I usually utilize when I’m working with our management as well as with external auditors is the issues management module within SOXHUB, AuditBoard’s SOX management solution. It helps us drill down on any of the deficiencies we might have noticed and helps us work towards the remediation of those issues.
How have you benefited from working with Protiviti and AuditBoard together?
From the start, Protiviti was in sync with Ulterra’s culture. Protiviti always provides great resources — if we just needed additional hands or subject matter expertise, Protiviti has always been our first stop.
It also helps that Protiviti has a strong relationship with AuditBoard, and we’ve noticed that a lot of Protiviti resources come equipped with AuditBoard expertise — I’m learning a lot of things from the Protiviti team when it comes to AuditBoard. Whenever we bring on a resource for Protiviti and they already have that AuditBoard knowledge, it saves us a lot of time and money onboarding those resources because they know how to operate within AuditBoard — and that allows us to reallocate those hours to a more efficient use for our audit line.
How have AuditBoard and Protiviti helped Ulterra during the shift to remote work?
With more emphasis on remote work and an increased need for collaboration, I think this is the perfect time to consider a platform like AuditBoard to help save you and your team from the administrative hours and the frustrations that you might be seeing with a manual audit and risk management environment. And on top of that, I think working with AuditBoard and partnering with Protiviti has saved us a countless number of hours — and that might be the perfect solution for you and your team as well.