When an enterprise engages in an audit process, it must have access to data from numerous systems and sources. This data will play a crucial role in gathering facts, analyzing processes, getting to the heart of issues and problems, uncovering and mitigating risk and reporting findings.
A stable, high-performance business intelligence solution can create a dependable, accessible environment in which to analyze and report findings in a way that is meaningful to the auditor’s role and responsibilities, and provide flexible tools to translate and convert findings into reports that are easily understood by management teams, executives and others. When an enterprise or audit team can leverage the existing technology and systems investments to compile, integrate and deliver information, it will face fewer obstacles and deliver results in a more timely, and cost-effective manner.
BI Tools can help the enterprise in the short-term and in the long-term by providing a scalable, self-service environment in which auditors can perform analysis and implement, monitor and manage ongoing audits and processes to manage risk and identify issues related to security, compliance, regulations, policies, procedures and financial factors. With the right business intelligence tools, auditors can deliver and enjoy results immediately with mobile, personalized dashboards and features like key performance indicators (KPIs), balanced scorecards, predictive analysis, and layered security that allows for appropriate access and protects data and confidentiality.
Where technology-based audit products are in use, the ability to integrate BI tools and see data in one place is undeniably valuable. Because these business intelligence solutions allow for drag and drop report building, auditors do not have to wait for IT to develop and deliver reports. They can design reports on the fly to meet the needs of a particular audit requirement, or establish specific periodic reports for automatic delivery.
Whether an auditor is working with process or data owners, or developing business cases or reports, a BI tool with sophisticated, easy-to-use features allows individuals and teams to satisfy ever-changing requirements and supports fact-based enterprise decisions. The organization can respond to internal and external audit requests and avoid delays in data analysis. The organization can optimize resources and receive and use clear, up-to-date data, so it can ask and answer the right questions and avoid risk.
Auditors can help process owners and organizations to establish objective controls and provide the tools the organization will need to monitor these controls, thereby simplifying auditor follow-up and ensuring that input, output and monitoring processing and controls are clear to everyone in the organization.
If an auditor (and an organization) can anticipate and resolve issues as they occur, and work with clear objectives and goals, the team can avoid playing catch-up and putting out fires and engage in a proactive, optimized process that will ensure success and positive results for everyone concerned.
Business Intelligence tools can be a great help in establishing and sustaining this foundation and can make the job of an audit team easier and faster and deliver more dependable results.