TeamMate+ transforms Aon’s internal audit team from watchdog to trusted advisor.
Aon & TeamMate+ Audit
Aon is a leading global professional services firm providing a broad range of risk, retirement, and health solutions. While Aon means “oneness” in Gaelic, as a global internal audit function with a team of 75 internal auditors dispersed over five regions, acting as “one” is challenging – not only within their team but also throughout the organization.
While internal audit departments are traditionally viewed as a “policing” function meant to be tolerated rather than valued, Aon’s internal audit team hoped to shift that way of thinking. For the past two years, Aon’s internal audit team’s roadmap has focused on transitioning from a “checklist” assurance function to one that effectively predicts risk and protects the organization.
But proving their relevance and evolving from watchdog to trusted advisor is a feat that’s nearly impossible without the right technology in place.
Creating a “one team” mindset
Although Aon had an audit management tool already in place, it was mostly used as a repository for work papers. As a global team with a broad reach, internal audit needed a tool that facilitated collaboration and fostered a “one team” mindset. Emailing documents and files was no longer efficient or effective, and the ability to readily access timely and accurate information had become more critical.
Aon’s internal audit team sought an audit management system that would do more than archive documents – it wanted a dynamic solution to help increase the impact and influence of the audit function and encourage engagement with stakeholders. After vetting several vendors, Aon’s internal audit team selected TeamMate+, Wolters Kluwer’s fully configurable, web-based audit and assurance management expert solution.
Wendy Nicholas was the Senior Project Manager for the TeamMate+ selection process and implementation. Although based in North America, it’s not uncommon for Nicholas to work on internal audit projects for Aon’s other global locations. She says two features of TeamMate+ tipped the scales in Wolters Kluwer’s favor.
Earning the status of a trusted partner requires a deep understanding of the business and the willingness to take on a larger advisory role. As risks become increasingly complex, senior leaders and stakeholders rely more and more on the value internal audit delivers. With TeamMate+, the internal audit team can easily access and quickly communicate audit findings and recommendations to business line management.
“We’re able to transform the data we’ve input into TeamMate+ into useful metrics and reporting APIs that we’re sharing with our organizational leaders for better decision making,” said Nicholas. “It allows us to drive more insight and knowledge back into the business, which in turn, supports our roadmap to make a direct and tangible impact on the organization.”
Audit and reporting times are historically too long and, even before the pandemic, required internal auditors to rethink how to improve the effectiveness of the audit process. And the events of the past couple of years have only reinforced the importance of the early identification of emerging risks.
As Aon’s internal audit team becomes more familiar with TeamMate+ and its fully configurable capabilities, Nicholas says her team aspires to add further value to their organization by speeding up collaborative processes, such as agile, and the continuous monitoring of risks.
“As internal auditors, we are always searching for a more timely and concise way to report our data and make it more consumable for our stakeholders,” said Nicholas. “We’ve been moving away from those 400-page audit reports of the past into an easier deliverable, whether it’s a dashboard or colored graphic to identify risk areas. It all relates to our desire to shift the perception of internal audit as a trusted advisor and add value to our organization in the most impactful ways.”