A legacy financial services institution, which has been serving customers for over 200 years, decided to digitally transform its audit workflow. The objective was to do away with manual processes and upgrade the technology, standardize workflow, enhance flexibility to adapt to industry needs, and improve productivity and efficiency. The need for this digital transformation was also born out of new and young executives joining the audit department who weren’t well acquainted with the then-used outdated technology
The company chose MetricStream Internal Audit Management to achieve these goals and revamp its largely manual and obsolete audit system. With a fairly detailed change management plan and governance structure in place, the software solution was implemented, enabling the company to effectively digitize its work paper system and enhance the speed and agility of the audit department.
With a team of around 300 auditors working across locations globally, the company’s audit department faced a number of challenges on various fronts. It had several manual processes and side books while the teams within the department had inconsistent system processes, including issue and approval management, and were working in silos. In addition, limited reporting capabilities, along with the lack of common taxonomy, greatly impacted overall efficiency.
Another key area where the company recognized the need for an overhaul was annual planning, particularly integrating annual planning with audit engagement to streamline the process. Moreover, a general desire for change—a new look and feel—was also felt as many new and younger executives joined the audit department. To overcome these challenges, the company implemented MetricStream Internal Audit Management, which included modules on Intelligent Content Library, Audit Planning, Audit Scheduling, Timesheet management, and Issue management. With this, the financial institution now has an automated and centralized system for effective audit management workflow, monitoring and reporting.
Using MetricStream, the company was able to significantly upgrade its process of planning and conducting audits and benefitted from a much better user experience with a lot more feature and functionality rich technology. The implementation of a centralized and automated audit management system resulted in clearer workflows, a 360-degree view of complete audit, and flexible, relevant, and up-to-date search capability. It also helped eliminate silos in the audit department, enabling internal teams to act cohesively to work towards a common purpose, thereby improving efficiency and productivity.
The company wanted to overcome its limited reporting capability—both departmental and regulatory reporting—and get more out of its data. Using MetricStream, the company is continuously building this capability and working towards realizing this goal.
Speaking of configuration capability, the company identified the need for a flexible platform to better adapt to growing industry needs. This goal was achieved through the product’s checklist capabilities that allowed for easier configuration.
• Obsolete technology, inconsistent and manual processes
• Lack of common terminology and referenceable best practices
• Fragmented annual planning process
• Limited reporting capabilities
• The latest technology and process automation ensured reduced effort and better time utilization
• A common taxonomy and centralized book of record eliminated redundancy
• Integrated annual planning reduced siloed work
• Advanced reporting and in-depth data view enabled insightful decisions
The previous lack of common taxonomy and a centralized book of record also added to the woes of the audit department in terms of incoherence—divergent approaches to understanding audit practices. Using MetricStream, the company was able to create consistent terminology and practices as well as an integrated and centralized book of record to store all audit details. This significantly helped to streamline the process and provide a common reference point and a single source of truth for auditors.
Earlier, the company had a highly cumbersome and fragmented approach to annual planning—each audit team presented its own way of forecasting their audit plans while a central person tried to coordinate all those plans and multiple changes that happen on a daily basis. Using MetricStream, it was able to integrate annual planning into the system, replacing the previous manual process. This helped to considerably improve the efficiency of the entire process, saving significant time and effort.
One of the key goals for the company was to standardize inconsistent system processes within audit teams. The auditors ultimately wanted robust enterprise technology and processes for effective audit execution and management. MetricStream helped the company achieve this target as approvals are now consistently done within the system; issue management process is now consistent and goes beyond the audit cycle; quarterly and annual reporting execution time have been significantly reduced; and QA efforts have been redirected to higher value due to workflow and system checks.