Mann Mortgage’s internal audit gets a seat at the table as a trusted advisor.
In 2017, Beth Lindquist had a big job to do. Lindquist, the sole internal auditor at Mann Mortgage, was tasked with building the company’s internal audit department from the ground up. Mann Mortgage was founded in 1989 in Kalispell, Montana, and in the past 30 years, it has grown from a single loan officer to 62 branch locations in 16 states. As the company has matured, so has its need for a more robust internal audit function. But, creating an audit department is not an easy undertaking, which is why Lindquist decided that in addition to hiring auditors who would work remotely, she would search for an automated audit management system to make the transition more seamless.
Once her audit team was in place, Lindquist focused on selecting an automated audit management system to replace the manual tools she was using. Lindquist chose Wolters Kluwer’s TeamMate+ audit management software to keep her staff “organized and on the same page” despite being in different geographical locations. Implementation began in October 2017 with one of TeamMate’s credentialed business process experts leading the way.
“Setting up audit software within a newly developed Internal Audit department is not an easy task, but the project manager’s in-depth knowledge of audit was a tremendous asset,” said Lindquist. “Only someone that understands the audit profession can truly relate to the impact an implementation like this can have on an organization. Our project manager’s expertise played a key role in getting our team up and running quickly.”
Lindquist also credits the system’s TeamStore content library with “saving countless hours” by providing industry leading content and resources to ensure she built her audit templates in compliance with Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) standards. And, as Lindquist and her staff got up-to-speed with TeamMate+’s functionality, she discovered several other efficiencies as well.
- Communication among the disbursed Internal Audit team and with company-wide auditees improved significantly. Lindquist previously spent half a day sending emails back and forth for audit updates. With TeamMate+, all of their audit information is centralized, giving everyone visibility into the work being performed and greatly reducing not only the amount of emails they send and receive, but also the chance of something being overlooked.
- No longer relying on Excel spreadsheets for manual data collection and reporting has saved hours. During an audit, 60% of Lindquist’s time was spent generating reports that could be up to 60 pages in length. With TeamMate+, Lindquist can now automatically pull information from the testing site to populate the audit report with the click of a button.
- Offline capabilities make traveling or working remotely easier and more secure. When Lindquist traveled to Mann Mortgage’s Hawaiian branch, she was unable to connect to Wi-Fi for some reason—and TeamMate+’s offline capabilities saved the day. Hotels are also a good place to use offline capabilities because of Internet security issues.
Most importantly, TeamMate+ has strengthened the partnership between Internal Audit and company stakeholders. By setting up the Board of Directors and senior management as business contacts within the audit system, stakeholders have more visibility into how Internal Audit drives value throughout the organization.
“Internal audit can sometimes seem exclusive to a company. By sharing access to TeamMate+ with our stakeholders, they receive information more quickly and have become more invested in the work we do,” said Lindquist. “As a result, stakeholders are now looking to Internal Audit for organizational insight and consulting when making strategic decisions and addressing business risk. It’s given us a seat at the table as a trusted advisor.”