3 agile auditing examples for internal audit teams
ComplianceOctober 28, 2021

3 agile auditing examples for internal audit teams

Much as agile has helped improve the software development world, an agile methodology can also be used to improve internal audit. At its core, agile typically involves breaking work up into short periods known as sprints and/or using a more flexible yet organized project management approach with Kanban boards, as seen below.

Kanban board for agile auditing within TeamMate+

While you can use an agile audit methodology like scrum to break work into more focused, efficient periods, it’s important to recognize that agile is also a mindset. You need to embrace more responsiveness and collaboration, such as when it comes to developing an audit plan that continually changes with feedback.

In this article, we’ll explore three agile auditing examples to help you see how you can take an agile approach. These agile auditing examples include using agile principles and frameworks for:

  1. Risk prioritization
  2. Stakeholder engagement
  3. Streamlined workflows

Agile auditing example #1: Risk prioritization

One agile auditing example is to use an agile approach for risk prioritization. Instead of trying to look at all possible risks at once during an annual review process, an agile audit can be used to tackle specific risk areas based on their priority.

More specifically, an agile audit often involves creating sprints, i.e. short work cycles that typically last around one to two weeks. During a sprint, internal auditors can focus on the highest priority risks, giving their full attention to a specific area, such as application and information access control.

When the sprint ends, an auditor can look at a backlog of tasks that relate to different risks. They can then choose the next risk priority to focus on during the subsequent sprint.

Agile auditing example #2: Stakeholder engagement

Another agile auditing example is using an agile approach to facilitate more stakeholder engagement. An agile methodology typically relies on iterative processes, where stakeholders provide feedback and internal auditors get buy-in before, during and at the end of each sprint cycle.

For example, stakeholders within an internal audit team might give feedback during daily standup meetings. And senior management might weigh in during pre-planning processes as well as during sprint reviews. In contrast, a traditional audit plan might be too rigid for internal audit members to feel like they can give feedback along the way. Meanwhile, groups outside of audit might not weigh in until after they review a final report, so their feedback might not be able to make an impact until the following year’s audit plan.

Agile auditing example #3: Streamlined workflows

A third agile auditing example is using an agile audit framework to create streamlined workflows for audit team members.

For one, breaking audit tasks into more focused sprints can help an organization accomplish more overall, much as it often helps to break up any large project into manageable chunks. Using tools like a Kanban board can also streamline workflows and optimize efficiency, as everyone can gain alignment on current work. For example, if a task is blocked at the moment, it’s useful for team members to know so that they can either adapt or suggest ways to unblock a task.

Agile auditing can also streamline workflows by divvying audit teams up into smaller, more focused units. These groups can then collaborate through daily standup meetings, identify roadblocks and ultimately find workflow efficiencies as they build trust and rapport within their units.

Use agile auditing software to improve internal audit

As these agile auditing examples show, adopting an agile mindset and framework can lead to more efficient, stronger audit processes and results. To make the transition to agile easier or to get the most out of an existing agile approach, it helps to use agile auditing software.

Tools like TeamMate+ Agile Audit can help your internal audit department organize and optimize your audit practice. From creating an audit backlog to managing sprints to visualizing workflow progress via a Kanban board, TeamMate+ Agile Audit makes areas like risk management and governance more efficient and effective.

If you want to build a more agile team and improve your internal audit function, see how TeamMate+ Agile Audit can help.

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