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Learn At Lunch : Transforming Internal Audit - Emerging Digitalisation Technology

We saw over 20 internal audit professionals attending our Learn At Lunch talk on “Transforming Internal Audit - Emerging Digitalisation Technology” on 11 April 2019, presented by Mr Lai Kee Yin, Director (Business Performance Improvement & Internal Audit), Protiviti Singapore at our new Telok Ayer Street office.

Mr Lai presented an overview of Protiviti’s vision for the next generation of internal audit which includes: moving toward dynamic risk assessments; adopting an agile approach to auditing; leveraging data and technology to enable activities throughout the audit lifecycle; delivering high-impact reports; managing talent in the age of digital disruption; and instituting an innovation mindset. 

According to findings from Protiviti’s Internal Audit Survey 2019, three in four internal audit groups are undertaking some form of innovation or transformation effort, a positive indicator that organisations are positioning themselves to thrive in the future. Many organisations today are considering the use of, or are already using, emerging technologies such as robotic process automation and process mining to drive efficiencies and cost savings into the tedious audit and process optimisation processes, as well as to enhance consistency and effectiveness by reducing error rates and improving coverage.

“A forward-looking audit function should provide insight, oversight and foresight around an organisation’s current and future risks and controls, especially in an increasingly disruptive environment,” said Mr Lai.

Similar to the opportunities provided to business functions, technology has introduced many benefits to internal audit, including improving audit quality, reducing the audit lifecycle, and boosting testing coverage.  Internal auditors should now move quickly to understand the fundamental risks and opportunities in emerging technologies that would have an impact on the business, and importantly, the level of assurance to be provided to stakeholders, in the future.

In closing, Mr Lai highlighted that in striving to become an agile next-generation internal audit function that embraces the benefits of technology and transformation, the presence of these key success factors is critical: establish an agile mindset; see the forest; empower your people to innovate; seek quick wins; recognise two sets of ripple effects and integrate adaptability into the design.

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