What Is Agile Auditing
ComplianceFinanceTax & AccountingJuly 26, 2021

What is agile auditing? A guide to agile auditing for internal audit

Agile auditing can help internal audit teams conduct more efficient audits with the flexibility to respond to current business needs. But what is agile auditing?

As the name implies, an agile audit methodology involves building a more nimble audit plan, as opposed to how audit teams typically stick to an annual or even multi-year plan. Implementing an audit methodology can then improve governance, as audit teams can adapt their oversight to more recent, relevant risks, rather than getting fixated on prior problems.  In this guide to “what is agile auditing?”, we’ll explore:

  • What is agile auditing?
  • What is agile auditing used for?
  • Agile auditing examples
  • How to get started with agile auditing

What is agile auditing?

Agile auditing involves using the agile methodology that comes from the software development world. Similar to other agile methodologies, agile auditing typically means working in short, iterative periods called sprints or using a more flexible project management process known as Kanban to go through the full agile audit methodology from planning to presenting and reviewing results.

What is agile auditing used for?

Agile auditing is used by internal audit teams to develop an audit plan that’s able to respond to change, whether that’s because new risks emerge or business priorities change.

“In traditional project management, any late-stage changes are taken with a grain of salt as this usually means scope creep and thus higher costs. In Agile, however, teams aim to embrace uncertainty and acknowledge that even a late change can still bear a lot of value to the end customer,” explains Kanbanize, a platform that can be used for agile workflows.

Agile auditing examples

To better understand what agile auditing is, it can help to look at examples of internal audit teams using an agile audit methodology.

One example of agile auditing involves placing a group of internal auditors on very specific audit responsibilities, like coordinating with compliance, to then continually update the compliance section of an audit presentation to audit committees. This aspect of agile auditing — having small, focused teams — can help increase productivity.

Another example of agile auditing could be having monthly check-ins with management to discuss business risks. That way, internal auditors can update audit plans and project management schedules more regularly to reflect current risk management priorities, rather than getting locked into what was established at the start of the year.

How to get started with agile auditing

What is the best way to get started with agile auditing? Since an agile audit methodology involves new ways of working, audit leaders should first be able to define what is the agile auditing goal so that they can get other team members engaged. See if you can identify an issue with your traditional audit methodology that an agile process would have helped with.

Also keep in mind the relevance of agile governance and audit success. What is agile governance?

“The term Agile governance refers to how an organization oversees, monitors, and guides its Agile projects. It can apply to a single Agile project, but more often describes the governance framework for an organization’s full portfolio of Agile projects,” explains project management platform Smartsheet.

So, if you want to implement a successful agile audit methodology, it’s important to have a strong governance framework regarding how you’ll use agile to develop your audit plan, rather than trying out agile on an ad-hoc, inconsistent basis.

Using audit-specific project management tools like Teammate+ Agile Audit can help internal audit teams standardize and manage an agile audit methodology.

 

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