In a November 2009 article which appeared in CA magazine’s Online News service entitled “Going Down the Paperless Road”, author Ray Desjardins discussed the current trend towards paperless audits. He highlighted “the challenge in designing a logical, intuitive, and consistent storage mechanism for electronic forms”. Further, the requirement for auditors to be able to quickly access relevant information in a safe and secure manner, as additional challenges to be overcome.
The ability to store relevant audit engagement documents into a centralized audit repository is now made available with ACL’s AuditExchange2. Known as “the business assurance platform,” the AX Core provides the ability for auditors to manage all types of audit content including but not limited to: data, analytics, projects and results. Also Excel spreadsheets, PDF docs, Powerpoint presentations, Word documents, audio and visual evidence, just to name a few, can also be stored.
The repository of information is made available to auditors in a secure and safe environment which can be easily accessed by ACL’s familiar suite of data analysis products (AX Link and AX Datasource) and now ACL’s newest product: AX Gateway. The advantage of using this suite of content management technologies is that it is fully integrated with the ACL Analytics data analysis software that is used by a majority of auditors and which has become so familiar over the past two decades.
To be successful in improving audit processes, it’s always important to use familiar technologies, that people are comfortable using so that they can participate in changing and improving the way in which they perform their audit work. In other words, for improvements to occur, it’s important to look at the core parts of Technology, People and Processes.
As more and more audit professional begin to adopt paperless audits as the norm rather than the exception, the need for technology and the expertise to properly use this technology will be at the center of this successful transformation. And, in doing so, successful audit shops will leverage existing technologies that auditors are fully competent with to broaden the manner in which the audit department performs its work.
As Desjardin says in his article,
“Plan the [data management] structure carefully and involve all staff early in the process.”
Find out more: ACL Blog