Internal Audit Strategy: Focus area three – redesign and modernisation

25 May 2022

Focusing in on area three of our Internal Audit Strategy for 2021-24

For Internal Audit Awareness Month, we’ve been spreading awareness of our profession through sharing details of our new three-year strategy.

In previous blog posts, we’ve covered an introduction to our strategy, focus on increasing client engagement, and focus on setting a strategic planning framework.

Now we look at focus area three…

Redesign and modernisation

Carrying out and completing audit work has become increasingly challenging in recent years.

Auditors are managing an expanding workload, with audits taking a long time to complete. This increases inefficiencies due to re-familiarising themselves as they move from one piece of work to another.

To address this, we want to modernise the way we work. Part of doing this will involve moving away from longer, traditional system reviews.

We’ll be conducting more targeted pieces of work that really add value to our clients.

‘Redesign and modernisation’ has three core elements:

  1. Planning
  2. Execution
  3. Reporting

Resource management will be a key aspect of the redesign. To allow us to target our resources efficiently we’ll develop a responsive resource management system to maximise our skills and talent.

Planning

Traditionally, internal audit develops a static plan before the year commences. Changes to the plan can sometimes be met with resistance.

In 2020/21 Veritau began to introduce flexible audit programmes and this has now become our standard approach in 2021/22.

Flexible plans include suggested areas for audit which can be revisited regularly during the audit year. This allows us to be more responsive to the needs of our clients.

Execution

Reducing the length of audits is a significant driver in the development of our strategy. Audits can often take too long to complete.

We want to introduce shorter, more focused audits that identify the key risks and look to address them.

Accompanying this will be more regular feedback provided to the client as the audit progresses. To facilitate this, we are proposing to hold ‘scrums’ on a weekly basis within our teams.

Reporting

Traditionally, our audit clients can expect a product at the end of an audit which may be a lengthy process.

Our strategy proposes reporting on a more iterative basis, feeding back findings throughout the audit. This will allow us to revisit the objectives at the end of each ‘sprint’.

We’ll also update our report format to introduce a more professional design to reflect our new strategy.

Management lead for redesign and modernisation

Phil Jeffrey, Assistant Director for Audit Assurance, is leading on this area of the strategy:

Internal Audit Strategy redesign modernisation - image of Phil Jeffrey with quote: "Our redesign and modernisation area of the strategy is all about improving quality and reducing audit cycle times. We want to ensure our audit teams have the necessary skills to be able to provide this assurance. Results include greater job satisfaction for our auditors and making sure we have the right people in the right place."

Our action plan for redesign and modernisation:
  • Agile audit development
  • Skills assessment
  • Resource management
  • Process review
  • Feedback from clients
Download

One-page summary of our strategy

View or download the "on a page" summary of our Internal Audit Strategy 2021-24

File type: pdf

File size: 541KB

Download this file
Continuing the spotlight on our focus areas

We’ll be sharing details of the other focus areas from our strategy in our blog series for Internal Audit Awareness Month. Here’s a reminder of our five focus areas:

Veritau's internal audit strategy - five focus areas: Increasing client engagement / Setting a strategic planning framework / Redesign and modernisation / Developing data analytics / KPIs and added value

Further links: