Drive the Combined Assurance Bus — or Get Run Over By It! (Part 1)

Mike Gowell
Mike Gowell
Anand Bhakta
Anand Bhakta AuditBoard

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Mike Gowell is considered a foremost expert on audit technology and audit methodology. He draws upon more than 33 years of audit industry experience to provide consulting services to enterprise organizations. Mike was the co-founder of TeamMate Audit Management Software and managed TeamMate global operations for 12 years at Wolters Kluwer. Prior to Wolters Kluwer, Michael spent 22 years at PwC, where he was an Auditor and Managing Director at the PwC Research and Technology Centre in Palo Alto, California.

Anand Bhakta is the Sr. Director of Risk Solutions at AuditBoard, a cloud-based software platform to help streamline and automate internal audit and compliance activities and a Principal at SAS, a boutique firm focused on Information Technology (IT) Controls and advisory services. He has over fifteen years of IT audit and consulting experience. Anand specializes in risks and controls related to the implementation of ERP systems, and he has helped various multinational companies evaluate and/or implement application controls in ERP systems including Oracle Financials, SAP, and PeopleSoft. Anand is recognized for his ability to develop and implement auditing and data analysis tools. Additionally, he has assisted clients comply with Sarbanes-Oxley from both an advisory and attestation perspective. Anand graduated from the University of Southern California (USC) with a degree in Accounting and Information Systems. Previously, Anand was an executive at Ernst & Young LLP in the Technology and Security Risk Services (TSRS). In his role at Ernst & Young LLP, he designed and developed procedures and tools to help clients perform continuous monitoring, as well as evaluate Segregation of Duties controls. Anand is an experienced trainer and has designed and conducted multiple technical training sessions including Oracle application controls, data analysis, Sarbanes-Oxley Compliance, and IT general controls.


This two part webinar dives headfirst into the topic of combined assurance and makes the strong case that Internal Audit departments that are not leading their organization’s combined assurance initiatives risk being marginalized. The IIA’s July 2020 update on governance and risk management, the Three Lines Model, squarely emphasizes the need for enhanced collaboration between assurance providers in the Second Line and Internal Audit. This webinar will take a deep dive into the underpinnings of combined assurance to understand the key benefits and common challenges of building a successful combined assurance program. Find out why combined assurance is such a hot topic with boards, senior management, and audit committees. Attendees will learn how an Assurance Map can be a critical communication tool, and how to identify your organization’s current level on the Combined Assurance Maturity Curve.

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