Internal Audit Management Solutions for Retail Enterprises

The retail industry is witnessing several challenges such as the exponential growth of online retail, spread of multi-channel retailing aided by mobile technology, emergence of new markets, new innovative business models and changing behavior of customers from shop-till-you-drop to sustainable consumption. Add to these, the increasing legal and regulatory compliance requirements, policy issues, emerging risks, and supply-chain disruptions, and the performance of a retail enterprise takes a beating. With these challenges, it is evident that retailers cannot risk ineffective auditing, as the consequent operational inefficiencies can lead to much higher losses in terms of cost and reputation.

Progressive internal auditing practices and an automated approach will help zero in on threats and opportunities throughout an enterprise. It will also help retailers establish and monitor policies and reliable controls for business processes, help avoid oversight, and achieve their strategic plans and goals. However, retailers need to move away from traditional audit approaches, obsolete desktop based software solutions, and spreadsheet-based systems, which do not help meet these requirements.

MetricStream's Internal Audit Management

MetricStream's Internal Audit Management solution, based on the IIA standards, is a comprehensive application designed to help retail organizations adopt industry best practices, manage multiple audit types, and optimize a wide range of audit-related activities, data and processes. The solution helps automate end-to-end audit lifecycle including risk assessments, risk-based audit planning, audit scoping, audit scheduling and execution, managing audit findings, issue management and audit reporting. The solution is equipped with comprehensive features such as workflows, extensive audit work papers, checklists, email-based notifications and alerts, and offline audit functionalities, which enable retailers to adopt industry best practices.

The multi-language capabilities of the solution benefit culturally diverse global retailers. In addition, multiple geographically dispersed audit teams can anytime access the web-based solution, and relevant data and metrics, as well as manage and monitor the progress of tasks and projects.

Key benefits of the solution include:

  • Provides a systematic and consistent audit process across business units, divisions, departments and locations
  • Accelerates and streamlines the audit management cycle and provides greater control and clear visibility into issues, status and progress to all stakeholders
  • Offers a unified view of all audit programs, processes, tasks, timelines, issues and risks, across the enterprise through powerful dashboards and reporting capabilities
  • Improves audit scheduling and resource management that will in turn increase efficiency of the audit staff, enabling them to focus on value-oriented functions such as analyzing and recognizing trends in the audit data
  • Eliminates errors and inconsistencies with a standardized audit data collection, analysis and reporting process across the enterprise
  • Provides role-based workflows, reports and dashboards for key entities such as the Chief Auditor, Vice President Audit, Director Audit, Lead Auditor, Audit Manager, Auditor and Auditee