The rapid onset of the pandemic accelerated the trend toward remote auditing, along with the related challenges. The challenges include effective communications between auditors and their clients, familiarity with technology, and limited access to necessary technology, which can arise from poor internet connection or restricted capacity. Despite lockdowns and limited travel budgets, a lack of access to necessary technology can mean that onsite audits will still be necessary. Another challenge is in developing interpersonal relationships with audit clients; it’s more difficult to do so online than in person.
This new Global Perspectives & Insights outlines the potential benefits of remote auditing, particularly for organizations with offices widely distributed geographically. By eliminating travel time, auditors can spend time on tasks that add value, such as in-depth reviews of documentation, or can consider different approaches to their work.
Other benefits of a remote audit include:
- An expanded pool of available auditors, including part-timers, specialists, or retirees who can be used on an as-needed basis.
- Expanded coverage because of time savings when competing priorities need to be considered.
The essential abilities auditors will need to successfully do their jobs in the post-pandemic environment include emotional intelligence, communications skills, business acumen, flexibility, and agility, as well as imagination and curiosity.