Internal Audit’s Digital Transformation Imperative: Advances Amid Crisis – Analyzing the Impact of 2020 on Internal Audit Functions’ Implementation of Technology
The year 2020 will long be remembered as a year of disruption. In the midst of a global pandemic, social unrest, political upheavals, and economic crises, internal auditors were challenged to provide assurance and advisory services to help their organizations survive. However, that is not all; internal audit’s infrastructure and processes also were disrupted — internal auditors had to shift to remote work, deal with a rapidly broadening risk environment, and grapple with resourcing fluctuations.
In November 2020, the Internal Audit Foundation, in collaboration with AuditBoard, conducted a survey to understand how internal audit leveraged technology to respond to the year’s challenging and fast-changing conditions, in addition to examining how technology was used prior to the pandemic. The survey was designed to gather data and provide answers to the following questions:
- How has technology helped internal audit functions adapt to rapidly changing conditions in 2020?
- Have internal audit functions accelerated, decelerated, or otherwise changed their current use or intended adoption of new technology in response to the conditions of 2020?
- What is the most effective type of technology for helping internal audit functions succeed in their response to changing conditions?
A successful response to such disruption requires effective and efficient collaboration, communication, and productivity — all of which can be enabled or enhanced through innovation and the adoption of technology. The goal of this report is to illustrate how audit departments’ use of technology has changed throughout this disruption, to explore how that technology has helped audit teams adapt, and to determine which technologies have been the most effective in allowing audit teams to be successful.