When switching to a remote format, it is essential to provide the team of auditors with the technical means for work and the correct settings. In addition, remote audit differs from the traditional one in that the regularity of direct personal interaction between the auditors and the objects of audits is reduced. Other differences may depend on the level of technical savvy of internal audit before moving to a remote format and what internal audit will become.
Create a new communication microclimate
Lack of face-to-face communication between colleagues at a distance can adversely affect the quality of audit findings. Therefore, it is advisable to review the competence map of internal auditors and assign hours of internal telephone consultations to each of the auditors as part of their professional expertise. It is also necessary to set “quiet” hours, a ban on the exchange of voice messages, and the frequency of general video calls.
Approve a new regulation on internal labor regulations
The approach to the organization of the working day – from 9:00 to 18:00 with a lunch break at a certain time – should be reviewed within reasonable limits. So, for an internal auditor, you can set a period during which he is obliged to receive calls and respond to urgent messages. At the same time, he does not have to carry out audit activities this time directly.
Develop new security standards
Working remotely does not always mean working from a home office; it is an opportunity to work anywhere in the world at a convenient time. Such a variety of possibilities requires establishing several additional security procedures for internal auditors working with enterprise trade secrets. It is best to use well-secured virtual data rooms for the event.
Enter the position of supervisor in the staffing table
It is necessary to introduce a position in the staffing table, the place of work that will be the company’s office. The supervisor can be attached to the audit team and provide administrative assistance in conducting audits, the timeliness of information exchange, seeking contacts, requests and receiving audit evidence. A supervisor is more than a secretary.
Provide employees with access to all information systems
The effectiveness of remote audits can only be achieved by providing continuous and absolute access to all information and analytical resources, and control systems available in the company. Considering the variety of applied computer programs and the cross-section of information, an internal audit should be able to verify data between systems and only, if necessary, independently to obtain clarification or additional supporting documents, contact the relevant division, service, or subsidiary.
Review audit procedures and audit evidence format
The increase in the array of digital audit evidence and how to obtain it requires a review of the usual approaches to documenting audit procedures. In addition, we need new documents indicating the sources of data, the date and time of access, photographs of pages, and other information that ensures the reliability of evidence.