21st Century Auditing Needs to Embrace Technology

By Adam Allcock, Business Development Executive for Audit Management at Ideagen PLC, a global provider of integrated eGRC software to organisations operating in highly regulated industries.

The widespread evolution of IT business systems has changed the way in which all departments within an organisation operate, and internal audit is no exception.

The use of automation within internal audit has expanded as professionals respond to the global advancement of technology by implementing IT audit functions and increasing their use of Computer Assisted Audit Tools (CAATs). Although many audit departments are steadily embracing new tools available to them, there are still audit teams who are not keeping up with the pace and are struggling to recognise the benefits technology can bring to their day-to-day tasks.

The recent research report published by the Global Internal Audit Common Body of Knowledge (CBOK), entitled ‘Staying a Step Ahead: Internal Audit’s Use of Technology’, offers an in depth exploration into the technological habits of internal audit departments. The global practitioner survey is the largest ongoing study of internal audit professionals in the world, with over 14,000 survey responses and 100% participation from IIA institutions in 166 countries.

Norman Marks, retired CAE and author of World-Class Internal Audit and World-Class Risk Management, said: “The internal audit profession should be pleased to see that the reported use of technology by internal audit appears to be growing nicely since prior surveys. While the numbers remain lower than many would like to see, over the years more internal audit departments are making productive use of analytics, including forms of continuous auditing and risk monitoring, to enhance the value and efficiency of their work.”

The report highlights that the use of technology in the audit process has continued to develop over the past decade. Over two-thirds of internal audit departments are now using a form of IT to help manage information collected during an audit, track actions and follow ups, and for planning and scheduling audits. There has been a significant increase in the practices of data mining, continuous auditing, process mapping and the use of e-workpapers. These trends are predicted to continue to accelerate as more internal audit teams utilise technologies available to them.

Despite the success of technology within internal audit, there is still room for improvement. Fewer than 40% of chief audit executives (CAEs) worldwide feel that their departments’ use of technology is ‘appropriate or better’, and 20% confess their audit team primarily rely on manual techniques – highlighting that extensive use of technology is the exception, not the rule. The IIA recommend that audit departments worldwide should develop a vision for use of technology tools over the next two to three years, and ensuring that the plan is communicated to the entire internal audit group.

The IIA conclude from the report that the use of the specialised software tools leads to huge improvement of productivity within internal audit, through efficient and effective computerised internal audit techniques.

So to cut a long story short, internal audit departments, and auditors themselves, need to get with the times and embrace technology to enhance both the value and efficiency of their work.

For more information on this subject, Ideagen will be hosting a Webinar entitled ‘21stCentury Auditing Needs to Embrace Technology’ on Tuesday, September 29that 3:30 pm (GMT) / 10:30 am (EDT) / 7:30 am (MST). Visit Ideagen’s website for more details.

Joe O'Brien

Creative Copywriter and PR/Media Executive

Ideagen Ltd

44 (0) 1355 598647


About Ideagen Group PLC

Ideagen Plc is a supplier of compliance based Information Management software with operations in the UK, United States and Middle East. The company specialise in eGRC (Enterprise Governance, Risk and Compliance) and Healthcare solutions for organisations operating within highly regulated industries. As authors of an excellent portfolio of software products, Ideagen is able to provide complete content lifecycle solutions that enable organisations to meet their Regulatory and Quality Compliance standards, helping them to reduce costs and improve efficiency.

The Group has shown excellent growth, both organically and through strategic acquisitions, and is listed on The London Stock Exchange AIM market (Ticker: IDEA.LN).

Ownership: UK AIM public listed company – Ideagen Plc - Idea

Accreditations: ISO 9001:2008 certified

High Growth: 62% Revenue growth in last financial year

40%: Employees working within our development environment

1500 Global Customers: Using the Ideagen Suite of products including 150 hospitals in the UK and US & 300 aviation organisations globally

Support: Based in the UK and US, we provide 24/7 support

2000: Year of formation

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Ideagen Gael Ltd is a subsidiary of Ideagen Group Plc.


About Us

Ideagen is a UK-headquartered, global technology company quoted on the London Stock Exchange AIM market (Ticker: IDEA.L). The Group provides software and services to organisations operating within highly regulated industries such as aviation, banking and finance and life science, healthcare and manufacturing with its main operational premises spread throughout the UK, EU, US, Middle East and SE Asia. With an excellent portfolio of software products including Q-Pulse, Coruson, Pentana Audit, Pentana Risk and PleaseReview, Ideagen helps its clients reduce costs, improve operational efficiency, strengthen compliance and oversight and anticipate and manage every detail of risk. Currently, more than 5,000 organisations use Ideagen's products including seven of the top 10 UK accounting firms, all of the top aerospace and defence companies and 75% of the world's leading pharmaceutical firms. Ideagen's diverse and varied customer base includes many well-known, global brands such as British Airways, Aggreko, BAE, Ryanair, US Navy, KLM, BBVA, Bank of New York, Commerzbank, Meggitt, Heineken, Johnson Matthey, Haeco Group and European Central Bank. As well as this, Ideagen counts 180 hospitals across the UK and US amongst its client base. Ideagen directly employs more than 420 members of staff and touches every continent globally. What sets Ideagen apart? Ownership - UK AIM public listed company - Ideagen PLC - IDEAAccreditations - ISO 9001:2015; 14001 & 27001 certifiedEmployees - Over 420 employees and a global Partner NetworkCustomers - 5,000 companies using the Ideagen suite of products globallySupport - Based in the UK, US and Asia, we provide 24/7 support1993 - Year of formation