Data analytics in internal audit: report helps internal auditors to assess the potential benefits

24 April 2017

The Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors today publishes a report on the use of data analytics in internal audit. The report aims to help organisations determine the potential value of harnessing the use of data analytics before they commit the substantial resources that are required for its use. The report provides a series of questions that HIAs/CAEs can ask the Audit Committee to facilitate the discussion and understanding, across all levels within the organisation, of the challenges that using or indeed not using data analytics brings.


The report, Data analytics: Is it time to take the first step?, features three case studies (Coca-Cola Hellenic, Credit Suisse and Dublin Airport Authority), each of whom has realised substantial benefits by implementing data analytics methodologies.


Because of the significant time and investment required to up-skill audit staff and embed data analytics into the internal audit function, the report looks at how, and whether, its use can contribute to the overarching level of assurance provided by internal audit.


Dr Ian Peters MBE, Chief Executive of the Chartered Institute of Internal Auditors, says:


“We live in the era of so-called Big Data. There’s no doubt that there are rich gains to be made in utilising these vast datasets and creating metrics to produce valuable insights that can support the management of risk. The use of data analytics offers improved efficiency – freeing up internal audit time to focus on areas of particular strategic need. In this way, internal audit can potentially provide greater assurance for the board.


“But it takes time to fully realise these benefits, as our case studies demonstrate. So it makes sense for organisations to consider carefully the application of data analytics before committing. Boards and senior management need to work with their heads of internal audit to determine how the use of data analytics will assist them in meeting their strategic needs and which specific areas of the audit population analytics can be used in.”


ENDS

Notes
1. Read the report: Data analytics: Is it time to take the first step?