Thank you for joining us for our session on agile internal audit. Our speaker today is Mark Williams. Mark is an industry-recognised agile coach and trainer, specialising in agility in audit and he is a regular keynote conference speaker.
We are also joined by Liz Sandwith, the Institute's Chief Professional Practices Advisor in the UK and Ireland and Derek Jamieson, Regional Director in the UK and Ireland. Our usual chair Piyush Fatania, Internal Audit Manager for St. Albans City & District Council, and member of the Institute's Council was unfortunately poorly today.
Click here to access the presentation slides from this forum.
Agile auditing is an important consideration for heads of internal audit. It is likely that 2021 will be a year when internal audit will once again be asked to do more with less while maintaining relevance and professionalism. Agile could provide a way to rise to the challenge.
[Post-Forum addition] A Scotland IA Change Group has recently become a national self-help group for HIAs looking to develop their agile capabilities. If you would like to join this group please contact Derek Jamieson (email@example.com).
During our earlier forums many of you shared your experiences of 2020, including some great solutions to the challenges that the pandemic has presented. We would actively encourage you to enter our 2021 Audit & Risk Awards. There are five categories to choose from:
Deadlines for nominations close on Friday 29 January 2021. For more details, click here.
Our next LA Forum meeting, 9 December, will focus data analytics, Malcolm Zack from Element Materials Technology Group Limited, will share experiences and provide an overview of data analytics. Setting the pace for that meeting is a special Talk to Internal Audit Facebook live stream all about data-driven internal auditing, which you can read about on the Institute's social media channels.
Thank you for attending.
As always if you have any ideas or suggestions for what we might include in future agendas please contact Liz Sandwith (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Q The challenge for me would be around the organisation supporting this approach - it requires management being prepared to have continuous engagement and dialogue, which often can be difficult at the best of times.
A Start small, find an audit to do where stakeholder engagement is already good, having an advocate is useful, signpost at the start of the audit what you are doing, taking a different approach, what it will mean for them particularly their time commitment and the benefits such as no surprises. Once you’ve done one, you can demonstrate the value and build from there.
Q How does the approach of doing one audit at a time sit with potential inefficiencies for example caused by client unavailability?
A There is a strong case for doing two audits at a time to overcome inefficiencies with client availability, making one a primary and having a secondary audit on the go in case the main one stalls. Try not to slice time between the two though, do the work in chunks.
Q How agile does the client have to be to enable the audit/auditor to be agile?
A Stakeholders need to be more available, not necessarily more agile. It requires a level of commitment. If engagement levels are not good between internal audit and management, introducing agile can be a challenge - chip away and turn the dial up as you go.
Q I like the theory of focusing on one audit at a time. An issue we have is getting what we need to complete audits from the services, so we end up juggling multiple audits. Does Mark have any practical experience or suggestions for getting services on board for the focussed approach?
A Talking about an audit team, typically need to get engagement from leadership and oversight, a pre-meeting can be useful. Continuous engagement is at all levels.