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How Useful Are Data Analytics in the Audit Process?

Posted by Lark Scheierman on Mon, Apr 10, 2017 @ 09:08 AM

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Internal audit has started the journey toward enabling analytics in audit processes, but there’s a long road ahead. This report explains why through the key findings of Protiviti’s 2017 Internal Audit Capabilities and Needs Survey. In a digital world, now is the time for internal audit functions to embrace analytics. The results of this 2017 survey are the most significant takeaway, which shows that chief audit executives (CAEs) and internal audit professionals increasingly are leveraging analytics in the audit process, as well as for a host of continuous auditing and monitoring activities.

Key findings regarding data analytics and the audit process include:

  • Most internal auditors employ data analytics as part of the audit process; however, most organizations rate their analytics capabilities at the lower end of the maturity spectrum.
  • Internal audit departments with dedicated analytics functions see the highest level of value from their analytics. Organizations with designated analytics champions also notice the high-level value of analytics.
  • As internal audit shops embrace analytics and achieve more progress in how they use data, demand for analytics in the audit process is increasing. This underscores the need for internal audit to mature how it is using analytics and build processes, people and technology to handle the growing volume and more sophisticated requests.
  • Although the overall use and maturity of continuous auditing and monitoring remain relatively low, internal audit functions with more advanced continuous auditing and monitoring capabilities are achieving impressive benefits. These include strengthening risk assessments, more effectively tracking fraud indicators and key operational risk indicators, and enabling a real-time view of organizational risk.

Learn more about data analytics by exploring these related publications on KnowledgeLeader:

Data Integrity Risk Key Performance Indicators
Data Analytics by Business Process
Internal Audit Strategic Focus Questionnaire

Topics: Internal Audit, Continuous Auditing, Data Analytics

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