As the third line of defense in one of the largest oil and gas companies in the world, the internal audit organization has a challenging responsibility -- to ensure that controls across multiple global locations are sufficient and working as expected, while also calling out potential risks and areas of opportunity that could impact business performance.
In the past, these requirements were managed in a largely ad hoc and siloed manner. Each stage of the audit was enabled by a different tool providing different workflows and capabilities. Without a unifying framework to connect these systems, the organization faced several issues related to audit productivity and transparency.
Looking for a solution, they found one in MetricStream’s integrated audit management system which facilitates a cohesive, collaborative, and streamlined approach to internal auditing.
Before MetricStream, the audit organization had a well-defined global internal audit program. However, they also had three different systems to manage their audit processes. The lack of integration between these systems resulted in inconsistencies between audit teams, as well as duplication of work, limited visibility into audit progress, and process inefficiencies.
Adding to these challenges was the sheer scope of the audit program. Audit teams often had to juggle assignments across multiple onshore and offshore locations throughout the world. In total, there were 1,000 auditable entities and more than 20 global audit divisions that had to be managed.
To bring some measure of efficiency to this effort, the organization decided to implement an integrated internal audit management system. Their objective was to manage the entire audit lifecycle from a single platform instead of several, disintegrated tools. The system they chose would have to improve visibility into global audit operations, while enhancing collaboration across audit teams. It would also need to enable a risk-based approach to auditing, and in the long run, evolve beyond current audit needs, to meet future requirements.
After evaluating various technology providers, the organization decided to implement the MetricStream solution for audit management which, they believed, would address their specific requirements —particularly the need for a unified, consistent, and efficient approach to internal auditing.
Today, the MetricStream solution acts as the backbone of the organization’s internal audit function, providing a single, integrated foundation on which to manage global audit operations. The solution facilitates a systematic, structured approach to audit processes, thereby minimizing duplication of effort and data. It also simplifies information-sharing between audit teams and auditees.
With well-defined workflows, as well as automatic notifications and alerts, the internal audit team can perform their activities and tasks in a streamlined, collaborative manner – including audit planning and scheduling, risk assessments, workpaper management, time management, audit reporting, recommendations management, and follow-ups.
Considering the number of audits that need to be conducted for 1,000+ auditable entities, the organization has to ensure that they’re focusing on the highest areas of risk first. Using the solution, audit teams can view all the risks associated with each auditable entity. They can then develop targeted audit plans and schedules that prioritize audit resources towards key risk areas, thereby improving overall audit effectiveness.
Given that the organization’s auditors often have to travel for onsite audits, their schedules and tasks need to be planned and prepared much in advance—sometimes even a year ahead—to ensure appropriate allocation of resources.
Earlier, this was difficult to achieve because the audit organization didn’t have sufficient visibility into their global pool of teams and resources. However, with the MetricStream solution, the organization can now plan their resources better, managing 200+ auditors across various regions.
Budgets and teams are optimally allocated for each auditable entity, following which detailed tasks are scheduled and assigned. Thus, the solution increases overall audit productivity. It also enables audit managers to continuously monitor the status of each audit.
Due to both onshore and offshore auditing requirements, auditors often end up working in remote locations with limited or no connectivity to the corporate network. Many times, they have to respond to data requirements at an offsite contractor or vendor location, as well as airports or airplanes. In such situations, they need access to relevant documentation – which the MetricStream solution provides.
Using the solution’s offline briefcase capability, auditors can easily perform their tasks offline, while also accessing the required forms, workpapers, and documents. The data entered into their systems can be synched with the main CASE STUDY CASE STUDY PERFORM WITH INTEGRITY For more information, contact us at [email protected] © 2019 Copyright MetricStream All Rights Reserved. database later. This approach has given them the flexibility to record audit evidence accurately and quickly wherever they are, while preventing data loss. Additional solution capabilities such as mass reassignment and approval of workpapers have further accelerated audit task performance.
Through the solution’s real-time audit status reports and dashboards, audit managers can closely monitor the progress of audit projects across the organization, while gaining a consolidated view of the global audit program.
The solution delivers 400+ reports with deep insights into various audit stages and activities, as well as issues and risks at multiple levels of the organization. This comprehensive information enables the audit organization to plan effective and timely recommendations ahead of time which can then be communicated to the senior management and board.