TeamMate+ Saves Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation 400-600 Hours in Annual Regulatory Testing and is Aligned with Their COSO Audit Methodology
Located in Mashantucket, Connecticut, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation is a federally recognized Indian tribe based on one of the oldest reservations in North America. As the first tribe to introduce casino gaming outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City, they own and operate Foxwoods Resort Casino, one of the largest gaming resorts in North America, as well as a variety of complementary businesses, including a golf course, hotels, dining, shopping and entertainment.
Internal audit departments that audit tribal gaming face unique challenges. First, because the gaming industry is heavily regulated and has very strict compliance requirements, the role of Internal Audit is continually evolving to meet those standards. Second, internal auditors are responsible for auditing both the tribal government and the casino, which means they operate as a “hybrid” and must approach the auditing process from two very different perspectives.
Additionally, as the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s global footprint expands into other industries, their exposure to risk, fraud, waste and abuse also increases exponentially. As a result, Internal Audit found themselves needing to replace their existing audit system with something more robust. After conducting due diligence on four audit systems, Internal Audit selected TeamMate+, Wolters Kluwer’s fully configurable, web-based audit and assurance management expert solution.
According to Thomas Alger, Director of Internal Audit at Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, TeamMate+ emerged as the top choice based on four important factors:
- Alger used TeamMate in a prior role and was very satisfied with the audit system, its ease of use, capabilities, and software flexibility to meet the needs of the internal audit department.
- TeamMate has longevity in the audit management industry and widespread user adoption, which means if Internal Audit added new staff, it’s likely they would have experience using TeamMate. This translates into a more efficient onboarding process.
- Internal Audit leverages the Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission (COSO) framework for internal controls and TeamMate readily aligns with their audit methodology.
- TeamMate offers ease of use for audited business units to provide follow-up on outstanding audit issues.
Alger says configuring TeamMate+ was like being “a kid in a candy store” because of the depth and breadth of the audit system’s functionality. But, rather than implementing everything at once, the internal audit team focused on their initial goals for the audit system and worked to ensure that everyone who was going to be involved with the tool was on the same page. And, as Internal Audit continues to navigate an ever-changing business and compliance environment, Alger appreciates how easily he can “tweak” TeamMate+ to meet new requirements as they arise.
With TeamMate+ up and running, Alger and his three-person audit team have improved visibility into their audit processes and gained greater efficiencies, especially when it comes to their annual regulatory testing for the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC).
“Looking at the way the audits were done previously, we found a lot of duplication of effort,” said Alger.